Company tells employees to run miles each day if they want their bonuses

WTF?! What would you be willing to do to secure a company bonus? Work extra evenings and weekends? Cancel vacation time? How about running miles every day? That final option is one that a firm in China has implemented as a way to encourage employees to become fit and healthy – and perhaps to avoid paying out a lot in bonuses.

As reported by Guangzhou Daily, Lin Zhiyong, the chairman of a company that makes paper for various devices, told his workers that their year-end bonuses had been canceled. Instead, the money will be distributed across each coming month, and how much employees receive will depend on how far they run.

The amount of bonus a worker gets is based on the number of miles they complete each month. Running 30km (18.6 miles) in a month earns a bonus equivalent to 30% of their monthly salary. Moving up to 40km (24.8 miles) pushes that to 40%. Hitting 50km (31 miles) earns 100%, and the top tier of 100km (62 miles) is 130%. Reaching that maximum bonus would require running around 2 miles every single day for a month.

If an employee manages to complete 50km (31 miles) of running every month for 6 months in a row, they will receive a discount on a pair of running shoes – assuming they haven’t quit by that point.

It’s also noted that other activities count toward the targets: running is calculated as 1:1; mountain climbing is calculated as 1:0.6; and walking is calculated as 1:0.3. Workers record their exercises and distances using fitness apps.

Credit: Guangzhou Daily

Lin is a big fan of health and fitness. He claimed to have scaled both slopes of Mount Everest in the past and runs 90 kilometers (56 miles) each month. “Only when employees are healthy can the company last,” he said.

Many companies try to incentivize their employees to get healthy in the hope that they will be happier, more productive, and take fewer sick days off, though this is usually done via gym discounts, cheap bike rental schemes, or similar methods. Forcing staff to run if they want their bonuses sounds like something most people would strongly object to. There are also questions about what happens if someone is physically unable to run for medical reasons. And would it be possible to cheat?

Lin’s plan has faced plenty of mockery on Chinese social media sites, but Guangzhou Daily says his company’s staff are happy with the bonus scheme. Or maybe they’re just too frightened/exhausted to complain about having to run for their money.

Masthead: Tirachard Kumtanom

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