By: Kim Se-jeong

More people in the services sector suffer from job stress, with some in need of professional help.

According to a survey by the Korea Employment Information Service (KEIS), Wednesday, telemarketing topped the list of jobs that bring on stress.

Stress is a side-effect of many jobs, but is particularly high in services where workers deal with customers directly. Telemarketers call people trying to sell them products or services.

The survey was conducted on 25,550 people working in 730 different jobs last year. The respondents were asked about whether their jobs require them to have contact with many people, whether such meetings were critical to their performance and whether they often come across people who express anger or frustration with them.

“In the case of telemarketers, their calls for sales often end up making people on the other end of the line angry,” chief researcher Park Sang-hyun at KEIS said. “People curse at telemarketers. Some telemarketers said that people even called them on their cell phones to harass them after the first call.”

Hotel managers and nail artists came in second place, followed by addiction therapists, start-up business consultants and gas station employees.

Regarding hotel managers, Park said, “It is easy to assume that their stress level isn’t so bad compared to hotel staff dealing with guests directly. But, the survey revealed that managers must endure great stress because they must have face-to-face interactions with many guests because all complaints end up with the managers.”

The survey results come as the Ministry of Employment and Labor is working to address the problem by revising the law so that victims of on-the-job stress will be covered by industrial accident compensation.

“Besides compensating the victims, the ministry is trying to educate employers and employees about the seriousness of emotional stress on the job and how to deal with it,” a ministry official said.