Samsung Electronics Co., the tech giant’s flagship, has mandated that executives, including heads of production and sales units, work an additional day over the weekend following a regular five-day schedule. This drastic shift in corporate strategy comes as some of Samsung’s major divisions posted lower-than-expected results in 2023. With rising geopolitical tensions and a protracted war in Europe, Samsung aims to bolster its resilience and agility in a rapidly changing business landscape.

“Given the underperformance of key divisions like Samsung Electronics, we’re moving to a six-day work week for executives to instill a sense of urgency and drive concerted efforts to overcome challenges,” a Samsung Group executive explained.

Top executives from various Samsung Group subsidiaries, including Samsung Display Co., Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., and Samsung SDS Co., are expected to work six days a week from this week onwards. Companies like Samsung C&T Corp., Samsung Heavy Industries Co., and Samsung E&A Co. had already voluntarily adopted this schedule earlier in the year.

However, it’s important to note that this change doesn’t affect all employees. The standard five-day work week introduced by Samsung in 2003 remains in place for staff below executive level, ensuring that regular employees’ work-life balance is maintained.

The trigger for this emergency shift was Samsung Electronics’ $11 billion operating loss in its key semiconductor business in 2023. The decline was partly due to the downturn in the chip market, which the company hinted might be reversing. However, ongoing uncertainty in the global economy and potential competition from rivals like Intel Corp. and SK Hynix Inc. have kept Samsung on high alert.

As other South Korean conglomerates, like SK Group, similarly adjust to economic stress, Samsung’s move reflects a broader trend of companies tightening operations to navigate turbulent times. To read more about these corporate strategies, click here.