May 24, 2024

Hello, Memo readers!

When a five-day workweek just isn’t enough to get the job done, it’s time to work… weekends? Or so thinks Samsung Group, which is ordering its executives in South Korea to work six days a week in a bid to raise its bottom line.

Citing company officials, the Korea Economic Daily (KED) reports that top brass in Samsung’s manufacturing and sales divisions have to work on either Saturday or Sunday following their usual five-day schedule. Executives at three of Samsung’s units — Samsung C&T Corp., Samsung Heavy Industries Co. and Samsung E&A Co. — reportedly began voluntarily working six days a week at the start of this year.

It’s hard to see how less free time will help with the country’s high levels of work-related stress and its alarmingly low fertility rates. Samsung’s six-day mandate also comes in stark contrast to a growing global movement to change the standard workweek — by making it shorter, not longer. In nations like Iceland, Belgium, and the United Arab Emirates, governments are piloting and implementing four-day schedules. In the United States, a bill proposing a national four-day workweek landed in the Senate last month. And worldwide, worker groups are agitating to solidify four-day movements. Read more about why Samsung is going in the opposite direction.

Quotable: Elon Musk’s leaked memo to staff

“For those remaining, I would like to thank you in advance for the difficult job that remains ahead. We are developing some of the most revolutionary technologies in auto, energy and artificial intelligence. As we prepare the company for the next phase of growth, your resolve will make a huge difference in getting us there.” — Tesla CEO Elon Musk in a leaked memo to staff talking about Tesla’s latest layoffs.

The memo follows months of speculation over potential cuts at the electric vehicle maker. In February, Tesla began asking mangers to identify which jobs on their teams were essential. Before these cuts, Tesla employed about eight times as many people as it did in 2016. According to the leaked memo, more than 10% of employees were laid off — and Musk wanted even more.

Read the full note here.

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Send questions, comments, and your best weekend plans This edition of The Memo was written by Rocio Fabbro, William Gavin, and Morgan Haefner.

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