The Japanese bank’s draconian initiative: No smoking, even when working from home

Nomura, Japan’s largest investment bank, has asked its staff to stop smoking during the work day – even if they work from home.
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According to an article in the Financial Times, the initiative has been privately described by a number of Nomura employees as “intrusive”, although it does not include an official control system or penalties for violators. It applies to all staff – those working in offices, and also more than 50% of the company’s employees working from home.
2 View the gallery Cigarette Smoking CigarettesCigarette Smoking Cigarettes (Photo: Pixabay)
Nomura linked the move, which she announced in an internal memorandum, to improving employee health and comfort in the workplace. However, a number of employees said they felt the initiative was an attempt by management to permanently change the work culture in which cigarette breaks are routine – as they add up to paid breaks that non-smokers do not enjoy, and in many cases even frustrate. Nomura’s new policy includes asking smokers who feel an uncontrollable need to smoke during work not to return to their table for 45 minutes, ostensibly to prevent unpleasant odors, but in fact this request is intended to prevent smokers from taking the ten-minute breaks they are used to, and to force them to use On their lunch break to smoke. Although Nomura’s smoking cessation initiative has been in place for some time, the latest memorandum warned that the company intends to close its smoking rooms in all of its offices in Japan in October, which could significantly affect the company’s smoking employees. This is after Tokyo and other cities banned smoking on sidewalks and in many public places. As the largest investment bank in Japan, Nomura has for many years been advising Japan Tobacco, a large global company that has grown through international acquisitions, and continues to try and question the health risks associated with secondhand smoke. The tobacco company said following the move that it would not change its business relationship with Nomura.
2 View the gallery Nomura Nomura Investment Bank of JapanNomura Nomura Investment Bank of JapanNomura (Photo: Bloomberg)

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