Monday, February 6, 2012

German Employers Say Smoking Stagnates Productivity & Losing Revenue

German employers have launched a campaign to ban smoking in the workplace, because they believed that smoking was stagnating productivity and causing the loss of revenues.  Many companies allow employees to smoke outside their buildings. In public places, smoking has been banned. 

Germany's Federal Labor Agency, which employs 100,000 workforce requires staff to use time clock when going outside for a smoke. 

The purpose of the campaign was meant to stop the company losses during the time when employees will take recurring short breaks  during work time just to go and smoke their cigarette.  The President of the German Associate of Small and Medium sized Enterprises (BVMW), Mario Ohoven said, "Smoking breaks cost employers money, and they hinder working process". He added that in Sweden many firms have stopped smoking breaks while working. 

In addition, the Federation of Mid-sized Business Entrepreneurs in Germany (UMW) echoed Mr. Ohoven's views. Ursula Frerichs, Board Member said, "Smoking breaks discriminate against non-smokers who keep working, non-smokers are losing out"

According to a recent survey by Hamburg University, the non-production time spent by employees on smoking during work hours cost German employers some 28 million Euros ($35 million) annually. 

The European Commission is eyeing a complete ban at the workplace. However, it is unlikely to be implemented at the soonest. 

Have you looked at the revenue value that was lost during the smoking break of your employees?  The German employers might have legitimate reasons and or indicators that smoking was indeed a factor that was causing the lost of million revenues annually.

Is the clocking of employees when they go out and smoke be a good mechanism in tracking their time and value lost? or it is only a mechanism in tracking who was taking a break.

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