A Tokyo-based marketing company called Piala Inc is offring its non-smoking employees 6 extra vacation days. This company is giving its non-smoking employees an extra six days off in order to make up for smoker's cigarette breaks. The company decided to apply the policy after an employee complained that smoking breaks were harming the productivity of the company.
The company has its office on the 29th floor of a building and that meant that in order to smoke, the employees would have to travel all the way down to the basement which resulted in breaks lasting for 15 minutes. These 15 minute breaks led to growing resentment among the employees that did not smoke. After being informed of the problem the company's CEO, Takao Asuka decided to grant non-smoking employees six extra days of vacation as a form of compensation.
While talking to local media, a spokesperson of Piala Inc said that the CEO got to know of the resentment when a non-smoker put a message in the company suggestion box that the numerous smoking breaks were harming company productivity. In compensation, the CEO agreed to allot six extra days of holidays to non-smokers.
Asuka also said that he wishes to use this method to encourage its employees to quit smoking and do this through incentives and not through penalties and coercion.
A growing number of companies in Japan have begun to tackle the menace of smoking. Most bars and restaurants in Japan allow customers to smoke inside their establishment. Ahead of the 2020 Olympics, Tokyo has passed strict anti-smoking laws.
Smoking in Japan is much less restricted than in other nations of the world, historically at least. But that has recently begun to change, non-smoking areas are becoming much more common in Japan, be it public places of other establishments like family restaurants and fast-food eateries. Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan was the first prefecture to enact the smoke-free public places ordinance in 2009.
(with inputs from agencies)