A company in Tokyo, Japan has been causing a stir across the world since offering its non-smoking staff an extra six days of paid leave to make up for smokers in the company who are allowed frequent smoke breaks.
The marketing firm, Piala Inc, first considered their new policy when a non-smoking staff member dropped a message in the company’s suggestion box saying that smoking breaks were affecting productivity.
Smokers were often leaving their desks for short breaks during working hours, and as the company is located in a high-rise building it would take them a longer time to reach the smoking area and make their way back to their desks.
In contrast, non-smokers left their desks less frequently, took less breaks and were more productive. The company saw this as a chance to encourage smokers to kick the habit by offering an incentive of six addtional days off to non-smokers to make up for the number of cigarette breaks smokers took.
Positive results have been achieved with four employees kicking the nasty habit and only 30 out of the 120 workers actually using their extra days off.
“I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion,” Thakao Asuka, CEO of Piala Inc, told Kyodo News.
Local business owners and companies in Cape Town and South Africa as a whole could certainly benefit from a similar policy.