17 Reasons Your Office Needs Nap Pods (Send This To Your Boss)
For starters, sleep deprivation is costing your company money.
If you work in an office, you know the feeling.
Sometime after lunch, often right around 3pm, your attention starts to wander. Your eyelids get heavy, your brain gets foggy…what were you doing, again? It’s right about now that crawling under your desk to take a little nap sounds like a pretty good idea. You start to think maybe you should keep a pillow under there, just in case.
Turns out, taking a nap at work isn’t such a bad idea – and there are companies out there that actually encourage it. Employers can even purchase “nap pods” for the office, where workers can nod off in an enclosed recliner specially engineered to provide ideal napping conditions. Sound crazy? I consulted Chris Brantner, founder of SleepZoo, a website dedicated to helping folks get a better night’s sleep, and found out that in fact, there are many reasons why it’s in your employer’s best interest to make sure workers are getting enough shut-eye – even if it’s while they’re on the clock.
Most people need seven or eight hours of sleep per night, but the average American only gets about six and a half, says Brantner. “Not only does sleep deprivation come with a myriad of potential health consequences, but it also affects work. Lack of sleep can have huge negative consequences on performance at work.” Brantner recommends creating a healthy bedtime routine and making sure you have a good mattress at home, so you get the best sleep you can at night, but says napping during the workday can be beneficial, as well.
Does your boss need convincing? Here are 17 reasons to install nap pods in your office ASAP – or at least provide a quiet space with a pillow and a blankie, just like you had in preschool…
1. Naps increase productivity
Studies have shown that well-rested workers are more productive; one such study estimated that letting people sleep later could benefit the United States economy to the tune of $9 billion in two years.
2. Quality of work will improve
“Not getting enough sleep can kill productivity by leaving you foggy-headed and unmotivated,” says Brantner. When employees are fresh from a nap, they’ll be sharper, and do better work.
3. Well-rested employees are happy employees
No one wants to work in an office full of grouches – and there’s nothing like sleep deprivation to put people in a bad mood.
4. Sleep deprivation is an epidemic
Lack of sleep is a pressing public health issues. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that the average adult needs seven to eight hours of sleep a night – but 35 percent of workers report getting less than that.
5. Naps cut down on sick days
“Napping can lead to a healthier workforce, which can equate to fewer sick days,” Brantner explains. “More rest aids in weight loss and reduces the risk of heart problems.”
6. People will work longer hours
The temptation to knock off work early is greatly lessened when you’ve had a post-lunch pick-me-up, in the form of a short snooze.
7. Napping isn’t lazy
Taking a nap isn’t a sign of slothfulness. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Taking time out for a power nap increases energy for the rest of the day.
8. Lots of big companies are doing it
The list of companies that offer CEO-approved napping includes powerhouses such as Nike, Google, and Ben & Jerry’s. (We’re assuming they also get unlimited ice cream along with their naps. Jealous.)
9. Workers answer emails at midnight
Work stopped being a nine-to-five affair as soon as smartphones came on the scene. If your employees answer work emails in the wee hours, shouldn’t they be allowed to grab a quick nap at work?
10. Science says it’s a good idea
According to Brantner, “Data shows that people who have had a brief power nap perform better on tasks than those who don’t, and tend to be more creative and better problem solvers.”
11. Naps keep workers from scrolling the web mindlessly
A study published in the journal Plos One found that lack of sleep was associated with using the web for “leisure” purposes. Because when you’re tired, it’s just so tempting to click and scroll, and before you know it, you’re down the rabbit hole and completely unfocused.
12. Napping at work can help commuters get home safely
Ten percent of all car accidents are caused by drowsy drivers, according to a study by AAA.
13. It’s normal in other countries
When SleepZoo writer Brett Tingley lived in China, he found that napping was the norm. According to traditional Chinese health beliefs, he writes, “a midday nap is the perfect way to restore balance to your body and remain energized throughout the rest of the day.”
14. Naps will help workers’ memories
“Research shows that a short power nap, around 20 minutes, can make people more alert, help the memory, and decrease mistakes,” says Brantner.
15. Naps ease stress and anxiety at work
There’s nothing like a refreshing nap to take the edge off a stressful day. And in a society that’s already riddled with anxiety, doesn’t it make sense to do everything you can to reduce the pressure?
16. Naps increase sex drive
Okay, so your employees’ sex lives are none of your business. But it’s been proven that a healthy, active sex life leads to better performance at work. So maybe it is kind of your business.
17. Workers will be more alert at the end of the day
Studies show that performance lags toward the end of the work day, as folks get worn out. But naps have been shown to perk people up for a few hours after waking up. Letting employees catch 40 winks during the day helps them do their best work right up until quitting time.
Image via eumolp.us.
Comment: If your employer offered nap pods, would you use them?