Puff, puff? Pass.
While Silicon Valley’s tech giants are famously known to pour tremendous value into their employees in terms of creating the most productive work environments, this Japanese employer has taken a simple and straightforward approach to a single problem: cigarette breaks.
Tokyo-based marketing firm Piala Inc. has introduced an incentive of six extra vacation days per year to its non-smoking staff.
The policy was implemented in September after some discouraging feedback:
“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,” Hirotaka Matsushima, a spokesman for the company, told The Telegraph.
“Our CEO saw the comment and agreed, so we are giving non-smokers some extra time off to compensate.”
“The company’s head office is on the 29th floor of an office block in the Ebisu district of Tokyo. Anyone wanting a cigarette had to go to the basement, taking around 15 minutes for each trip,” writes Julian Ryall.
As of writing, 30 employees have been reported to have taken advantage of the incentive.
“I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion,” said Piala Inc. CEO Takao Asuka.
While this may seem like baby steps or a band-aid solution to the uninitiated, anyone familiar with the toxic or even (even deadly) Japanese work culture knows that six extra vacation days in a year is plenty for people who work about 50 hours a week.
So, there’s that. They’ve got big problems, and bigger problems. Good luck to them.