Koreans are known for being especially dedicated to their jobs, putting in longer hours than most. However, Koreans have the lowest levels of productivity in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In an attempt to improve productivity, the government has launched a national campaign to change the face of the Korean workforce.
In 2012 alone, Korean employees worked more than 2,000 hours -- 420 hours more than the overall OECD average. However, by the end of 2011, the labor productivity per working hour in the OCED was $44.56. In Korea, it was just $29.75. In the Netherlands, it was $59.73, even though the country's employees work much shorter hours.
The problem, then, is the lack of a work-life balance. In a recent survey, it was found that 43% of Korean employees worked overtime every day for at least an hour. A quarter of these respondents said they did so because overtime is considered natural. Another quarter felt it helped their job performance.
Approximately 70% said they have experienced burnout, which leads to much lower levels of productivity since it decreases your ability to focus.
Instead, Korean employees should be working towards a more balanced life that includes both work and play. Giving yourself time to recharge is essential to your productivity, and your overall well-being.