The following was extracted from one of my lectures in the Business Culture Fundamentals Specialization of the KBC Professional Certification Program. Visit Korea Business Central for more information on the program and to register and get certified.
"Of course, one of the first phrases we learn when we get to Korea is “anyeong haseyo” (안녕하세요). That’s an all-around greetings that works in a general way to say “Hello”. Don’t forget that it doesn’t work when answering the phone, or for “bye”, and that the version of “bye” that you use depends on whether you’re going or staying. Anyway, you can get all the details about this in a Korean phrasebook.
"What I really want to tell you about is the business greetings in Korea that say a lot about Koreans and how they think. In the West, even in business we’ll often start out with “Hello”or “How are you?”. We’re also likely to say things to the effect of “You’re not working too hard today, are you?” or before we hang up, “Take it easy”. Right?
"The Korean business greetings are the exact opposite! If calling into a company, “anyeong haseyo” is an OK greeting. But here’s the better one: “sooko hashimnida” (수고하십니다) which literally means, “You’re working hard.” And then, at the end of the call or visit with someone in an office, as if people didn’t have enough pressure to perform already, a Korean will typically say, “Sooko hashipshio” (수고하십시오), which means none other than, “Work hard!”. Gee...
"So, you can see that the Korean business culture of hard work carries all the way over to office greetings."