Read 9706 times

  • Ley_Druid
  • The Legend

    • 2468

    • February 17, 2011, 08:36:33 am
    • Shinan-Gun, Jeollanam-Do, South Korea
Samsung's war on excessive drinking (Korea Herald)
« on: September 21, 2012, 12:44:29 pm »
First time posting in this section, but I found this rather interesting today:

http://view.koreaherald.com/kh/view.php?ud=20120920000905

Quote
Samsung’s war on excessive drinking

2012-09-20 23:29  Text

Samsung Group, the country’s largest conglomerate, has stepped up efforts to stamp out a corporate culture of excessive drinking common in Korea.

The group said that it has launched an in-house campaign across its subsidiaries in a bid to discourage binge drinking, forced drinking or other harmful types of drinking to promote a healthy workplace environment.

This comes months after Samsung cleared out all ashtrays inside and outside its buildings to promote a “No Smoking” atmosphere, even telling its employees to quit smoking or find it harder to get a promotion.


Samsung will forbid its employees from forcing others to drink.

Consuming alcohol in “one shot” or as “punishment” will also not be allowed.

Samsung plans to boost education aimed at promoting and improving a sound corporate culture, while encouraging executives to hold dinner parties without drinks, and do more sports with employees.

Korea has been known for excessive drinking, with people largely fond of beer mixed with soju. The country has among the highest alcohol consumption and smoking rates of OECD members, and the Ministry of Health and Welfare has been drawing up policies to bring those numbers down by supporting no-stress working environments and offering education.

By Park Hyong-ki (hkp@heraldcorp.com)

What do you think about this? As a non-drinker and someone who knows a lot of international businessmen who scuff at Korean businessmen's bad behavior, I think it is an overall positive thing, but how it is done could make or break my opinion.


  • TheWB18
  • Expert Waygook

    • 634

    • October 27, 2011, 07:51:30 am
    • South Korea
Re: Samsung's war on excessive drinking (Korea Herald)
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2012, 01:09:29 pm »
My first reaction is that it's a good idea to discourage forced binge drinking, and perhaps even to limit the number of company events with sponsored drinking.

I think the "quit smoking or find it harder to get a promotion" idea is terrible, though.  I'm sure it comes with a "eat lots of kimchi or find it harder to get a promotion" provision, as well, to make sure that everyone is as healthy as possible.


Re: Samsung's war on excessive drinking (Korea Herald)
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2012, 01:24:55 pm »
Looks like I can scratch Samsung off the list of companies I would like to work for.

Alcohol is the only thing that makes these "social" and "team building" events tolerable.

What these people need is more free time, not alternative alcohol-free work bonding activities like the article suggests. When your employees are working 70 hours a week, and then forced to hang out with coworkers for an additional 10-15 hours, is it any surprise that stress has driven them to drinking and smoking?
« Last Edit: September 21, 2012, 01:53:40 pm by steveperry »


  • confusedsafferinkorea
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5372

    • October 08, 2010, 01:02:32 pm
    • Zhubei, Hsinchu Province, Taiwan
    more
Re: Samsung's war on excessive drinking (Korea Herald)
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2012, 01:36:22 pm »
There is absolutely no chance this will happen, they may as well say 'stop eating kimchi'
There is no known medical cure for stupidity!


  • Hoosier_Jedi
  • Expert Waygook

    • 859

    • April 08, 2011, 01:56:38 pm
    • Icheon
    more
Re: Samsung's war on excessive drinking (Korea Herald)
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2012, 02:16:49 pm »
If they actually carry through with this it might be the start of a trend. But I'll believe it when I see it.

Still, it's a good idea. The drinking culture here is insanely unhealthy and as someone who doesn't care for drinking I really hate it when people push me to drink.


Re: Samsung's war on excessive drinking (Korea Herald)
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2012, 12:18:55 am »
Oh, it is about time. The drinking culture here is ridiculous. It needs to change. Alcohol is bad, bad, bad for you. You shouldn't have to be forced to drink alcohol to remain employed. The world is changing and this kind of business climate needs to die out.
I used to be a master of pandemonium


  • Chadwickhhs
  • Expert Waygook

    • 797

    • February 28, 2012, 07:04:14 pm
    more
Re: Samsung's war on excessive drinking (Korea Herald)
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2012, 07:50:21 am »
I think it's interesting that the OECD rates Korea among the highest smoking/drinking nations and also one of the least happy first world nations. Correlation for sure but which enables which?


  • TeachaTeacha
  • Expert Waygook

    • 524

    • September 06, 2012, 03:27:09 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Samsung's war on excessive drinking (Korea Herald)
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2012, 08:04:51 am »
I have a few friends who work under some of the bigger names at Samsung. Solely based on the binge drinking stories that have been shared with me, nothing will be changing anytime soon. The excessive drinking (and shennanigans that go along with the drinking) has made many of these friends consider switching careers, though.

