Running for a bonus: Company gives larger cash rewards if workers can run 2 miles a day

A paper company in China is reportedly motivating its employees to stay fit by replacing its year-end bonuses with a reward system for miles logged. 

The Dongpo Paper company in Guangdong, a coastal province located in South China, recently swapped the traditional performance-based bonus for cash bonuses dependent on the distance run by the employee that month, the state-owned Guangzhou Daily reported, as well as the South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong-based English-language newspaper owned by Alibaba Group.

The policy means an employee can receive the full monthly bonus if they run 50 kilometers a month, or about 31 miles, according to the news outlets. 

Employees who run 40 kilometers (just under 25 miles) can get 60% of the cash reward and 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) earns 30% of the cash reward. 

The overachievers who log 100 kilometers (about 62 miles) a month can earn 130% of the cash reward, according to the news outlets. That’s about 2 miles per day throughout the month. 

Mountain hiking and speed walking also accounts for 60% and 30% respectively of the total exercise required, the South China Morning Post reported. 

The distance is calculated by apps on the employees’ phones.


FILE - People run on the beach in Yantai, East Chinas Shandong province, April 9, 2023. (Photo by Costfoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Dongpo Paper company head Lin Zhiyong, who claims to have reached the summit of Mount Everest twice, announced the new policy on Dec. 7 to reporters. He noted how "a company can last long when its employees are healthy," per the  state-owned Guangzhou Daily.

Dongpo Paper, which specializes in the production of copypaper, computer printing paper, student test paper, and other items, currently has more than 100 workers on its payroll. 

Employees have generally welcomed the new policy, according to Guangzhou Daily.

A bulletin board showing the rankings for November had an employee named Zhou Jian at the top, clocking 89.16 kilometers (or about 55.4 miles) that month, the newspaper reported.

The new policy went viral on Chinese social media, according to the South China Morning Post, which noted how views were divided online. 

"I need a company like this to help me keep fit," one person wrote, according to the outlet. 

"The intention of the company’s policy is good, but it should take into consideration any existing conditions or health issues among its employees," another added.

"The company should add an extra bonus to the employees who do exercise, instead of using the existing bonus as a bargaining chip," a third person wrote, according to the local newspaper. 

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This story was reported from Cincinnati.