Principal Hr Consultant (ohs&w)
Handwriting Analysis, Employee Relations,
Student (mba) / Trainer
Hr Systems Adviser
Manager : Human Resources
Manager - H.r.
Consultant - Training
I think having a no-smoking policy in the office is very vital and a good thing but you cannot be partial towards smokers during recruiting.
Itís partially like not hiring a person because he is a non-vegetarian. Bias is not good and in some countries the prospective employee can sue you for that.
However, you can easily create a policy where no employee is allowed to smoke inside the office premises or you can allot a smoking area, which can be the only place where smoking will be allowed [perhaps a balcony or terrace].
You can also add a "fine" policy where anyone caught breaking the rule will have to pay some money to the office club.
I think most IT and BPO companies have such policies and it should not be very difficult to implement.
1st June 2005 From India, Gurgaon
Wipro e Peripherals (WeP) is one company I remember which has a sound No-Smoking and probably a No-Smoker Policy.
I distinctly remmeber their PPT in my MBA days, they had mentioned it and were keen on selecting only Non-Smokers.
However, its more of a matter of Policy to be taken up by an individual company.
What exactly is your concern ?? Smokers or Smoking ??
As CHR suggested, allocating Smoking Zones [Balcony / Terrace] are a good idea. They will efectively keep the 'smoke' out of the Office Premises and at the same time minimise the risk of leaving out the good 'smoker' candidate.
I think WeP will not mind in helping you with their Policy. In case you need some contact, i could try ....
1st June 2005 From Switzerland, Geneva
Thanks CHR. I think the 'fine' system should be a good idea. Its not being partial to anybody, probably one can take it as a social responsibility. Imagine all the companies having a No Smoking Policy. Also we would not want to provide any restricted area for smoking. It is absolutely 'NO SMOKING'.
Thanks for your inputs shoonya. My concern is Smoking and not Smokers. They can continue with their smoking after the office hours. It would be of a great help if you could help me out in this.
1st June 2005 From India, Bangalore
Do you mean to say that an employee should not smoke even when he is out of the company?
Normally no one smokes while at work . This is the basic rule. Not even inside the company.
But during the lunch time they are free to do it other than having drinks.
1st June 2005 From India, Madras
You know what .... Talk to some smokers ....
colleagues / batchmates, friends etc.
Find out how long they could go without the puff.
A "NO SMOKING" Policy 'sounds' good but is it feasible...
Smoking Zones need not be inside company premises.
They can very well be outside the premises.
Having fines in my opinion is not enough deterent and does not solve any problem. When a smoker wants to smoke, he/she will smoke.
And if your problem / concern is smoking and not Smokers, then your actions should be directed towards smoking and not smokers.
Smoking should and could be prevented within company premises.
Outside the company premises, what an employee does is not jurisdiction of the employer. If rules like 'smoking prevention during working hours' are applied, they can have a pretty unpredictable reaction. Smokers will definately not like it.
Another point is the Real number of smoikers in your organisation currently. You said your org. is less than 25 people. If the number of smokers is very less (less than 5) it might be easier to implement a NO SMOKING regime now and sustain it later. In that case, people who join will know before hand what is expected from them.
Coming back to the beginning, take views of Smokers into account. I bet all those who are keen on the No Smoking implementation; none of them is a Smoker !! Get some smokers into the loop and make them participate in the new regime formulation. Later on, this will be instrumental in gaining better cooperation from them; since they were involved in the formulation.
All the Best ...
And do keep us posted about the progress ....
;-) btw.. i am a non-smoker !! ;-)
1st June 2005 From Switzerland, Geneva
Can see a lot of smoke on this matter.
Before expressing views let me clarify first of all; I myself am a smoker friendly Non Smoker.
Smoking is a habit , which can be given up.
Most of the offices in Delhi Now are NO SMOKING ZONES as the new legislation of Delhi Govt.which prohibits Smoking at public Places. has craeted a lot of awareness.
Smokers find it difficult to abruptly give up smoking on a office change or job change or policy change.
Consideration for small smoking zones in open areas can be considered initially , which can be gradually closed after some time, even the smokers will find it difficult to go out in high temp. and smoke.
2nd June 2005
I went through your reviews and suggestions of No Smoking policy, but it is very hard to implement these ideas into practice. A smoker finds it really hard to go through such rules. In an industry like BPO , where works are hectic, a smoker needs at least one puff during breaks to free his mind. from all my experience, what i came to know is tht, to quit smoking is really hard.
3rd June 2005
I went through your posting. My there are some interesting views.....
Let me introduce myself - I am a non-smoking friendly smoker who has worked all along in organisations with NO SMOKING POLICY, and never had any problem.
Most of the knowledge management firms have central AC system, so you can't smoke in the office (it's all common sense).
I wouldn't suggest for any "initial smoking zone" as it tends to become Permanent Smoking Zone (the Lintas thing -sunayana's posting - reminded me of Hewlett Packard HO at Gurgaon)
So, don't worry and go ahead.
Show - Week
3rd June 2005
The concept is good, While I did my internship at MICO, Nagnathpur Plant in Banglore, They adopted a policy where even smokers in their company should stop smoking in the factory premises. they started with the awarness programs which was organised by NIMHANS, you can contact them, they will give some info on that. Later the policy came into existence, and if the employees want to smoke, they have to go out of the factory premises.
