Employees in Japan may be some of the unhappiest in the world

Employee wellbeing in Japan is falling far below the global average, with many employees feeling dissatisfied and stressed at work.
By: | November 6, 2023

When it comes to the physical, mental, social, and spiritual health of employees’ overall wellbeing, Japan has found itself at the bottom of a global employee wellbeing rankings.

According to a survey of more than 30,000 employees across 30 countries conducted by the McKinsey Health Institute, Japan scored a mere 25%, significantly lower than the global average of 57%.

In contrast, Turkey emerged as the leader with the highest score of 78% in employee wellbeing, followed by India at 76%, and China at 75%.

Despite its reputation for lifetime employment and job security, Japan’s survey results reflect a consistent pattern of low employee satisfaction. While these factors may provide a sense of stability, they also make job switching difficult for dissatisfied employees.

Rochelle Kopp, who advises organisations on cross-cultural communications and business practices, and a Board Member of MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings, said, “There’s this documented tendency to rate yourself low. There are significant issues in Japan with lack of satisfaction in the workplace, with significant levels of stress.”

Simultaneously, Japan has seen an increasing number of employees on short-term contracts, which has only fuelled uncertainty among the workforce.

READ MORE: Japan struggles to address work-life balance issues

The McKinsey survey highlighted a crucial connection between positive work experiences and better holistic health. It indicated that employees who reported positive work experiences tended to be more innovative at their jobs and exhibited higher job performance, reported The Business Times.

As the report’s authors wrote, “For most adults, the majority of walking daily life is spent at work. That offers employers an opportunity to influence their employees’ physical, mental, social, and spiritual health.”