Two companies institute 6-day work weeks for execs, raising concerns

Samsung and SK Group are under fire for implementing a six-day work week for their executives, according to The Korea Times. The move has been criticized for its potential negative impact on morale and adherence to outdated labor standards. Industry insiders and experts have questioned the decision, questioning its compatibility with contemporary workplace norms.

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Executives at Samsung Group’s key affiliates, including Samsung Electronics, Samsung SDI, and Samsung SDS, are now required to work an additional day, either on Saturday or Sunday. While framed as a measure to enhance risk management amidst global economic uncertainties, the initiative has raised concerns about its broader implications for employee wellbeing.

An official from a conglomerate expressed concern, stating, “Even if employees do not work for six days, they will feel a sense of pressure and fatigue from the introduction of the six-day work week for executives. This goes against the global labor paradigm, and it also remains doubtful as to whether such an extra-work system will be able to generate tangible outcomes.”

See more: How a 4-day work week helped cut burnout in half for this company

SK Group has similarly reinstated biweekly Saturday meetings for top executives from its affiliates, a practice abandoned for 24 years since the adoption of the five-day work week in 2000. Combined with Samsung’s decision, this move has raised questions about the direction of corporate culture and working conditions.

Another official from a major organization warned that Samsung and SK Group’s actions might set a precedent for other organizations to follow, exacerbating pressures on employees and undermining efforts to promote work-life balance.

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“As executives are mapping out the roadmap of each division, non-executive level officials will be under more pressure to work harder, which many young employees consider an outdated work style. It is doubtful whether the six-day work week by executives will help improve the productivity of any organizations,” the official said.

Josephine Tan wrote this story for HRM Asia. Find more from this author at

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