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How Quitting Smoking Can Get You an Extra Week Paid Vacation in Japan

How Quitting Smoking Can Get You an Extra Week Paid Vacation in Japan

In recent years employers have really begun to understand how keeping their workers healthy has myriad benefits - happier, more productive employees and better health insurance rates are  big ones. A Japanese company has come up with a creative way to encourage workers not to smoke by offering nonsmokers 6 extra paid vacation days per year.

The Telegraph reports about the Japanese company Piala Inc. that has begun offering the extra vacation time for employees who do not smoke in a culture where smoking is very common and popular. The World Health Organization reports that close to 22% of adults living in Japan smoke and the number is even higher for adult males.

Many nonsmokers have questioned the fairness of all those smoke breaks their co-workers take each day. And when a non-smoking employee at Piala Inc. complained that all of the smoke breaks were adding up and affecting productivity, the company made a big decision. .Spokesman for the company Hirotaka Matsushima explains, “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.” They began granting all non-smokers an extra 6 paid days off per year to make up for all the time their smoking counter parts take on breaks.

Apparently, the company is on an upper floor and each time an employee goes down to smoke, they have taken about a 15 minute break. So far, the new incentive offered by the company has encouraged 4 employees to quit smoking. CEO of the company,Takao Asuka, believes this type of reward-based program will prove to be more successful. He explains, “I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion.”

What do you think of the way this Japanese company rewards those who do not smoke?

Do you think more companies should consider reward-based programs to keep their employees healthy?

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