Why Smoking and Work Do Not Go Hand In Hand

Many people take pride in what they do each day at the office. They constantly want to improve and they may even define themselves by their role in the company. However, filling your body with coffee and making lists is not going to do the trick if you want to be successful.

If you want to do well at work, it is important to take small breaks throughout the day. They can clear your mind and help you get to know your co-workers. Smokers often enjoy taking what is known as a smoke break a time to have a cigarette and chat with other smokers. Often, these discussions revolve around work related tasks. So, it is not unusual to assume that these talks would be productive and ultimately benefit the company.

However, that could not be further from the truth. When you smoke, toxic fumes infiltrate your lungs. Those toxins keep accumulating as you smoke, hurting your health and well-being. Obviously, that is not good news for your productivity at work.

Missed Time

Free University of Amsterdam released a study indicating that smokers take quite a few more sick days than their coworkers. They averaged 11 more days total, which means that not only did they have a lot of make-up work to do, but they probably also felt more stressed in the office while trying to catch up on their piles of missed work. This stress can compromise an already weak immune system, leading to more sickness as a result. It is a vicious cycle.

Monetary Loss

If you are out of the office, your work just sits there and does not get done. A deadline might come and go. You may not be in the best frame of mind to come up with ideas or to get creative while working on a product. This affects your job performance, and ultimately, how much money your company makes. Also, if your company gives you healthcare benefits and you are sick often, that costs them a lot of money.

Time Loss

While smoke breaks do lead to social connections among employees, they are also a huge time loss for companies.  In addition, because two or more workers generally go out together, the time loss really adds up. While there is some work-related discussion, other conversations focus on home, families or other issues. Sometimes the talk turns to the cigarettes themselves. That does not have anything to do with the company or with work, so it is really just wasted time.

Negative Image

Smokers can make the company look bad. There are clients that think smoking is not professional. So, when they see a member of the company out on a smoke break, they may form a negative opinion of the company as a whole. That could mean a lost contract or deal, simply because there are employees standing around smoking. It may sound silly, but it happens all the time.

Since smoking is not good for either the employee or the employer, many companies are looking into what they can do about the issue. Simply asking the employee not to smoke generally does no good. In fact, it may infuriate the employee enough that he or she decides to move on to another position because they do not feel respected or valued.

Therefore, companies are starting to get a little more creative. Walmart, for example, educated their employees on how quitting could help them.

If you want to curb your smoking habit at the office, the following tips should help you do so.

Focus on other things rather than smoking. Know that you are healthier for having put down your cigarettes. Instead of going on a smoke break, take a walk around the office or do a few light stretches. If you have coworkers that are still smoking, do not associate with them while they are on their break. Watching them light up will just be too difficult for you, so make an effort to connect with them at other times of the day.

If you are intent on quitting, speak to some of your coworkers about doing the same. You can all be a support system for one another. You are much more likely to be successful if you have people to talk to about your journey. Remind yourself of how much money you are saving when you do not smoke. Treat yourself to a special meal or activity with your savings as a way of rewarding yourself for your commitment.

In the beginning, make sure you hang out in smoke-free areas when you are off from work. If you do not, the urge to smoke may just be too strong.

When a company is tobacco-free, everyone benefits. Cigarettes are a drain on your finances and your health. If you want to feel better, live longer and do better at your job, it is a good idea to stop smoking. If you are successful, you may find that you have a renewed passion for life and for your job. More energy and more enthusiasm means that you will be more productive, helping you ultimately advance in your career.