Apart from lunch and tea-breaks in offices around the world, many employees have the liberty of taking short smoke breaks. These unscheduled breaks can be at any time of the day and doesn’t necessarily require the permission of bosses.
If the total break time of the smoking staff is added and compared with that of the non-smoking staff, it is obvious that the latter group enjoy more time off the desk.
This certainly raises a few questions – Why can’t non-smokers have short breaks too? Is there a way to strike a balance? A Japanese firm seems to have found a solution to this problem.
Tokyo-based marketing firm Piala Inc. is giving its non-smoking employees an extra six paid leaves every year to compensate for smokers’ cigarette breaks. According to reports, the perk was introduced after the non-smoking employees complained they are working extra hours.
“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,” said Hirotaka Matsushima, an employee of the company. He added that the CEO of the company saw the message and agreed to give non-smokers some extra time off as compensation.
Following the decision to provide six-days of paid vacation to non-smokers, Piala Inc CEO Takao Asuka said: “I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion,” The Telegraph reported citing Tokyo based news agency Kyodo News.
The company’s office is on the 29th floor of a building and anyone craving a cigarette had to go to the basement level. As a result, resentment grew among the non-smoking employees as their smoke breaks lasted around 15 minutes.
A report said that at least 30 of the company’s 120 employees availed the extra offs. The incentive also encouraged some smokers to give up smoking.
In India, however, there are no such cases of companies granting paid vacations to non-smokers.
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