Korean work culture

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HOK’s Leigh Stringer was part of a project team in Korea recently and makes great observations on Korean culture and work environment (love the photo, Leigh!).  Here’s a selection:

On being there in general:

  • We didn’t see a lot of bikes but public transportation is good.
  • Gangnam is an actual district where people actually dance Gangnam style.

On the work environment:

  • Impromptu space is not necessary – it was value engineered out on day one! Collaboration occurs more formally and in conference rooms.
  • Open offices, even for senior-level people, are acceptable. Bench seating for staff is typical. I saw lots of people in open offices – more than we typically see in a US office, where people are more mobile. That said, you could hear a pin drop. There weren’t any loudmouths using a speaker phone. People were super-considerate.
  • Conference spaces are bigger than those in the US or Europe because the average size of meetings is larger.

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