Customer harassment leaves employees in Japan feeling depressed

Verbal abuse was the most common type of customer harassment, followed by scolding, repeated complaints, and intimidation.
By: | December 27, 2022

In Japan, 76.4% of employees had experienced harassment by customers, resulting in them feeling depressed about going to work, a survey revealed.

The survey, conducted by the Japanese Trade Union Conference, or Rengo, identified verbal abuse as the most common form of harassment, indicated by 55.3% of respondents. This was followed by 46.7% who cited scolding or other authoritative behaviours, 32.4% who cited making repeated complaints about the same issues, and 31.9% who cited being intimidated or threatened.

Furthermore, a majority of respondents (38.2%) reported feeling depressed about going to work as a result of customer harassment. Mental or physical illness was the second most frequently cited cause, followed by being unable to concentrate on work, sleeplessness, and fear of interacting with others.

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A share of 8.5% of respondents who left their positions or changed jobs said their organisations offered training programmes for managing customer harassment, compared to 67.6% who said they had no such opportunities.