Entrepreneur Deborah Meaden is on hand to solve your business dilemmas
I am starting to feel rather cheesed off at work, and it's getting me down. I sit next to four smokers who head off for cigarettes together every couple of hours without fail, spending probably around 30-40 minutes away from their desks. Not only do I detest the smell of smoke on their clothes, I find it unfair that they are allowed extra time off work to indulge a personal habit. Should I be entitled to 'fresh air' breaks? It might sound petty but the 'gang' nature of these smoking trips and the lack of clear guidelines on this issue is starting to make the office feel like a playground.
There is a very good point in this. It's down to the organisation to be clear on the policy and it's down to strong individual managers
to enforce the policies so people don't start feeling disgruntled. Management need to take this seriously because at the very least, some people are not working for 40 minutes. I suggest you speak with your manager and say that you need to be clear on the policy because it is only going to cause anxiety otherwise.
If the manager is a smoker, it's even better. They can stand up and be affected in the same way as everybody else. This is the only fair way to approach it.
The gang nature of these trips can look a bit conspiratorial as little hubs are formed around smoking. This makes it even more important that the policy is clear and fair. Ensure that everyone understands that the reason behind having a policy is to guarantee everyone is treated fairly within the organisation and that no group is penalised. What is good for one must also be good for the other, so absolutely the non-smokers should be entitled to a 'breather'.
Deborah Meaden is author of Common Sense Rules, £18.99
BUY IT HERE: Common Sense Rules: What You Really Need to Know About Business
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