Majority of S. Koreans favor working at virtual workplace: survey

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : October 18, 2021, 10:26 | Updated : October 18, 2021, 10:34

[Gettyimages Bank]

SEOUL -- When the first wave of a coronavirus hit South Korea, many companies created remote working environments so that employees can reduce the chance of being infected by COVID-19. As telecommuting became a common form of work, a majority of employees favored working in virtual offices even after life returned to normal.

Remote offices were established through online conference sessions to maintain a continuous workflow. Phone calls and emails have been the main communication method. Samsung Electronics had up to 30 percent of employees working at home using teleconference apps and online virtual office software. Up to 50 percent of LG Electronics workers have telecommuted. Remote working was noticeable at major game developers where up to 100 percent of employees worked at home.

According to Seoul Woman Up, a women employment-accelerating institute, an August survey of 4,476 workers showed that about 65 percent favored virtual workplaces over actual offices. Some 53.1 percent wished to work remotely because they can tend to real-life chores such as housework and parenting. About 19.9 percent felt more comfortable when communicating through avatars than face-to-face meetings.

The virtual space known as "metaverse" was the most familiar form of virtual worlds. The survey found that 58.2 percent experienced at least one kind of metaverse mainly through online video games.

A metaverse is a virtual world based on a digital platform such as a video game or a social media service. Using avatars, users can freely communicate and interact with each other or engage in activities together. While many metaverse worlds can be accessed using smartphones and PCs, some require virtual reality (VR) headsets or augmented reality (AR) devices to maximize user experience.

"Because the metaverse industry, which is growing rapidly, is expected to affect job choices in the future, we will develop various job-accelerating services for metaverse-related jobs," Shin Hyun-ok, the head director of Seoul Woman Up, was quoted as saying.

South Korea connected with super-fast mobile and optical cable internet networks is an ideal place for the test operation and commercialization of metaverse services that require stable and fast internet connection. In August, Seoul launched metaverse-based science classes for elementary school students. A virtual exhibition hall called "Gather Town" offered various science activities and lecturess. It can be accessed with a web browser.
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