- WRITTEN BY Jorge Rojas POSTED ON May 13,2015
We live in an age where we are trying to get the most out of our employees, but sometimes it can be difficult to keep up the hard work all day. Productivity applications and software can only go so far when your team is exhausted. Sometimes you might wish you could be back in the good old days of elementary school when naptime was a thing. So, why not give it a try in the workplace?
One of the largest marketing companies in the world, HubSpot, encourages its employees to kick back and catch up on sleep in the workplace. In fact, according to Entrepreneur, HubSpot’s CMO Mike Volpe claims that “a 20-minute nap is often all he needs to regain focus and re-energize to be more productive for the rest of the day.” Some employees, particularly those with families and young children, find a full-night’s sleep nigh-impossible, and need the extra sleep in order to function at 100 percent.
Napping has been on the rise in the technology industry over the past few years, and it’s easy to understand why. A lot of professionals work long hours in order to make sure that things get done right and on time. This goes hand-in-hand with the inception of a more laid-back company culture. The reason is simply competition – businesses want to bring in top talent, and in order to distinguish themselves from other businesses, they have brought in phenomenons previously unheard of, like game rooms and employee lounges.
Tech supergiant Google promotes napping with what are called “energy pods,” which are essentially reclining chairs inside a bubble. They play relaxing music and sounds, and even have alarms to wake up groggy employees who need to go back to work.
Why Don’t More Companies Take Advantage of This?
It’s a mystery why more businesses don’t integrate napping into their corporate culture. Research has proven that sleep is more efficient than caffeine when it comes to productivity, yet the corporate world still looks down on naptime, a vital biological function. Unfortunately, napping has been stigmatized and labeled as “slacking off.” Terry Cralle, a certified sleep expert, argues that sleep is more imperative to a healthy lifestyle (and workplace) than an on-site gymnasium, simply because human beings need sleep in order to function at maximum efficiency.
Perhaps some of the fears that employers have is that this privilege will be abused by those simply looking to make up for a poor night’s sleep. For example, it’s one thing to be sleep-deprived due to a newborn child, but another thing entirely to be exhausted from a night of drunken shenanigans. Proper monitoring of how your team uses the privilege is key to ensuring that it’s not abused.
Integrating Naptime into Your Company Culture
Napping might be an effective way to keep productivity at an all-time high. If your team is exhausted due to lack of sleep, costly errors can be made that could have easily been avoided. Here are three ways that your business can take advantage of naptime.
- Build a specialized napping facility. We aren’t talking about making an entirely new building dedicated to sleep. Instead, transform a room into a naptime paradise. All you need is a quiet room with a comfy sofa or a hammock where your team can catch some quick z’s. Lay down a soft rug and use a calming color palette to encourage drifting off. Unfortunately for some, sleeping doesn’t come so naturally, so a place that encourages it goes a long way.
- Make it known that napping is accepted in the company culture. Some employees might be nervous about indulging themselves in the occasional nap, but if you are up-front with your team about the concept, they will be more open to the idea. HubSpot’s nap room works similarly to their conference room, where it can be booked by anyone for as long and as often as they want, so long as they accomplish everything that needs to be done.
- Take full advantage of naptime by encouraging strategic timing. For example, a little extra energy during a presentation might make the crowd go wild, where an exhausted team member might decrease audience participation. According to Entrepreneur, a NASA study shows that naps can provide a significant productivity boost: “a nap of just 26 minutes can boost productivity by as much as 34 percent and increase alertness by 54 percent.”
What are your thoughts on napping in the workplace? Do you think it could cause more harm than good, or are you willing to give it a shot? Let us know in the comments.
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