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OPINION

Nomura tells employees not to smoke when working from home

How much right does a bank have to instruct your behaviour when working from home? At Nomura in Japan, plenty, it seems – though the bank has only concern for your health at heart.

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Staff at the Japanese brokerage have received a memo telling them that they should not smoke during working hours, even if they are working from home.

Nomura also says it will close all smoking rooms in its premises by the end of the year, and asks staff to stay away from offices for 45 minutes after having a smoke, in order to protect other employees.

One of the oddities for the smoker in Japan is that the habit is treated in the opposite way to most other countries. While much of the world requires smokers to go outside, in many Japanese cities it is rare to find locations where outdoor smoking is legal, with smokers instead being required to use small indoor spaces. So, Nomura closing its smoking rooms will effectively end any ability for staff to smoke during an office working day.

A US study found that 25% of current smokers had increased their use [during the pandemic]

This, of course, ought to be a significant health benefit.