There might be another benefit to not smoking: getting paid time off. Piala Inc., a marketing company in Tokyo, is now offering six additional days off a year to non-smoking employees. The PTO is said to make up for the time used by some employees for smoke breaks.
The move came following a complaint by one employee who stated that the smoke breaks were having an overall negative effect on the company. Piala Inc.'s CEO, Takao Asuka, became aware of the issue and decided to compensate nonsmokers.
The company hopes the policy will help both nonsmokers and smokers alike. As Takao Asuka put it, "I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives rather than penalties or coercion."
According to the NBC local news station WAVY, 30 of Piala Inc.'s employees have taken advantage of the new policy. Four employees became motivated by the decision and gave up smoking altogether.
Piala Inc.'s decision couldn't have better timing. In July 2018, Japan passed its first nationwide smoking ban in public places, in hopes of creating a smoke-free 2020 Olympic Games. To appease the tobacco and restaurant industries, though, there aren't serious consequences for establishments that don't comply.
So Piala Inc. decided they would take an extra step themselves. Offering rewards rather than doling out punishment is a clever way to encourage positive change within a business. A new policy from one company is a relatively small step in the global battle to protect people from the physical, emotional and monetary costs of smoking. But every person who gives up the habit is a victory. Knowing that you'll be compensated for your efforts with a couple extra days off doesn't hurt either.