News On Japan

Companies Offers Subsidized Okinawa Retreats for Allergy Sufferers

TOKYO, Apr 08 (News On Japan) - As the hay fever season continues, one company has embarked on a bold initiative for its employees: work in Okinawa.

The Tokyo-based IT firm Isaac offers its workers, such as engineer Yuki Ando, who can hardly part with tissues and eyedrops during work, a significant respite from hay fever symptoms. This year, Ando found relief during the peak pollen season not in the city but on Ishigaki Island, Okinawa.

Ando shared, "Being completely free from pollen, I felt a lot better physically. Changing environments also helped refresh me, boosting my productivity at work. It's a great policy."

Dubbed the "Tropical Escape," Isaak covers accommodation and other expenses up to 200,000 yen. Ando spent 11 days in Okinawa, refreshing with marine leisure activities in between work.

The company's extensive engagement in hay fever mitigation reflects the undeniable negative impact of pollen allergies on work performance.

Isaac's PR officer, Mayu Koseki, noted, "When asked about their performance compared to usual, many say it's about half due to drowsiness from medication. There's a significant drop in individual performance."

Moreover, private sector estimates reveal substantial daily economic losses nationwide due to hay fever.

With hay fever now a national affliction, the healthcare provider Laful introduced a hay fever allowance, subsidizing treatment costs up to 5,000 yen per session. Employees presenting hospital receipts can freely use premium tissues and masks.

Laful's PR director, Naoto Ozawa, stated, "Last year, about 40% of our employees used the hay fever allowance."

According to Panasonic's estimates, the economic loss due to reduced labor productivity from hay fever amounts to approximately 234 yen billion per day. More companies are expected to adopt serious measures against hay fever in the future.

Source: ANN

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