No smoking, even during breaks: such is the ambitious goal of Mitsubishi Chemical, one of Japan’s largest companies.
This decision was made following an internal survey conducted in 2017, in which 60% of the firm’s employees declared themselves ‘addicted to tobacco.’ Among these, a majority also claimed to ‘want to stop smoking.’ That was enough for Mitsubishi to decide to put in place a policy of ‘encouragement’—one that will certainly shake up quite a few daily habits within the company, as the Japan Times reported.
And how, exactly? By April 2020, smoking will be strictly forbidden on Mitsubishi Chemical grounds—not only during work hours, but also during business trips or remote work (even if it might be difficult to monitor cigarette consumption of an employee working from home). Spaces formerly reserved for smoking will be reconfigured, and personnel external to the company will also be required to conform to the new policy.
The initiative is just one example of a wave of change rolling across Japan. In a few months, the 2020 Olympic Games will begin in Tokyo—and with its advent, the Japanese government is beginning to impose increasingly strict measures as far as cigarettes are concerned, even banning them from restaurants in the capital.