Thursday, June 26, 2008

Korean Corporate Workers Rate Work Locations

Seoul is highly urban. Most Koreans remark that where they work is important and linked to status. Most prefer a new high rise office complex. This article highlights that Location Matters.

Corporate consultant Kim Hae-rim, who works in a 40-story high-rise on the upper side of Teheran Street in southern Seoul, says she sometimes feels like she's part of a New York-set movie.

It's the atmosphere here. It's so upbeat, says the 28-year-old single worker, who lived in Manhattan for four years. Supporting her preference, Kim's typical day explains why she is all for Teheran. Teheran Boulevard was named after the Iranian capital in the 1970s when Korea enjoyed good relations with the Islamic state that saw the fall of the Shah in 1979 and has become an Islamic state facing international pressure on its nuclear programs. But Teheran Blvd. Saw a boom and bust cycle during the Korean dotcom era, leaving behind a good infrastructure of office buildings and planned urban landscape.

She takes the subway before 8 a.m. to beat the morning rush hour and arrives at work in just 25 minutes. During lunch, she rarely runs out of menu ideas, as the main axis of town is dense with eateries and cafes.

After work, Kim walks out to the jungle of buildings and the bustling street crowded with well-suited men and women. She meets with her friends for quick drinks at a low-key jazz bar, and when the evening winds down, Kim hops on a bus that takes her to her Jamsil home in less than 30 minutes.

She highlighted convenience and abundance of things to do as the district's key merits. These coincidently were similar factors that ranked Teheran No. 1 as workers' most preferred office site in a survey released Thursday.

A poll of 827 working men and women in their 20s-30s, conducted by online recruiter Career, indicated that the majority of respondents (26.2 percent) desired to work in the southern Seoul street.

Closely up next was the Gwanghwamun area (22.5 percent), which is the central office district in northern Seoul. Bundang, Ilsan, Gwacheon (18.6 percent) and Yeouido (10.6 percent) followed behind.

Those who favored Teheran and Gwanghwamun pointed our almost identical reasons, which include convenient transportation, concentration of like industries and a ``well-to-do'' image.

More than 95 percent of respondents said they consider the office location when deciding on a job. About 40 percent said if they are offered a job at an unfavorable location, they will take the offer, but seek a new job immediately.

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