As the fever for smart phones, which have improved time and space restraints dramatically, is intensifying, concern about innovation of working methods are growing.
The government recently announced the "smart work activation strategy," which aims to build an environment where public servants can work anytime and anywhere flexibly and to introduce an advanced working method. It reflects the government's will to prepare for low birth and the aging society by making use of the strong points of information and communication technology, and to solve such national issues as low carbon and green growth simultaneously.
Smart Work refers to a state-of-the-art working system that represents telecommuting, mobile working and flexible working. The Netherlands introduced a remote working system for 49 percent of all workplaces as of 2007. Meanwhile, the United States forecast that 43.4 percent of the total working population will become a Smart Work generation by 2016.
Through the Smart Work system, we can save indirect social expenses including transportation, environment and energy-related costs, through the reduction of commuting distances and the replacement of long-distance business trips by a collaboration system. The system can also improve quality of life by offering flexible working systems and balance of work and living.
Smart Work has been implemented under the name of mobile office at foreign-invested companies and insurance firms, including IBM Korea, where many employees work outside.
IBM Korea, which built a mobile office in 1995, has been operating the system since then. As of 2010, over 60 percent out of a total of 2,600 employees are on mobile work.
Employees of the company can start and finish work without visiting the office. They can deal with the company business anytime and anywhere by connecting with the company's computer system. It abolished a fixed seating system and implemented a seat-sharing system (office hoteling), while operating remote work centers (satellite office) at many places in the city.
By minimizing the number of employees coming into the office, Korea IBM has been able to reduce space in their office by 50 percent; the space in which those 2,600 employees worked at. Also, they were able to cut down on long-term business trips and create a change in the number of the labor force. These actions have been saving them KRW 2.2 billion in expenditures annually. When they took a survey on the employees and their degree of satisfaction, about 70 percent said they were generally satisfied, while 75 percent replied they achieved an improvement of productivity.
To operate the Smart Work system successfully, it should be implemented on a company-wide project, which integrates the information & communication system, office environment, business process, corporate culture and organizational management system.
In particular, security is important for an information & communication system. In line with this, development of a guide for security and the introduction of security solutions are indispensable. Building confidence between organization and components, creating sense of sympathy for success, and cooperation are also important. We should continuously develop Smart Work through concensus and cooperation.
Contributed by KKS CEO Lim Kyu-kwan