"Despite the low salary, I like this company better, because I can have more leisure time,” said Park Doo-hwan, who transferred from a big company to a small company. These kinds of lifestyle can be explained with the two terms: ‘SoHwakHaeng’ and ‘Warabal’. "When I'm eating delicious food with friends, when I'm decorating a diary... I feel happy with every little thing." Go Min-Ji, department of chemistry education answering about this year's most memorable moment of happiness.
Like this, ‘SoHwakHaeng’ means finding small but definite pleasures in everyday life. It is unlike the life where people don’t care of themselves by pursuing traditional values like the high salary, employment, marriage. This word became popular last year after it was first used in Haruki’s essay. Regarding the ‘SoHwakHaeng’ fever, Professor Ha Ji-Hyun of Konkuk University said, "I think we are moving on from worrying about the uncertainty of the distant future to pursuing short-term achievement.”
A similar standard of living ‘Work and Life Balance’ so as called ‘Warabal’ means balancing life and labor by reducing working hours or improving the working environment. Namely, unlike the past, people are putting more weight on personal life and happiness. In fact, according to a survey conducted by Job Korea, 58.3 percent of the office workers said they would like to transfer their jobs if the ‘Warabal’ is guaranteed, even if the salary is low. In sum, SoHwakHaeng and Warabal, were both derived from finding happiness and life value in reality while cherishing real life as much as an investment for the future.
Then, how is the country changing in this trend of SoHwakHaeng and Warabal?According to the results of the OECD's Warabal Index in 2018, Korea's index stood at 4.7, ranking 35th among 38 countries surveyed. This Index was calculated based on the ratio of workers working long hours and time spent on self-care and leisure.
In response, efforts are being made in Korea to find Warabal by reflecting the trend. In July 2017, the Ministry of Employment and Labor published "Ten Suggestions for Work Innovation" which includes regular leave, prohibition contacting after work, and flexible work. Also, Shinsegae Group introduced the 35-hour workweek system for the first time in the conglomerate from January 1, 2018, and Eduwil plans to apply the four-day workweek to all departments in 2020 starting with some departments from June 1.
The Korea Economic Research Institute said, "Companies should create high-quality jobs in various forms of wages and working conditions, and spread a balanced corporate culture of work and life". She added, "Warabal is a good way to solve the unemployment problem and improve the quality of life by sharing jobs through reducing working hours."
That is, these ideas can empower companies with competitive advantages, find ways to solve the nation’s job problems by dividing working hours in addition to improving individual quality of life. Thus, there is a need for the nation's active improvement of the system and the continued interest of the individual to sustain the fever of ‘SoHwakHaeng’ and ‘Warabal’
한지은 기자 email@example.com