If you’ve been irritated by your colleagues’ frequent smoking breaks, you’ll probably love this Tokyo-based company’s new incentive scheme.
Marketing firm Piala Inc, reports The Telegraph, is giving its non-smoking employees an extra six days of paid holidays annually after receiving complaints that smokers in the office took more breaks and hence worked less. The incentive was introduced by the company in September.
Hirotaka Matsushima, a Piala spokesperson, told the publication that a non-smoking employee of the company had dropped a message in the company suggestion box saying smoking breaks were causing problems. Based on the suggestion, the company decided to give non-smokers "extra time-off to compensate".
According to the report, there was growing displeasure among the non-smoking employees as each smoking break would take as much as 15 minutes. This is because the company's head office in Ebisu district is on the 29th floor and anyone wanting to smoke has go to the basement.
The company hopes that this move will encourage smokers to quit the habit. "I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion", Takao Asuka, CEO of Piala Inc, told Kyodo News.
And it seems to be working as at least 30 of the 120 employees have already taken the extra leaves, and four have given up smoking.
Kyodo News also reported that Piala Inc.'s non-smokers' perk is among the rising number of initiatives being taken by Japanese companies "to protect employees from the health hazard of smoking at a time when the central and local governments are studying measures to curb the public's exposure to secondhand smoke".
For instance, Sompo Japan Nippon Kowa Himawari Life Insurance Inc reportedly banned smoking at its offices during working hours, and converted smoking rooms into resting rooms.