How do we work here?
A number of changes are required in workplaces due to variations in perception of the value and activity of “work.” These changes in perception have triggered humans to dream of a life where work and individuals are distinguished regardless of location. The public has started to acknowledge a paradigm called “Smart Work” that refers to the culture and technology that enables such changes. How will our work culture change in 3, 5, and 10 years? As we embark in the post-COVID-19 era in earnest, innovative businesses are being born faster. In contrast, the old 20th-century type of businesses are being torn down and broken. We are at a crossroads and have to decide whether to stick to current business models or start a new era.
IVWorks is not only a pioneer in technology but is also making a variety of changes in the way we work. Different experiences are sources of new types of architecture, which are likely to lead to successful outcomes. How do we work here? Let me introduce the working culture in IVWorks.
Work hard < Work Smart
“Work smart” if working smart is difficult
Smart work is a form of work done regardless of place and time without being tethered to the office. However, what if you are working on a task that must be accomplished in a limited space? This is why we decided to focus on “Working Smart.” If it is necessary to be physically next to equipment due to the nature of a manufacturing business, we decided to create a working environment that satisfies the employees by efficiently reorganizing the workspace itself.
Last September, IVWorks established the “Open-Office.” The existing space, which used to be a simple lounge, has been transformed into a cafe-type lounge where can relax and work at the same time. Equipment engineers, who account for approximately 70% or more of IVWorks, spend relatively more time in clean rooms than in offices. Due to the nature of the organization and the need to work in groups, small meetings are frequent and require considerable physical strength when managing equipment parts. The open office was designed to reduce employees’ fatigue from office work and create a space for free communication along with breaks, avoiding the incompleteness of work that was previously difficult to complete alone in the office, and to change the way employees work with more free team-building activities. For most engineers, the idea of a “space” for discussions and breaks in an open office, instead of a “designated seat,” is more suitable for work. In an open office, various business activities such as individual office work, team brainstorming, and work seminars for all members can be freely conducted in a casual atmosphere.
The biggest achievement of the “open office” is that the appropriate environment has been created for the company beyond the conventional work environment. As the designated seats system was abolished and replaced with the “open office,” the workers have expressed satisfaction, saying, “The complex office structure has now changed to a better floor plan with enhanced work privacy,” and “The psychological pressure from being away from seats was relieved to a certain extent.”
Once a month, We buy your idea
There should be no roadblocks to working smart, which means we need “ideas” to overcome potential roadblocks. In that context, IVWorks hosts the “IVW Idea Award” once a month. The “IVWorks Idea Award” is an in-house idea contest in which members can participate. Among the ideas presented by the members, winners are selected in three areas by assessing creativity, efficiency, and improvement potential. What makes this system special is that the selected ideas are immediately applied in the actual work environment.
All members of IVWorks can suggest ideas to enhance work efficiency or address inconveniences without any written submission of documents or senior approval. If your idea gets selected as an award-winning idea, you will be given the opportunity to explain your thoughts yourself. And, of course, win huge “prize money”!
Company talks outside the company
Once a year, we host an event to show what kind of company we are. This is the annual “IVW+” event held during Christmas week. The IVW+ event is a socializing party that is held “outside the company (+),” with the goals of “adding pleasure (+)” and “growing (+).” It aims to be a social party that invites not only company members but also various stakeholders such as family, friends, investors, partners, and advisors to share in our joy. Even if the attendees have no work relationship with each other, the purpose of the event is to socialize under the common theme of “IVWorks.”
All programs of IVW+ are incorporated based completely on members’ ideas and planning skills. There were three key points that IVWorks focused on for last year’s event. The first was to eliminate the traditional event format and plan programs freely. The second was to clarify the intention of IVW+, and the third was to comply with COVID-19 prevention guidelines. We prepared two additional back-up plans including plan C in preparation for the continuously changing quarantine policy and developed a W-shaped Dalgona game similar to “Squid Games” and a bingo game for ice-breaking to take the place of traditional introductions. In addition, the “GaN Epi-wafer” was displayed in the center of the venue to create an opportunity to freely introduce IVWorks to guests.
IVWorks has been continuously preparing for small in-house events such as “Happy Day” and “Birthday Parties,” but due our rapidly increasing workforce and the prolonged COVID-19 situation, members have not had the opportunity to spend much time together. By planning IVW+, members of IVWorks conclude the year together, hoping to feel a sense of belonging and pride in the company and to create a pleasant awareness of the existence of a “company” where members spend the most time in their daily lives.
Working longer doesn’t necessarily mean working better.
Flexible work time & 4.5 work-day project
Recently, IVWorks implemented a project to reduce working hours. The project, which started with a winning “Idea Awards” idea, began with a plan to reduce the time at the workplace and create a work style tailored to personal lifestyles. We also created a new term, “Gongcha,” by combining the word “Gong Jja” (Free in Korean) and “Bancha” (Half-day off in Korean).
Members can flexibly adjust their working hours at their own discretion rather than being stuck in the 9-6 work day, and they can use the special item “Gongcha” if they work 36 hours a week. The “Gongcha” can be used as a half day off without any deduction of the employees’ annual leave on any day or time of the week. The purpose of the “Gongcha” system is to guarantee more individual leisure time for the members rather than forcing them to spend meaningless time at the workplace by restructuring idle hours to include time not working and legally guaranteed breaks. IVWorks has decided to hold a month-long pilot operation period through a full employee briefing session after a discussion within executives. IVWorks will adjust the system if required based on feedback from its members after the pilot operation period.
Considering the fact that IVWorks is a manufacturing company with a heavy focus on IT and R&D, there are limitations for the implementation of a simplified “Smart Work” policy. However, settling into the current business prevents the company from adapting to modern trends, and that is not how IVWorks plans its future. We are creating our own way of working while working smart to progress the smart work itself. The “I” in IVWorks stands for “Intellectual.” How will IVWorks pave its future? Please pay attention to IVWorks’ future, where everyone is working intellectually.
Yoon-Seo Cho ㅣ Marketing Assistant at IVWorks
※This article reflects the subjective opinions of the contributor and may differ from the official position of IVWorks
DIVA, an Artificial Intelligence Model Development Methodology for Successful AI Model Development
What are the alternative solutions of the semiconductor industry in the new era of “mandatory environment”?