Introduction Nowadays the more people who work in service industry have to deal with emotional labour, so that there is an increase of concern on how to protect their physical and mental health. This study aimed to understand the current situation of workplace violence or stress resulted from emotional labour in public workers and to analyse any influence on symptoms of depression.
Methods The total 1,105 employees’ self-administered questionnaire on public service, civil servant, public facility management, or etc, was analysed. For the survey on emotional labour and violence at work, ‘Korean Emotional Labour and Workplace Violence Scale’ was used and we modified CES-D scales to evaluate depressive symptom.
Results We found that the risk factors of depression symptoms were group monitoring and management system (high risk women group: OR 2.91, 95% CI: 1.61–5.28), forced customer service (high risk men group: OR 2.45, 95% CI: 1.34–4.45), and emotional damage (high risk men group: OR 1.91, 95% CI: 1.10–3.33, high risk women group: OR 2.11, 95% CI: 1.12–3.97). The emotion management and control (high risk men group: OR 0.47, 95% CI: 0.27–0.83) decreased the risk of depression symptoms. The experience of violence from customer (high risk men group: OR 8.80, 95% CI: 3.03–25.50, high risk women group: OR 4.64, 95% CI: 1.74–12.37), and workplace violence (high risk men group: OR 4.32, 95% CI: 1.52–12.28, high risk women group: OR 5.55, 95% CI: 1.35–22.80) were also risk factors of depressive symptom.
Conclusion As a result of this study, we suggest that organisational aspects such as management system were also important risk factors on the depression symptoms.