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Coronavirus prompts Korean firms to embrace telecommuting

By
Lee Min-jae & Nam Gyeong-sik, UPI News Korea
SK Telecom is encouraging most of its workers to telecommute to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Photo courtesy of SK Telecom
SK Telecom is encouraging most of its workers to telecommute to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Photo courtesy of SK Telecom

SEOUL, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- A rising number of South Korean companies are requiring their employees to work from home to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

SK Group, one of the largest family-owned conglomerates in South Korea, announced Wednesday that its six affiliates would adopt a telecommuting plan for workers.

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SK Telecom, the country's top mobile operator, encouraged about 70 percent of its staff to work remotely at least through March 1.

Online retailers and info-tech companies are also following suit.

EBay Korea, which operates Auction and GMarket, sent an email this week to its employees asking them to telecommute. Top e-commerce company Coupang took similar measures.

Naver, a leading web portal operator, instructed its employees not to travel if possible. Meanwhile, pregnant workers have been telecommuting.

South Korea has seen hundreds of new COVID-19 infections a day, with numbers exceeding 1,200 confirmed cases on Wednesday. South Korea has the second-largest cluster of COVID-19 outside China, where the outbreak started in December.

Seoul raised its virus alert to the highest level on Sunday.

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