Most office-based employers, regardless of their industry, have a number of workers who smoke. Their tendency to smoke will often be used as a coping mechanism to handle work- related stress and pressures. Many employers therefore willingly allow workers who smoke to do so whenever they get the urge. Whilst it may seem like a satisfactory arrangement, workers who don’t smoke may feel otherwise.
A study on behalf of the British Heart Foundation has revealed that smokers disappear up to four times a day for a duration of ten minutes each. The same study also found that smoking breaks cost employers £1,815 a year for each full-time employee who regularly puffs away during working hours.
Vapourlites.com decided to find out what non-smoking office workers across a range of industries really think and feel about their colleagues who smoke.
A survey of 622 non-smoking office workers from across the country revealed:
- 66% of non-smoking office workers believe it is unfair that their colleagues who smoke take ‘additional’ breaks throughout the day
- 58% of non-smoking office workers think that those who smoke during normal working hours should be made to ‘clock’ or ‘record’ their smoking breaks
- 44% of non-smoking office workers citied smoking breaks as being commonly ‘disruptive’, especially when working together in teams
- 30% of non-smoking office workers admitted to formally or informally complaining to seniors about how often and how long smoking breaks are taken for
Jordan, a Senior Finance Analyst from London said, “to cope with the stress, many of my fellow colleague’s smoke - some more than others. For me it’s not a huge problem but I feel the constant smoking breaks disrupts the flow of work.”
Samantha, a Human Resource Assistant from Bristol said, “I believe that companies need to actively enforce a fair cap on the duration of smoking breaks to limit excessive disruption and wasted hours during working hours.”
Damien, Co-founder and Managing Director of a Digital Marketing Agency in Birmingham said, “we decided to introduce two ten minute breaks on either side of the lunch hour for all the employees. These uninterrupted breaks have worked fantastically well for the smokers as well as non-smokers.”