Mumbai: Have you ever heard of anyone being ever given the benefits on being a ‘Non-Smoker’? Never in dreams right! But as the times are changing and every country is behind developing itself, there has arisen a new way of giving benefit package. You would surely like to grab this benefit, wouldn’t you?
Well, a Tokyo-based marketing firm Piala Inc. has recently come up with a non-smokers’ perk in September this year.
It’s a Japanese company which has introduced this extra leaves bonanza to its non-smoking employees who complained that they were working more than staff who took time off for cigarette breaks. That led the agency to come up with what it’s called a “win-win” solution. Hence, those who do not smoke will be provided an extra six days paid holidays a year.
“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”, said Hirotaka Matsushima, a spokesman for the company.
Bitterness dwelled among the non-smokers and grew more because each time an employee went to smoke it cost 40 minutes of an extra break time as the company’s head office is on the 29th floor of an office block. Thus, anyone wanting to smoke had to go to the basement level, with each smoking break lasting around 15 minutes.
As per track records, in Japan about 1 in 5 adults smoke, and smoking rooms are commonly found in offices and public establishments. This could change the scenario as the government tries to crack down on public smoking by 2020’s Tokyo Olympics.
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A number of companies have recently begun banning employees from smoking at work and have decided to put all the smoking rooms in other purposes use.
Takao Asuka, the Piala Inc CEO, “I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion.”
Till date, more than 30 of the company’s 120 employees have already taken additional days off. Under the new system, since it was introduced, said Mr Matsushima, who himself is a non-smoker and has made use of the additional paid holidays to take his family to a hot spring resort for a couple of days.
The scheme has also encouraged four people to give up smoking, he added.
As per the World Health Organisation, 21.7 percent of Japanese adults smoke.
Japanese companies are constantly making efforts in a way to protect their employees from the impact of second-hand smoke with Lawson Inc, by banning smoking in its head office and even in regional offices.
Matsushima said, since Piala introduced its new vacation incentive benefit, 4 out of 42 smokers on staff have given up.
Unsurprisingly, staffers now seem to be happy, who don’t smoke with the bonus time.