Samsung is ordering its executives to work six days a week from now on to bounce back from poor financial results. (Photo: Jung Yeon-je/AFP)

Samsung , in a bold move to address its recent financial challenges, has mandated a six-day work week for its executive staff.

Last year, the South Korean conglomerate faced a significant financial challenge, with its operating profit dropping by 85% to $4.7 billion, marking its worst performance since 2009.

Despite this, the company's net profit remained strong, albeit with a 73% decrease in the final quarter of 2023 to $11.24 billion, demonstrating Samsung's resilience in the face of adversity.

In addition, Samsung Electronics' semiconductor business recorded a critical loss of $11 billion last year. The Device Solutions department's operations account for approximately 80 per cent of the tech giant's earnings.

The ongoing global conflicts have partly contributed to Samsung's mass struggles, impacting oil prices and borrowing costs.

Executive staff at Samsung can choose whether they come in to work their extra day on either Saturday or Sunday. A fair amount of the company's executive staff has been working on weekends since the beginning of this year to get the company back on track.

For Samsung employees operating below the executive level, their working requirements will be unaffected for at least now.

A senior executive at Samsung Group, discussing the rationale behind the extended work week, pointed to the underperformance of major units in 2023. The decision, they explained, was aimed at instilling a sense of urgency and rallying all efforts to overcome the crisis.

Samsung's financial performance will be displayed when the company's quarterly earnings are released on Apr. 30.

With its recent dominance in the mobile phone market, Samsung is poised to see a turnaround in its earnings. The company led global phone shipments in the first quarter of 2024, surpassing Apple with 60.1 million units.

This allowed Samsung to topple Apple, which shipped 50.1 phones in the first three months of 2024, signalling a year-over-year drop of 9.6 per cent.

Apple led the global phone market in the final quarter of 2023 as the company had a market share of phone sales worth 24.7 per cent, compared to Samsung, making up 16.3 per cent. Now, Samsung leads in market share with 20.8 per cent, with Apple falling behind with a 17.3 per cent share.

Samsung's major shift to six-day workweeks aligns with a global trend towards reducing the number of working days and hours. This trend aims to enhance employees' work-life balance and restore company productivity, making Samsung's decision not only significant for the company but also reflective of broader societal changes.

In the United States, Senator Bernie Sanders has outlined his proposals to Congress for a shorter work week to reduce working hours to 32 hours. He also proposes that workers receive the same pay if the change does get greenlit.

Whilst chairing a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing last month, Sanders explained: "American workers are now over 400% more productive than they were in the 1940s. Almost all of the economic gains of that technological transformation have gone straight to the top, while wages for workers have remained stagnant or even worse."

Sanders believes his idea to alter the workweek of Americans is not excessive and that the bill will lead to reduced stress levels and a better quality of life across the nation.