Being able to take a nap in the middle of the day sounds great. After all, the Spanish take their famous siesta. But it’s not something you should do at work. Or is it?
Napping on the job is actually becoming more common. Some actually include it as a perk. Google, for example, offers nap pods that can even play relaxing music. Other companies such as Ben & Jerry’s and Nike provide nap rooms. But why should your company offer this perk when it seems so counterproductive?
Employees Can’t Get Enough Sleep
Most adults need seven hours of sleep a night or more. Most American adults get much less than that. Sleep deprivation can be caused by a variety of factors, including work itself! Stress and busy schedules can keep employees from getting enough sleep. Constant availability via mobile devices also affects how much sleep employees can get.
If your company’s culture expects employees to be always available, even after hours, consider changing this so that employees can put down their phones. It’ll benefit their productivity in the long run.
Sleep Deprivation Causes Problems
Anyone who gets less than the recommended amount of sleep tends to be constantly tired. This can lead to a loss of productivity at work and eventually, health problems. Fatigued employees are more likely than well-rested employees to experience depression, diabetes, asthma, arthritis, or even a heart attack or stroke.
On top of the loss of productivity, these health issues can cost the company a lot of money.
It’s an Affordable and Easy Benefit
Letting employees take a quick nap at work is a benefit that is easily affordable. You don’t have to install fancy sleep pods as Google did. Letting employees nap in their offices or in the break room could do wonders for their productivity. Even a short nap can help employees feel rejuvenated and refreshed. They can return to work more productive than if they had tried to power through their work tired.
On top of improving employee productivity, it also benefits the company’s image. Employees nowadays want more flexibility from their companies. Working from home and flexible schedules have been on the rise. Offering a benefit such as napping can provide a positive boost to the company brand that can attract top talent.
Provide Clear Expectations
If your company does decide to let employees nap, it’s important to provide clear guidelines when the benefit is first offered. Limit the allowable naps to no longer than thirty minutes. Too long of a nap could leave employees feeling groggy rather than refreshed. Plus, you don’t want them taking too much time away from work, even if it will result in increased productivity.
Your company should also specify where napping is allowed. Some companies, like Google, have offered sleep pods. Others have set aside a designated room with couches as the nap room. If there isn’t a space your company can offer for napping, you could instead encourage employees to nap at their desks or in their cars.