Investment Banking Firm Bans All Staff From Smoking While Working At Home
One of Japan’s largest banks has become the latest company to clamp down on smoking culture, after it banned its staff from lighting up while working from home.
Nomura – the country’s largest investment bank – asked its staff to give up smoking entirely during the working day, regardless of whether they’re in the office or working remotely.
The company justified the move saying that it was designed to help improve employee health and create a more pleasant workplace, however others believe the true reason for the ban is to cut down on the amount of time workers spend outside on smoking breaks.
Under the new rules, staff will not be allowed to return to the office after taking a cigarette break for at least 45 minutes, effectively meaning they’ll have to wait to smoke during their lunch hour.
A spokesperson for the company told Japan Times that the rules would be enforced based on trust rather than the threat of punishment.
Nomura says that it hopes to help its workers quit smoking, with the company revealing it is targeting cutting the number of smokers in its ranks from 20% in March 2020 to 12% by 2025.
Unless many countries, Japan does not enforce a nationwide indoor smoking ban, with companies allowed to provide designated smoking rooms for their employees. However, in recent years some cities have begun tightening restrictions on smokers, with major cities like Tokyo and Kyoto having introduced designated outdoor smoking areas for residents, issuing fines for people caught smoking on certain public streets.
Nomura is one of several Japanese companies to have made moves to cut down on smoking during working hours, with major brands Calbee and SoftBank having also told staff they’re not allowed to smoke regardless of their location while at work.
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