Many businesses are making the switch to a smokefree workplace and for good reasons. Smoking is a habit that can cause plenty of liability in a workplace by putting other workers at risk via secondhand smoke. And yes, secondhand smoke is dangerous. People die from secondhand smoke-related illnesses every year, and health complications are pretty much inevitable after enough exposure to it.
As an employer, you have a responsibility to keep your workers safe. This means eliminating smoking in the workplace to provide the safest environment possible to encourage productivity. Here are some reasons why you should make the switch to a smokefree workplace as soon as possible.
More Productive Employees
Did you ever notice how those smoke breaks cut into the workday? Put yourself into the position of a smoker. After just a few hours without a cigarette, the nicotine addiction begins to kick in, causing withdrawal symptoms that are less than pleasant. It becomes so bad that eventually, they must step outside and have a cigarette in order to function. Nicotine withdrawal can make it nearly impossible to focus or be productive.
The average employee can spend anywhere from 15-30 extra minutes per workday on smoke breaks. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that it’s costing you 30 extra minutes per day. That comes out to 2.5 hours per week you’re losing to their smoking habit! At the end of the day, your business is losing money to those smoking breaks, and that’s just from the time lost to the habit itself.
Quitting becomes nothing less than a necessity, but it’s not so easy for everyone. Everyone is affected by nicotine differently, and some find that only quitting cold-turkey works, while others need products like CBD gummies or tobaccoless dip from https://blackbuffalo.com/ to slowly wean themselves off of tobacco.
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Safer Work Environment
Worker safety should be every employer’s number one priority. A safe work environment helps employees to focus and do great things. Unfortunately, you can’t reconcile smoking and a safe work environment; they’re direct contradictions of one another. There’s a common myth that secondhand smoke isn’t that bad, and some people actually believe it has no ill side-effects!
Secondhand smoke affects everyone around the smoker, can pollute the air in enclosed spaces, and can cause many of the same illnesses that firsthand smoking does. Exposing your employees to potential lung cancer is the opposite of a safe work environment.
You’ve probably noticed that smoking has been banned in most public spaces. This is because of the increasing awareness of the dangers of secondhand smoke. Local and state governments have taken action to keep their citizens safe from the dangers of the habit, as you should for your employees.
Allowing smoking in the workplace is actually much more of a risk than you might realize. Let’s say a non-smoker develops lung disease from a smoker in your workplace. You could be held liable for allowing smoking on company grounds, and thus, be subjected to a liability or workman’s compensation suit. This could mean covering the costs of any medical bills the worker incurs, which can quickly run a business into the ground.
Running a business means reducing liability and costs as much as possible, and as long as you’re allowing smoking within the workplace, you’re risking a seriously expensive lawsuit. If you’re a startup, this could completely cripple your budding business before it ever takes off.
More Unity Among Workers
Smokers and non-smokers are often at odds because of the differences in their lifestyles. Non-smokers don’t want to be exposed to the odor and dangers of secondhand smoke, and smokers often have the attitude of “it’s my right”. While it certainly is the right of a smoker to partake in the habit, it’s an equal right of the non-smoker to not want to be exposed to it.
Disallowing smoking in your workplace will help relieve some of the discord among your teams, and possibly even improve productivity and unity. If you don’t have team members sneaking off every hour for a smoke break, everyone will be contributing equally to the project.
A Better Look
Let’s be honest; having smokers standing outside the front of the business lighting up isn’t exactly professional, and the cigarette butts end up everywhere. In fact, cigarette filters are the most littered item in the world, and they certainly don’t look good piled up in front of your business.
Banning smoking will give your business a more professional look and keep your parking lot looking aesthetically-pleasing. Don’t let something like smoking destroy your company’s image, productivity, and decrease its productivity. It’s time to leave smoking behind forever and embrace the future of business. Employees might resist at first, but offering incentives to those who quit is a great way to motivate them!