S Korea to shut off computers to stop people working late

Published: March 23, 2018 13:51:43 | Updated: March 26, 2018 17:01:47

Report say South Korea government employees work an average of 2,739 hours a year. Image derived from Forbes magazine.

The government in South Korea's capital is introducing a new initiative to force its employees to leave work on time - by powering down all their computers at 20:00 on Fridays.

It says it is trying to stop a "culture of working overtime".

South Korea has some of the longest working hours in the world.

Government employees there work an average of 2,739 hours a year - about 1,000 hours more than workers in other developed countries.

The shutdown initiative in the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) is set to roll out across three phases over the next three months.

The programme will begin on 30 March, with all computers switched off by 20:00.

The second phase starts in April, with employees having their computers turned off by 19:30 on the second and fourth Friday that month.

From May on, the programme will be in full-swing, with computers shut off by 19:00 every Friday, reports BBC.

According to a SMG statement, all employees will be subjected to the shutdown, though exemptions may be provided in special circumstances.

However, not every government worker seems to be on-board - according to the SMG, 67.1 per cent of government workers have asked to be exempt from the forced lights-out.

Earlier this month, South Korea's national assembly passed a law to cut down the maximum weekly working hours to 52, down from 68.

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