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The costs of smoking in the workplace

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The increasing use of time and attendance software in offices is helping businesses in the UK calculate the cost of smoke breaks at work.

While smoke breaks are allowed throughout the day, the increasing popularity of time and attendance software among CEOs and business directors combined with the new urge to improve workplace productivity is bringing the focus to the issue of smoking at the workplace, especially in companies trying to improve absence management in their workforce, with new research highlighting the financial costs of smoking for employers.

This short study examines how much money smoke breaks can cost a company through lost working hours and how these smoke breaks can be managed using Mitrefinch Time and Attendance Software.

A recent study by ash.org.uk stated that 1 in 6 people in the UK smoke more than three cigarettes in a working day, equating to 32 employees within a company of 200 staff. If each of these 32 employees were to take three unclocked smoke breaks a day with the average hourly wage being £10 per hour, this would equate to £160 of lost revenue per day just from unauthorised/ unclocked smoke breaks. Over a year, this can add up to £41,600 of lost revenue.

The purpose of this white paper is not to demonise smoking or smokers but to advise CEOs, line managers and company owners on how to properly deal with smoke breaks. When an employee is on site their time must be accounted for; this accountability can improve productivity and help management roster employees effectively.

Mitrefinch Time and Attendance Software can help companies save money by keeping track of time lost to smoking breaks; helping to maintain health and safety requirements; tracking off site activities; creating dedicated smoking zones and tracking locations; restricting smoke breaks to certain times; implementing Mitrefinch Flexitime so smokers don't get paid for time spent smoking; factoring smokers into Rostering so that two smokers are not rostered on a shift together; and creating work rules and dedicated clocking for smoke breaks. 

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