Colleagues who smoke take an additional smoking break that lasts for only a few minutes. But when you add up those additional minutes, smoking colleagues actually have additional off time compared to their non-smoking peers. And at one Japanese company, they decided to level the playing field through a policy change of 6 extra vacation days given to non-smokers.
6 extra vacation days given to non-smokers staff
According to CBNC, smoking is part of one Japanese company’s culture. But a non-smoking employee put forth a complaint that the number of smoking breaks being taken were affecting productivity. In response to this, marketing firm Piala Inc. changed its paid time off policy.
Non-smoking employees were offered six additional days off annually to compensate for the time that smokers have off for their smoking breaks.
On behalf of Piala Inc., Hirotaka Matsushima explained to The Telegraph, “One of our non-smoking staff put a message in the company suggestion box earlier in the year saying that smoking breaks were causing problems”.
The CEO of Piala Inc., Takao Asuka, told Kyodo News that he fully supports this motion in the hope of encouraging employees to stop smoking.
“I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion”.
Radical changes bring about positive reactions
Since the policy change, 30 of the 120 staff took advantage of the extra days off, encouraging four colleagues to quit smoking as reported by The Telegraph.
And Shun Shinbaba, one of the newly non-smoking employees, said he used to smoke a pack of cigarettes every couple of days. With the money he saves, he plans to use the additional off days to play tennis, as reported by told CNNMoney
One of those new non-smokers, Shun Shinbaba, 25, he used to smoke a pack of cigarettes every two days, and that he plans to use his newfound vacation time to play tennis.
The reason smoking breaks take up so much time is because the Tokyo-based marketing firm is located on the 29th floor of an office block, which means each cigarette break lasts at least 15 minutes.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) ranks Japan in the last place for their anti-smoking regulations in public places, with 18 per cent of the population are believed to smoke. Japanese men are three times as likely to smoke than women. And over 130,000 people die from smoking-related diseases in Japan, according to The Japan Times.
The public international reaction on social media to the smoking policy changes at Piala Inc. has been positive.
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This Japanese company is making waves by through its policy change of 6 extra vacation days given to non-smokers. Share with colleagues who want to quit smoking!
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