I can't imagine that any of the Samsung "bigwigs" have agreed to this, nor can I imagine that they will adhere to the new "rules."

Good idea; not going to happen.


Re: Samsung's war on excessive drinking (Korea Herald)
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2012, 08:19:45 am »
At least it's a step in the right direction.  Almost on a weekly basis, I come across a well-dressed business man passed out on the sidewalk beside a pool of his own vomit at 10 o'clock in the morning.   Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with bonding with your workmates over a few drinks, but here it's taken to such an unhealthy extreme, and at least Samsung is acknowledging that.

The smoking thing does seem a little draconian though. 


Re: Samsung's war on excessive drinking (Korea Herald)
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2012, 08:39:48 am »
I think the "quit smoking or find it harder to get a promotion" idea is terrible, though. 

I very much doubt that's what Samsung have said, or what they meant, and that this is just the newspaper's rather sensationalist way of expressing it.

I reckon what they probably mean is something along the lines of "don't take the piss out of our anti-smoking stance; i.e. don't smoke in the lifts, and don't smoke in places where there's a clear no smoking sign etc."

If you're a smoker, but keep it out of the workplace, I doubt Samsung is going to promote someone less able and less Samsung-compliant just because they happen to not smoke away from work as well.



  • JeremyC
  • Featured Contributor

    • 2322

    • July 15, 2012, 03:48:16 pm
    • Korea
Re: Samsung's war on excessive drinking (Korea Herald)
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2012, 09:01:53 am »
I think it's interesting that the OECD rates Korea among the highest smoking/drinking nations and also one of the least happy first world nations. Correlation for sure but which enables which?

Surely correlation (but not causation) means that 'enabling' is too strict a term to use; some unhappy people drink and some drinkers are unhappy.
It's nice to be important but more important to be nice.


  • Chadwickhhs
  • Expert Waygook

    • 797

    • February 28, 2012, 07:04:14 pm
    more
Re: Samsung's war on excessive drinking (Korea Herald)
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2012, 09:48:01 am »
I think it's interesting that the OECD rates Korea among the highest smoking/drinking nations and also one of the least happy first world nations. Correlation for sure but which enables which?

Surely correlation (but not causation) means that 'enabling' is too strict a term to use; some unhappy people drink and some drinkers are unhappy.

You're right. Enabling implies causation. I take correlation as a given, but my statement reveals I'm implying pretty heavily that there is a causal relationship. I don't know which way it flows or both in different degrees.


  • JeremyC
  • Featured Contributor

    • 2322

    • July 15, 2012, 03:48:16 pm
    • Korea
Re: Samsung's war on excessive drinking (Korea Herald)
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2012, 10:04:22 am »
I think it's interesting that the OECD rates Korea among the highest smoking/drinking nations and also one of the least happy first world nations. Correlation for sure but which enables which?

Surely correlation (but not causation) means that 'enabling' is too strict a term to use; some unhappy people drink and some drinkers are unhappy.

You're right. Enabling implies causation. I take correlation as a given, but my statement reveals I'm implying pretty heavily that there is a causal relationship. I don't know which way it flows or both in different degrees.

Sure, there could be a casual relationship in some people. If drinking and smoking made you unhappy you're less likely to do it (I guess), so I doubt figures would be significant. But there would be some; I'm sure most people dislike commuting but it's necessary for work. Wow, tangents aplenty there!! Maybe would be good for a new thread.
It's nice to be important but more important to be nice.


  • madison79
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1382

    • October 19, 2010, 01:26:04 pm
    • Interweb
Re: Samsung's war on excessive drinking (Korea Herald)
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2012, 08:46:55 am »
My first reaction is that it's a good idea to discourage forced binge drinking, and perhaps even to limit the number of company events with sponsored drinking.

I think the "quit smoking or find it harder to get a promotion" idea is terrible, though.  I'm sure it comes with a "eat lots of kimchi or find it harder to get a promotion" provision, as well, to make sure that everyone is as healthy as possible.

It's a little harsh but if you saw the insurance cost of smokers and lost productivity it makes sense from a business sense.  As far as personal rights, it's another story.
It's -ev to deal with some people.


Re: Samsung's war on excessive drinking (Korea Herald)
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2012, 06:53:49 pm »
Uhhh, cutting out smoking should be priority 1.  Although I am one that doesn't smoke, I haven't a clue why people smoke.  No one EVER needs to smoke.  You pick it up out of no where or to look cool, waste money, and then take multiple breaks to fix your new addictive habit.  At least alcoholic has antioxidants which you could use as SOME sort of argument.


