A Japanese company will give its non-smoking employees an additional six days off to promote fairness and simultaneously acknowledge the amount of time smokers use to take smoke breaks.
Piala, a marketing firm based out of Tokyo, begun offering its non-smoking employees extra paid days after an employee complained that colleagues who take breaks throughout the day to smoke often end up working less.
Piala employees told leadership their smoking coworkers generally spend about 15 minutes on each smoke break.
Coupled with the time employees took to commute from the office’s 29th floor to the smoking area in the building’s basement, employees spend about 40 minutes each day away from their desks for smoke breaks, Piala spokesman Hirotaka Matsushima said, according to CNN.
“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,” Matsushima said, according to The Telegraph. “Our CEO saw the comment and agreed, so we are giving non-smokers some extra time off to compensate.”
Piala began offering the days-off incentive in September, at which point the company employed about 120 people, of which more than three dozen were smokers. Since then, four have quit smoking, Matsushima said.
“I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives, rather than penalties or coercion,” Takao Asuka, Piala CEO, said.
“We don’t give punishment for smoking,” Matsushima said. “Instead, we offer a benefit for not smoking. Without doing anything, (nonsmokers’) vacation increases by six days.”
At least 30 people have taken advantage of the extra time, including Matsushima, who said he used the extra time to visit a hot spring resort for a couple of days with his family. Shun Shinbaba, 25, told CNN he plans to use the extra time to play tennis.
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