A Japanese company has offered its non-smoking employees six additional vacation days as a compensation for, as they estimate, working a little more than their smoking colleagues, the company’s PR said.
The Tokyo-based online marketing company Piala Inc, which has 120 employees, started the program in September when an employee complained that, according to him, the smoking colleagues worked less due to frequent cigarette breaks, the PR said.
– Since our offices are on the 29th floor, it takes at least 10 minutes for our employees to go down to the smoking area in the building and return to their offices – he said.
He added that it was true that most of the conversations in the smoking room did concern work and that smokers did share ideas and consult with each other.
– That’s why we decided it was better to award the non-smokers than to punish the smokers – the PR said.
The program has started producing results. Since it was initiated on September 1, four of the 42 smokers among the employees have given up on their breaks.
– If they manage to keep their promise for a year, they will get six additional days of vacation – the PR said.
As AFP reports, Japanese smoke less than they used to, but the social pressure to quit smoking is not as strong in Japan as in most western countries. Around 28% of Japanese men and 9% of Japanese women smoke, according to the Ministry of Health, whereas, 20 years ago, around 50% men and slightly over 10% of women smoked.
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