Firms seek to ban smoking while working from home

Japanese companies have been discouraging smoking in the workplace for years. But as work from home becomes more popular, many firms are seeking to ban smoking at home as well. It's part of an effort to improve productivity and protect workers' health.

Japan's largest brokerage firm, Nomura Holdings, will ask all group company employees not to smoke during working hours. That applies both for those at the office and those at home. The policy takes effect from October.

Executive Managing Director Iiyama Toshiyasu says smoking affects people's health, whether they smoke at home or at the office, and banning smoking could improve workers' productivity.

Other companies are making similar efforts, including retail giant Aeon and food makers Ajinomoto and Calbee.

The government has been encouraging employers to pay more attention to workers' health. Companies have realized the benefits of doing this, including those workers who rarely come to the office.