But yours is a small company with 25 ppl, you can introduce the policy and also the awareness for the existing employees, But you need to think about the effect of implementation. The employees should not develop negative attitude just for implementing this policy. You should make them understand that the policy is implemented for the good of the organisation, and change in culture. Instead you as a HR head implementing, It would be better if you ask the suggestions from smokers and non smokers in your organisation.
The policy of implementing "fine" is good, also you can implement something like bad remarks will be added if found smoking inside the campus. But Make sure this will not be a reason for increase in the attrition rate in your organisation.
While recruiting, you can orally tell them the rules of the org during orientation and also ask them suggestions for the same.
All the best, :wink:
3rd June 2005 From India, Bangalore
smoking is more of an OCD(obssesive compulsive disorder) .....
speaking through a smokers point of view he/she would rather lack concentration if he/she is prohibited to do so...
yup i do agree that it hamphers non-smokers too cuz even if they come after having a smoke in a smoke room or anywhere else it smells horribly... but these issues can be taken care of...
3rd June 2005
I do believe when company would like to implement no smoking policy strictly,it will be ethics of that company and hence each employee working will have to adjust themselves to companies rules and regulation and none of human beings are smokers from birth itself as it is acquired habit it can be avoided by strong will power.
coz it depends on individual desire.
4th June 2005
Thanks for all your inputs. As pramod suggested, i think it would be a good idea to first spread the awareness and then implement it as a policy. we could talk to some NGO and ask them to come over and give a programme and then go about with the policy.
Actually this could also be taken to be a social responsibility, if it works right. Is there anything else that we could do in a small way and help the society?
10th June 2005 From India, Bangalore
In these countries the employment commissioner requires the employer to record the reason for non selection. The employer can be prosecuted if the reason is not good enough.
These laws are coming to India. These are being discussed in various circles.
In India - we are driven by cultural nuances - this is one of them.
No Smoking Policy - World Over - is No Smoking in the Office premises. I am surprised that this has gone to the lengths of Not recruiting Smokers.
Yes you can put in the Employee Handbook that smoking is not allowed in building premises and if you are found smoking then what action will be taken.
You cannot discriminate based on someone who smokes.
However to be fair to the employer - these are the reason why they would want something like that -
a. Social responsibility for the health of employees
b. Smokers breath during meetings annoys people
c. Smoking during office hours even outside the building leaves a bad impression.
Well, If you are interested in a Standard No Smoking Policy, let me know. I have written one.
21st June 2005 From India, Bangalore
In South Australia (and probably most of Australia) it is legislated that all workplaces are "smoke-free". Some companies still maintain a smoking area seperate from the workspace, but they run the risk of being sued later - believe it or not, by smokers who get lung cancer from smoking during work time!
All government work sites are smoke - free zones. There are no areas for smoking, and if smokers want a "puff" they have to go out in their own time to a public area, usually the street. The no-smoking policy also applies to company cars, even if the smoker is the only driver.
Of course, plenty of employees bend the rules, either by going out during work time for a smoke, or by smoking in the work cars when they are alone. Not a lot happens unless a member of the public complains, or unless the worker's productivity is low because of too many smoke breaks.
The good thing is that with no-smoking work sites almost being the standard for all of Australia, our percentage of smokers in the population has dropped from over 60% several decades ago to about 25%.
21st June 2005 From Australia, Ballarat
I WOULD LIKE TO GIVE YOU A SMOKERZ POINT OF VIEW..... SEE AS SMOKER....ITZ VERY DIFFICULT TO QUIT FOR SOME RULE IN THE COMPANY....IF A PERSON IS SMOKIN FOR OVER A YEAR...THEN SMOKING BECOMES AN EXTENSION TO HIS PERSONALITY OR AN CHARACTERSTIC....WHICH IS DIFFICULT TO CHANGE.....SINCE U WRK FOR A SOFT.COMPANY....U CAN BRING THIS CHANGE SLOWLY....AS SUDDEN CHANGES BRING RESENTMENT WITH THEM.....AND ALWY'S REM'BR U MIGHT LOOSE OUT ON GOOD EMPLOYERS....AS THERE R ENOUGH JOBS FOR SOFTWARE PEOPLE....THERE R AROUND 200 COMPANIES IN BANGALORE ITSELF....MOST SMOKERS TREAT THAT AS AN INVASION ON PRIVACY....IN U.S THEY MIGHT SUE THE COMPANY FOR THE ISSUE....JUST KIDDIN.... SO INSTEAD OF BANNNING SMOKING ENTIRELY.... U GUYZ CAN CREATE SMOKING ZONES...AS SUGGESTED BY OTHERS, GET CARDIAC DOCTORS TO TALK ON THE ISSUE...... AS FEAR IS THE BEST MOTIVATOR OF ALL....AND NBDY QUESTIONS A DOCTORS CREDIBILITY.......DO SMOTHIN REALLY INNOVATIVE.....BUT REMEMBER DNT BRING ABT SUDDEN CHANGES IN THE SYSTEM......ALL THIS WAS JUST A SMOKERZ EXPRESSION......
21st June 2005 From India, Mumbai