A smoke-free workplace has been shown to promote workers’ health, well-being and prosperity. Smoke-free work environments also protect non-smokers from passive smoking. Ensto supports its employees’ being smoke-free and Ensto’s offices in Finland have been non-smoking as of January 1, 2016.
“For us at Ensto, the well-being of employees is very much in focus, as quite often is the case in family businesses. It’s very important to the owners,” says Susanna Simolin-Eriksson, HCM Manager, who in her work concentrates on employee well-being.
“Well-being of employees means, among other things, good occupational health and investment in the development of health care services. Also, the fact that we can offer our employees the opportunity for good and healthy lunch options at the workplace plays an important role in personnel well-being. Likewise, the smoke-free working environment has significant importance. Actually, it is for us quite a matter of the heart,” continues Simolin-Eriksson.
Simolin-Eriksson’s job description in Ensto’s personnel department was redefined last spring. Since then she has focused on coordinating development projects that promote employee well-being and developing processes to support these initiatives.
Taking care is one of the main themes in Ensto’s corporate responsibility work. The development of employee well-being and taking responsibility for it together with the employees is a key part of this work. Even if the employer is investing a lot in the development of personnel welfare and provides the framework, the ultimate responsibility belongs to employees. Taking care extends beyond Ensto’s own staff to other Ensto stakeholders, but it was of course easiest to start with our own staff and premises.
“Taking care can be seen in many of our employee well-being development projects, but the non-smoking campaign has been one of the most important ones for our operations in Finland during recent years,” Simolin-Eriksson concludes.
”For us at Ensto it is important to provide our employees with a healthy and safe working environment. We want to support our employees to cope with everyday life in good health while feeling well. By providing support for our employees to quit smoking, we believe we have contributed to the whole working community’s health. It is good to remember that tobacco causes significant health risks to those non-smokers who are exposed to tobacco smoke, as well. Good, smoke-free indoor air plays an important role in a healthy working environment.”
The decision to create a smoke-free working environment was made by the company’s Management Group, though originally, the idea of a non-smoking workplace came from many different sources.
Firstly, occupational health care representatives in an annual review introduced management to the additional costs incurred by smoking-induced health hazards. Secondly, the company owners highlighted the importance of investing in personnel welfare.
Management is responsible for enforcing the non-smoking policy − and it’s taking this responsibility seriously. Many smokers might feel that non-smoking equals to restriction of freedom. However, non-smokers believe that eliminating tobacco breaks increases equality. It is therefore important that any potential problems are dealt with as openly and quickly as possible.
Ensto has supported its personnel who want to quit smoking since 2013. There was a campaign where support was offered both as therapy and as medical substitution treatments. ”Both direct and indirect health impacts of tobacco are undeniable, and they are of great importance to public health. We have achieved our goal if even a few employees manage to quit smoking thanks to the support we provide ,” states Simolin-Eriksson.
Author: Mari Häyry