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Issue Report

Collection of full-length papers and in-depth analysis of economic and management issues.

Work Smart

Work Smart

AHN Byung-Wook

May 7, 2010

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Originally released on April 24, 2010


"Work Smart" is in the spotlight in the corporate world these days. In the 20 th century of industrialization, one only had to work hard, as instructed, but today work needs to be done creatively and smart to meet ever-changing needs of customers and to survive global competition. For any company that wants to turn itself from "a fast follower" to "uncatchable leader," work smart is a vital issue to tackle.

This report takes a comprehensive look at five innovative areas of "Work Smart" that companies can implement, which goes beyond the fragmented past discussion of the issue. The first area is space management. An office space should be designed to foster creative ideas, smooth execution, and successful teamwork and collaboration. The second area is method management, which requires thought on choosing core areas and focusing resources; timing and risk management; and the core characteristics and centre of the business. The third area is acquaintance management. It is important for a company to engage interested parties outside a company and potential consumers in the knowledge production as they can be a source of creative ideas. The fourth area is result management. Companies need to operate a system that enables employees to discuss and execute their ideas freely. It also is important to create an appropriate employee evaluation and reward system to recognize their performance. The fifth area is time management. Related to work and life balance, time management aims to produce high value-added by efficiently utilizing working hours. Companies need to provide sufficient break time to ease the effects of their workload. On the other hand, employees need to maximize their work efficiency by eliminating time-wasting factors.

In order to become a creative company through work smart initiative, businesses need to prioritize and pursue the five innovative areas according to their individual circumstances. In terms of diligence, Korea faces tough competition from China and India, while it does not have any competitive advantage coming from abundant natural resources or capital. Korea has no other choice but to take advantage of its relatively competitive human resources. Therefore, the surest way to beat the competition is to create an environment and organizational culture where employees can balance between life and work, and do their work creatively.

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