SKT Opens Sphere to Innovate Work Environment

SK Telecom (NYSE:SKM, hereinafter referred to as “SKT”) today announced that it officially opened innovative workspaces called ‘Sphere’ in three different locations in the Seoul Metropolitan Area  - Sindorim, Ilsan and Bundang.

Created in line with SKT’s ‘Work From Anywhere (WFA)’ policy, Spheres are designed to maximize employee convenience and work efficiency by promoting a smarter and more flexible working environment.

As near-to-home workspaces, Spheres dramatically reduce employees’ commuting distance and time. It has been found through the company’s survey that the employees who work at SKT offices located within the Seoul Metropolitan Area spent a total of 3,969 hours commuting per day, and their total commuting distance was 118,737 kilometers.

SKT also applied diverse cutting-edge technologies to innovate employees’ experience at Spheres.

Employees can enter Spheres and choose their desks via facial recognition. They can also reserve their seats beforehand using the Sphere app. Moreover, employees no longer have to bring their own PCs to work. At Spheres, all seats are equipped with a tablet that connects them to Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), which deploys all of the features of their PCs, via facial recognition.

Spheres also have diverse types of rooms to optimally support various works and meetings. In particular, they offer one-person meeting rooms to meet the increasing needs for non-face-to-face meetings. Some rooms are equipped with Oculus Quest (HMD) to support communication in the virtual space. In the second half of this year, employees will be able to hold meetings in the metaverse with the launch of the HMD version of Ifland.

Sphere secured both convenience and safety based on 5G, IoT and quantum cryptography. It is applied with 5G in-building solutions that support ultra-fast speeds and ultra-low latency, and it ensures strengthened security by combining VPN and quantum cryptography for the first time in Korea.

Moreover, IoT sensors located throughout Sphere collect work environment-related data, including room temperature, humidity, fine dust concentration, CO2 level, hazardous substance, illuminance and noise, and AI technology uses this data to maintain an optimal work environment.

By opening workspaces that reflect the actual demands of its employees, SKT expects Spheres to contribute to increasing the happiness of its employees. It has chosen the locations and designs of Spheres considering the place of residence and work characteristics of its 4,300 employees working in the Seoul Metropolitan Area. Plans are ahead for the company to create more Spheres in diverse locations.

Furthermore, Sphere embodies SKT’s ESG management policy. By opening near-to-home offices, the company expects to reduce the social costs associated with commuting such as air pollution and traffic congestion.

SKT also added diverse environmentally-friendly elements to Sphere. For instance, the walls and furniture of Spheres are made by upcycling textile waste and these offices are equipped with intelligent cameras that turn off the lights when no one is present. Sphere located in Sindorim and Bundang are in the process of achieving LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

In July 2022, SKT is planning to open a Sphere with a concept of ‘Work + Vacation’ at the Walkerhill Hotel located in Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, and employees of SK ICT affiliates will also be able to use this Sphere.

“We expect Sphere to become a cradle for innovation by improving employees’ work efficiency and level of happiness,” said Ryu Young-sang, CEO of SKT. “We will continue to enhance our corporate culture to create an optimal work environment that supports employees to achieve greater goals.”

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