Push for seated cashiers in Japanese companies to enhance job motivation

Japanese campaign urges companies to allow seated cashiers, citing fatigue alleviation and increased motivation. Mynavi provides stools, while Belc Co. introduces chairs for better customer service.

A staffing agency campaign in Japan urges companies to rethink the tradition of having cashiers stand at their registers to alleviate employee fatigue and enhance motivation. Mynavi Corp. provides specially designed stools for this purpose.

Belc Co., a supermarket chain operator, has introduced chairs for cashiers at a few of its stores near Tokyo since March, challenging the stereotype that cashiers are meant to stand. Belc stated in a press release that it is normal to have seated cashiers in foreign countries such as the Netherlands, Britain, and South Korea, and their customers also approve of it. The company expressed hope that allowing cashiers to sit will lead to better customer service.

An online survey of 300 employers conducted by Mynavi showed that 20 per cent barred their part-time workers from sitting when attending to customers, while 24.3 per cent said they did not set a clear rule but workers still stood. Only 23.3 per cent allowed their workers to sit, according to the survey.

A survey of 300 part-time workers revealed that standing negatively impacts work quality, affecting concentration and motivation. Reasons for not allowing sitting included 33.8% aiming to maintain a positive customer impression, while 25.6% had no specific reason.

Mynavi expressed in a press release their aspiration to establish comfortable working environments for employees, along with providing employers with chances to retain workers for extended periods. They mentioned that the initiative, named the Suwatte Iissu Project, introduced in March, combines the colloquial Japanese phrase “suwatte iissu” (it’s okay to sit) with “isu” (chair).

The mandate to stand during shifts also affected recruitment, with 19.7% of employers witnessing part-time workers quitting due to physical strain. Over half of part-time workers expressed increased motivation if seated during work.

Nearly 80% of employers and part-time workers expressed comfort with seated shop attendants.