Sleeping on the job: Yay or Nay?

Someone having a nap at work

Sleeping on the job was once considered taboo, but today, more and more companies are encouraging employees to take a mid-shift snooze. Hallelujah!

This girl get’s it!

There are many benefits of having a nap in the workplace

Napping at work is linked to increased productivity and creativity, motivation, profitability, improved memory and alertness.

Napping can also improve overall workplace culture and harmony. A rested and happy employee is a more likely to engage with others, display less impulsive behaviour and work collaboratively with others.

There have been many great thinkers throughout history, who were advocates of napping, Thomas Edison was one of them, and he invented a lot of cool shit.

Also, who can forget the Spanish; they have daily siesta’s, and they’re always happy.

James Maas, a sleep expert and social psychologist who coined the term “power nap” 36 years ago, recommends employees sleep for 15-minutes when they feel sluggish to restore a sense of vitality to the workday.

‘If we ran machinery like we operate the human body, we’d be accused of reckless endangerment. Just like machinery gets oiled, the human body needs to be fed and nurtured,’ Maas says.

Maas, who also consults on workplace sleeping and productivity at Harvard, IBM, Goldman Sachs, has also pointed out that sleep deprivation can cause serious physical and psychological issues.

While regular naps cannot entirely make up for chronic sleep deprivation, they can minimise the side effects, including depression, anxiety, stress and cognitive impairment.

The average brain makes 30,000 decisions per day (wow, maybe mine isn’t average), which is a lot of pressure if your mind is unmotivated and lethargic.

Companies with snooze-friendly policies

It’s no surprise that widely successful companies, Google and Huffington Post are on board with workplace-napping, having installed specially designed sleeping pods for their employees.

NASA are in on it as well, after a study revealed that on sleepy military pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute power nap improved their performance by 34% and alertness by 100%.

The athletic giant Nike is also committed to employee well-being; at their headquarters near Portland, Oregon, employees enjoy quiet rooms, where they can nap or meditate during the day.

Marketing software company, HubSpot also have a magical sleep room, featuring hammocks and soothing cloud-covered walls to encourage its 750 employees to nap at work.

Not only do Ben & Jerry’s make delicious ice cream, nom nom nom; they are firmly committed to the well-being (and importance of sleep time) of their employees.

‘We look out for our employees’ quality of life, and providing space and time for naps is just another way for us to take care of the people who work there,’ says a representative at the Burlington, Vermont-based Ben & Jerry’s.

If you’ve gotten in trouble for having a nap under your desk, or if sleeping on the job is still “frowned upon”, tell your boss, science said it’s okay.

Napping at work shouldn’t be embarrassing, but this is: