A peek into Samsung Digital City
Some 30 kilometers south of Seoul in South Korea, where the Galaxy series are being developed and tested, the first designs of The Wall TV were sketched, and numerous cool gadgets are still yet to be conceptualized – lies one of the world's largest corporate center, Samsung Digital City.
The place was built to house more than 250,000 brightest minds of Samsung's from all around the world. It cost Samsung approximately $1 billion to construct the Digital City, said a press release.
The Digital City is situated in the city of Suwon in Seoul. The region is an ancient community with roots going back to the 8th century, and it used to be circled by walls. Despite Suwon's historical past, Samsung Digital City is extremely modern.
With 390 acres of office space, 4 landmark office towers up to 38 floors high, 131 smaller buildings with more labs, offices, recreational facilities, and a guest house for visiting researchers. There is also a place called 'Samsung 5G City' within the campus. It consists of an outdoor park where the company tests 5G network equipment, which is later deployed to telecom providers, including South Korea and the USA.
The campus is equipped with some bizarre, otherworldly spaces like Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) wherein Samsung tests different smartphone technology. The company is secretive about the testing that takes place within the MIMO; however, the futuristic space appears to be more like the cockpit of a spaceship.
Samsung has more than 65,000 employees dedicated to conducting research and development (R&D), which is equivalent to around 20% of its global workforce. The R&D campus holds a multi-story library where the designers and staff can brainstorm and find the inspiration amidst numerous books and magazines.
The Digital City is home to Samsung Sound Lab, which features music equipment and voice booths where Samsung's smartphone virtual assistant, 'Bixby's' voice, is recorded. It is also where sounds are created for numerous of its household appliances – the sound that a smartphone makes, once it's plugged in into an electrical outlet or the sound a refrigerator makes after its door, has been left open for too long.
The extensive campus includes a cafeteria consisting of 4,100 seats, where the employees eat for free. It serves up to 72,000 meals with 92 different menus daily, and they get the produces from Suwon's neighborhoods while creating a strong link with farmers and producers. The campus also has international food and beverage outlets like Dunkin Donuts.
Samsung organizes events each week, including concerts, fashion shows, and talk shows. There are 690 cultural clubs to keep employees entertained during their breaks, and these clubs span from Korean folk painting to paragliding and cooking. When it's family day in Samsung Digital City, the whole campus turns into a theme park for Samsung families and residents.
The headquarter hosts 490 sports clubs and offers 10 basketball courts, 4 badminton courts, 3 soccer fields, 2 baseball diamonds, a climbing wall, and an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
The welfare services are slowly emerging in South Korea; so, Samsung Electronics provides numerous social benefits for its employees free of charge, including healthcare, childcare, free food, recreation, and public transportation. Thus, Samsung Electronics stands out as an attractive and reliable employer with its broad offering of social services in the Digital City.
The company has hired 150 kindergarten teachers to take care of 900 children of the employees during weekdays. During rainy days, Samsung provides 9,000 free umbrellas for each of its employees to use it between buildings.
While the security is rigorous, the Samsung Innovation Museum is open to the public. It pays homage to the history of the company along with the general history of the technology products.