Napping at Work – Why don’t Employers Encourage it?
Nap at Work? Stop Questioning & Start Encouraging!
Last week, Mint.com asked the question, “Should employees be allowed to nap at work?“.
It’s an interesting question, but with all the studies out there extolling the virtues of getting adequate sleep and taking naps when needed and the resulting productivity gains (see NASA study on naps at work significantly increasing working memory, or anything the National Sleep Foundation publishes, for example), perhaps the question should be re-phrased to:
“Why aren’t employees encouraged to take naps at work?”
It’s a question that more employers should explore.
Sure, there are jobs where napping is simply not possible, or at least not easily accommodated to. But there are a whole hell of a lot of jobs where napping is entirely possible and easily accommodated to (think any office job – it just takes a small pillow and just maybe an alarm clock).
I think the short answer to this question comes down to this: employers are afraid to encourage any activity that might even remotely (by nature) inhibit or challenge productivity.
The irony, in this case, is that naps represent a complete void in productivity – and at the same time the after-effects represent a net positive in overall productivity. And more balanced and happier employees.
- 29 percent of those polled fell asleep or became very sleepy at work in the past month;
- 36 percent have nodded off or fallen asleep while driving, with; 32 percent reporting that they drive drowsy at least 1 to 2 times per month and 26 percent drive drowsy during the workday;
- 14 percent have missed family events, work functions and leisure activities in the past month due to sleepiness;
- 12 percent were late to work in the past month because of sleepiness.
Do Employees Really have the Choice to Sleep at Work?
No. At least the ones who want to keep their jobs. About 50% of Fortune 500 employers will fire you for napping at work. Nobody is going to be the ‘pioneer’ at his/her workplace to start the trend of napping at work, if not encouraged first by their employer to do so. And the ones who are doing so, are doing it privately, which creates a guilty relationship with your employer even though you are doing something healthy for yourself that will improve your overall performance.
To the employers – when I say ‘encouraged’, I don’t mean turning a blind eye, I’m talking about placing a pillow and 15 minute alarm clock at everyone’s desk and sending a company-wide email encouraging employees to take naps if they need it. That’s ‘encouragement’!
Nap at Work Discussion:
- Have you ever napped at work? Does your employer encourage or accept it?
- Does napping at work improve your productivity?
- If napping at your workplace is not currently encouraged, would you do it if it was?
- Have you heard of another getting reprimanded or fired for napping at work?