How should cigarette breaks be dealt with by business owners?

Vape Club shares advice on how to manage cigarette breaks at work

If you’re a business owner or manager of a team in the workplace, chances are that a sizable proportion of your employees have frequent breaks throughout the day to enjoy a cigarette or two. Once or twice a day this might not be an issue, but if a situation arises in which your company is losing valuable time to these constant interruptions, then something has to be done for the sake of the team just getting something done.
Therefore from the get go, it’s vital that the entire workforce is fully aware of any policies that the business has towards cigarette breaks, and that goes for non-smokers as well. So as to avoid any disharmony and perceived bias, perhaps permit each employee a set amount of breaks per day which they can use for smoking, or for an alternative activity if they’re not a smoker.
Another possibility is for a company to perhaps incentivise those of their employees that smoke to quit their habit, if only for their health instead of love for the job! There’s a wide variety of products to help stop smoking, ranging from e-cigarettes to hypnotherapy depending on a user’s preference and level of addiction.
Yet if employees are determined to smoke then it might be worth agreeing to their request for the sake of morale if nothing else as otherwise you run the risk of disharmony spreading. Whilst it might not be ideal in terms of pure productivity, smoking is admittedly a boost in terms of socialising amongst staff and is known as a great team building activity. If there is evidence that these breaks yield greater team camaraderie and workers are subsequently producing more or a greater standard of work, then perhaps they are a small price to pay in exchange.
It is important to bear in mind overall though that there is no one ‘panacea’ that will help address this issue for all businesses. Different people will respond in varying ways to each of the above approaches, and it is the responsibility of those with decision making authority to know their team in order to decide upon which response will prove the most effective.
Some will be perfectly fine with set limitations to their ability to take breaks, others could respond in a less positive manner. Others may prefer the hands-off approach and feel empowered by the increased level of self-responsibility yet there will be those who need more of an assertive guiding presence to keep them focused.
Whatever solution you opt for though will certainly need to be a team effort though, to keep everyone on the same page and working together towards the collective objectives of the overall business.
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