Giving up smoking gives you healthier lungs, a longer lifespan, and if you work at Japanese firm Piala Inc, 6 extra days of vacation in a year.
Piala Inc, a marketing firm based out of Tokyo, now gives its non-smoking employees six more days of vacation than their smoking counterparts. “One of our nonsmoking staff put a message in the company suggestion box earlier in the year saying that smoking breaks were causing problems,” a spokesman for the company told The Telegraph. “Our CEO saw the comment and agreed, so we are giving nonsmokers some extra time off to compensate.”
Piala’s smoking policy doesn’t only encourage employees to live a healthier life, but also makes sound business sense. Piala Inc’s office is located on the 29th floor of a highrise, and each smoke break lasts approximately 15 minutes. These breaks can quickly add up, and seriously dent employee productivity. Also, the non smoking employees at Piala were resentful of the breaks their smoking colleagues got.
And apart from creating a more equitable workplace, the policy also serves to encourage employees to lead healthier lifestyles. Smoking is still widely prevalent in Japan, with as much as 21% of the adult population smoking. “I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion,” Chief Executive Officer Takao Asuka said.
Piala’s initiative seems to be working — as many as 30 of the company’s 120 employees have already used their extra vacation days. More importantly, the scheme has reportedly encouraged four people to give up smoking.