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Companies adopting 'smart work' system in effort to prevent COVID-19 spread Updated: 2020-04-01 13:14:57 KST

Workers at large companies in South Korea are gradually returning to their offices instead of working from home.
But some employees will adopt flexible hours under the so-called "smart work" system.
This will effectively reduce the number of workers coming into the office at the same time, allowing firms to practice some level of social distancing while reducing the inefficiencies caused by working from home.
Industry sources said SK Group is switching to this "smart work" system starting Wednesday.
Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors are also temporarily adopting flexible working hours to reduce close contact among employees.
The COVID-19 outbreak had a limited impact on South Korea's March exports.
The Trade Ministry said on Wednesday, that total outbound shipments in March amounted to some 46.9 billion U.S. dollars, a decrease of point-two percent on-year.
The ministry says the increase in exports of semiconductors and IT products, due to the rise of a non-contact lifestyle and increase in online activities, reduced the fall.
March imports were down point-three percent to 41.8 billion dollars.
The trade surplus came to around five billion dollars in March, with exports exceeding imports for the 98th month in a row.
Meanwhile, recent data shows big companies in South Korea performed poorly last year.
Local data service Infobigs reported on Wednesday that the combined operating income of Korea's top 10 business groups nosedived last year, impacted by the U.S.-China trade war and Japan's export curbs on Korea.
It said the total operating profit of 94 non-financial companies belonging to the top 10 groups came to some 28 billion U.S. dollars last year, down nearly 60 percent on-year.
Kim Jae-hee, Arirang News.
Reporter : jhee@arirang.com
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