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Chinese Company Offers Workers 130% Salary Bonus If They Run 2 Miles Daily

Workers could make up to 130% of their monthly salary if they put their running shoes on and rise to the challenge.

Collage. Left hand side: runner, right hand side: man receiving a cash bonus
(Left) Shutterstock/sutadimages (Right) Shutterstock/shisu_ka

Typically, workers earn annual bonuses based on their personal performance, the company’s performance, or a combination of both. This is not the case this year for the Dongpo Paper Company, who have swapped this tried and tested method for a new, fitness-based rewards scheme.

Lin Zhiyong, the company’s chairman, is a fitness fanatic who believes that his cash incentive will keep workers motivated. “My business can only endure if my employees are healthy,” he explained.

According to Guangzhou Daily, boss Zhiyong is the first person in Dongguan to climb the north and south slopes of Mount Everest. He also encouraged Zhou Jian, Dongpo Paper’s business manager, to take on running as a remedy for his high blood sugar. He now runs roughly 56 miles per month to keep his blood sugar down and has assumed the role of running team leader.

Manager Tan Weiqun is also enthusiastic about health and wellbeing, leading mountain climbing groups every Sunday. Since 2018, he has organized over 300 outdoor activities. Currently, he is the leader of the Dongguan Eagle Outdoor Group.

Zhiyong wanted all of his employees – not just management staff – to share his passion for exercise. As a result, he implemented his tiered rewards scheme, in which health literally is wealth.

62 miles gets you a 130% bonus

Employees who rack up 62 miles per month are entitled to a bonus worth 130% of their monthly salary. Broken down, this is equivalent to roughly 2 miles per day.

However, workers who cannot reach this goal are not left out of the scheme. Running 31 miles per month would earn an employee a bonus worth one month’s salary, while 24 miles monthly is worth 60%.

On the lowest end of the program, 18 miles per month would earn a worker 30% of one month’s paycheck. That is approximately half a mile per day, which would take a complete beginner 5:15 minutes, according to Olyrun.

Additionally, if workers complete 31 miles of running per month for six consecutive months, they are eligible to receive a free new pair of running shoes. Fitness tracking apps collect and calculate the data from the employees’ running.

Five minutes of running per day for a bonus worth 30% of a paycheck seems like a good incentive to get people focussing on their fitness. However, the scheme faced mixed reviews on the Chinese social media platform, Weibo.

What do people think of the scheme?

One Weibo user was concerned about the scheme excluding people with health issues. “The intention of the company’s policy is good, but it should take into consideration any existing conditions or health issues,” they wrote.

Health was a common concern, with another commenter writing, “These requirements would be considered excessive even for sporting school students. It will hurt their knees. Depending on one’s age and physical condition, it could also trigger acute heart failure.”

Another user found the distance requirements for the maximum bonus excessive. They commented, “So, the company wants their staff to be track athletes?”

Would you embrace the challenge and get fit for a holiday cash bonus? Or do you think that putting your body under potentially dangerous stress is too much for Chairman Zhiyong to ask? Let us know in the comments if you would be pleased with this fitness-based cash incentive.

Written By

Madison Collier (she/her) is a current finalist reading for BA English Language and Literature at Oxford University. Madison writes on news, culture, and entertainment, but specialises in music and identity.

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