Smoking at work: 7 tips against thick air

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No one has to hide hiding employees, but their vice does not meet with approval from colleagues or superiors. Are smokers really lazier than others or do they even do more? How do you deal with the topic? 7 tips.

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherGerman Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.


Smoker vs. Non smoking - who works more efficiently?

Smokers against non-smokers - not only in cafes, bars and guesthouses a fight led with hard bandages. Because even if most offices are already smoke-free zones, there is still another problem at work:

Who actually works more efficiently? Smoker, because the breaks help to concentrate better afterwards or non-smokers, just because they take less breaks? Or are smokers even lazier?

Are smokers lazy?

The issue is fast-paced because a good many non-smokers are convinced that their smoking colleagues work less than they do because of the more frequent breaks. However, three out of ten employees believe that smokers are even more productive due to their higher pause rate.

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Many employers therefore give employees fixed breaks to avoid too frequent smoke timeouts. After all, people should still be working!

Non smoking: Sour on the colleagues?

There are, of course, surveys on the topic - how representative these are, is another matter: on an online survey of had for example 502 employees and 116 Employers participated. The result: The employer side seems to find smoking in the workplace unproductive. And every second employee believes that smoking colleagues work less.

A good 47 percent of the employees surveyed are certain that smokers work less because they spend less time at their workplaces. A further ten percent believe that the friends of nicotine “do less”, but also say that it is their right to take breaks from smoking.

Smoke pauses conducive to productivity?

Overall, 43 per cent believe that smoke breaks are even beneficial to the productivity of a company. For example, 29 percent of workers said that smokers are more relaxed and therefore more productive at work due to occasional breaks.

Another 14 percent believes that smoke pauses have an important communicative function, as meetings can be done in the shortest possible way.

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General smoking ban is an exception

Most employers seem to think about it completely differently, because every second participant takes part Company (50 percent) sets fixed pause times to avoid overly frequent smoke timeouts. Five percent of respondents say they have even issued a general smoking ban in the company.

Only slightly more than one-third (36 percent) of employers, on the other hand, show confidence in the employees' own responsibility for their time management. They leave it to the employees to arrange their smoking breaks themselves. In about one in eleven companies (9 per cent), employees are free to indulge in the blue haze at their workplace.

Emotionally charged

There is no doubt that the subject of smoking is causing a great deal of emotion - this has already been seen in the debate over the introduction of the smoking ban in pubs. Why should this be different in companies?

How to do this is certainly dependent on whether you smoke yourself or not: as a convinced non-smoker, my job as an editor of two magazines of the Federal Agency for Labor has already been disturbed when the smokers regularly ran out for smoke pauses outside.

7 tips to avoid conflicts between smokers and non-smokers

But what to do about the dilemma? The solution is crystal clear rules. 7 tips:

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  1. If I hire someone who smokes, I would probably introduce flexible breaks for everyone.
  2. To interrupt his work on a regular basis, even if only briefly, is considered healthy in the long term anyway. At the same time, however, conflict potential could be avoided because everyone would be treated equally.
  3. During breaks, employees can also hold meetings and exchange important information. Disadvantage: Non-smokers are excluded from this.
  4. Make it clear to your employer: You have a right to a break. In any case, these increase productivity.
  5. Compensate for any excess breaks by reworking and show your good will.
  6. Ideally, if you can break down the break times - according to the survey in 36 percent of companies. The majority of employers, well 50 percent, but prefers fixed breaks.
  7. You are a non-smoker and you are allowed to smoke in your office or you are a smoker and there is a general smoking ban? Think about changing jobs, you will not be happy in this business.

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  1. Horst H.

    Ich denke man muss eben gute Lösungen finden und oder auch einen Anreiz bieten können warum nichtrauchen auch bei der Arbeit gute Vorteile bietet. Dass man sich auch trotzdem gut fühlt und ernst genommen wird – ich denke man kann eben auch viel mehr schaffen ohne andauernde Rauchpausen. Aber insgesamt war es auch für mich schwer wie mit dem Rauchen man aufhören kann, aber ich habe mein Rezept für mich entwickelt mittels gutem Willen und Unterstützung durch Smoksan und etwas mehr Bewegung im Alltag.

    • Simone Janson

      Hello Horst, thank you for the very good comment, you are absolutely right. And sorry for the late activation.

  2. Simone Janson

    Thanks for the hint. Personally, I find smoking also unpleasant.

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