7 in 10 big firms allow remote work despite eased pandemic curbs: poll

June 8, 2022

More than 7 in 10 large South Korean companies are allowing their employees to work from home even after the government removed most anti-coronavirus curbs over a month ago, a poll showed Wednesday.

The survey of the country’s leading 100 firms by sales, taken by the Korea Enterprises Federation (KEF), found 72.7 percent of the respondents continue to have remote working in place.

The ratio is down 18.8 percentage points from 91.5 percent in a similar survey a year earlier.

KEF, the largest business lobby in Asia’s fourth-largest economy, said some large corporations appear to have stopped allowing their employees to work remotely in line with the loosened pandemic restrictions.

In May, South Korea lifted the outdoor mask mandate, except for at large gatherings of 50 people or more, as it is moving to return to normalcy.

According to the findings, nearly 44 percent of companies allowing remote work cited a gradual return to normal as the main reason, followed by staff preferences for working from home with some 21 percent.

Roughly 52 percent of the respondents expected remote working at large firms to return to a pre-pandemic level after the coronavirus crisis is over, with the remainder anticipating its continued use or expansion.

South Korea reported 13,358 COVID-19 infections Wednesday, including 59 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 18,188,200.

The headquarters of the Korea Enterprises Federation in Seoul (Yonhap)

The headquarters of the Korea Enterprises Federation in Seoul (Yonhap)