Those quick smoke breaks some employees take for a few minutes at a time throughout the day add up, giving them extra time outside of the office than nonsmoking employees.
One company in Japan, where smoking is deeply ingrained into culture, decided to do something about it. After a non-smoking employee submitted a complaint about how smoke breaks were affecting productivity, marketing firm Piala Inc. made a change to its paid time off policy.
The company granted non-smoking staff an additional six days off each year to make up for the time smokers take for cigarette breaks.
Hirotaka Matsushima, a spokesman for Piala Inc., told The Telegraph, "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."
After hearing about the complaint, the company's CEO, Takao Asuka, decided to give nonsmoking employees time off to compensate.
The frequent cigarette breaks meant many employees were away from their desks upwards of 15 minutes each day, Matsushima added.