  • TheWB18
  • Expert Waygook

    • 634

    • October 27, 2011, 07:51:30 am
    • South Korea
Re: Samsung's war on excessive drinking (Korea Herald)
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2012, 09:42:47 am »
Uhhh, cutting out smoking should be priority 1.  Although I am one that doesn't smoke, I haven't a clue why people smoke.  No one EVER needs to smoke.  You pick it up out of no where or to look cool, waste money, and then take multiple breaks to fix your new addictive habit.  At least alcoholic has antioxidants which you could use as SOME sort of argument.

Yeah, because it's such a hit to productivity when people go outside for 3 5-minute breaks, making up the 15 minute break they're probably entitled to anyway.  Unless they work in a Korean public school, then there are no breaks, but when compared to the standard G-Market breaks, it hardly seems an issue.


Re: Samsung's war on excessive drinking (Korea Herald)
« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2012, 10:03:03 am »
Not even that.  It's the whole psyche of it.  If you say "I am going to take a break for 3-5 minutes" vs saying "I'm going for a smoke break" while you're in a meeting, which one do you think flies better?  Also, this is always in addition to normal breaks. ALSO, you smoke 1 cig an hour, so that would mean a normal work day consists of an additional 40 minutes break.



  • JeremyC
  • Featured Contributor

    • 2322

    • July 15, 2012, 03:48:16 pm
    • Korea
Re: Samsung's war on excessive drinking (Korea Herald)
« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2012, 11:49:12 am »
Not even that.  It's the whole psyche of it.  If you say "I am going to take a break for 3-5 minutes" vs saying "I'm going for a smoke break" while you're in a meeting, which one do you think flies better?  Also, this is always in addition to normal breaks. ALSO, you smoke 1 cig an hour, so that would mean a normal work day consists of an additional 40 minutes break.

That depends on how many hours you work. I get the 8/day so 8 breaks thing but it wouldn't be exactly like that.
Realistically it's more like

8am start, 12-1pm lunch, 4pm finish.
Smoke at 7:50; 9:30; 11am; 12:05; 12;55; 2:30; 4:05
So 3 breaks equalling 15 minutes.

And it isn't always in addition to normal breaks, you could incorporate a smoke, bathroom break and grabbing a coffee/water into the overall break time. That way you only leave your desk the once but 3 tasks are completed.
It's nice to be important but more important to be nice.


  • Frozencat99
  • The Legend

    • 2096

    • October 09, 2011, 04:31:36 pm
    more
Re: Samsung's war on excessive drinking (Korea Herald)
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2012, 11:58:29 am »
It's sad that policies which target behaviors that are demonstrably linked to unhealthiness and that impact the working hours of an employee are seen as "Draconian".

Drug addicts that get away with being drug addicts.  ???

I don't think Samsung will make an impact on drinking but the idea is a very good one... on the contrary, if they do make an impact internally, perhaps they can start targeting the culture at large.
Beware the Homosexual Industrial Complex -- http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-june-17-2013/left-behind

You can leave your heterophobia behind.


  • TheWB18
  • Expert Waygook

    • 634

    • October 27, 2011, 07:51:30 am
    • South Korea
Re: Samsung's war on excessive drinking (Korea Herald)
« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2012, 12:45:27 pm »
It's sad that policies which target behaviors that are demonstrably linked to unhealthiness and that impact the working hours of an employee are seen as "Draconian".

Drug addicts that get away with being drug addicts.  ???

I don't think Samsung will make an impact on drinking but the idea is a very good one... on the contrary, if they do make an impact internally, perhaps they can start targeting the culture at large.

How does personal unhealthiness come into the picture?  How much control over our lives are we willing to give our employers?  Shall we slowly make our way back to the days of living in company housing, buying at company stores and making sure we're extra nice to the boss's grandmother so we don't get fired?

Before you go after smokers, consider this.  Personal health links with productivity (productive, on-task time being higher for healthier people) and also with attendance (fewer sicker days) and health insurance costs (for the insurer, of course, because your company is just paying a portion of your premium anyway, if you're lucky).  So it's logical that companies should do everything to maximize employee health.  Here would be your go-to measures:

1) No smoking
2) Mandatory healthy food program - don't you bring that Snickers bar from home, girl, or you're out of here
3) No coffee (also addictive, also a time-waster, and also causes health problems, at least the way office workers in the States drink it)
4) Mandatory exercise, before and after work
5) Probably want to screen for conditions before employment, and regularly thereafter, so you can better monitor employees.  HR can come through regularly: 'Carl, man, you know you're 40 pounds overweight and have diabetes, why are you eating a Twinkie? One more time, Carl, and you're getting written up'.

I know, these slippery-slope arguments are questionable, but what is the difference between the cigarettes I smoke, totaling 15 minutes of work time per day, and the countless breaks to make/drink coffee, or share sweets?

More importantly, since when are we willing to cede so much control over ourselves and our coworkers in the name of efficiency?  We aren't machines.

Now for my pre-last-class smoke.  ;D