Allow employees to have power naps during their work day to increase their productivity
Post written by Paragon Interiors   July 25, 2016

Have you ever experienced the ‘afternoon’ slump? You started your morning extremely motivated, planning on getting through your priority list with so much enthusiasm, and then the feeling strikes… Your morning cup of coffee has just worn off! Your eyes start burning, your mind starts to drift and you start watching the clock! I think we can all say that we have had this moment at some stage in our working career.Wouldn’t it be nice to take an afternoon nap at the office? Wishful thinking right? NO.. …..not so fast.

As many research experts suggest, there are potential health risks that are attributed to sleep deprivation and many employers have now started taking their employee wellness into account. According to Huffington post, companies are starting to realise that employees’ health and their company health go hand in hand. Large companies (Google, NASA, Procter & Gamble, Facebook, and Huffington Post) have taken their employees wellbeing into consideration, and have implemented the unique approach of the nap/sleep pod to improve their employee’s productivity throughout the day. These devices operate as a mobile bedroom, with a 20 minute timer, allowing employees to have a ‘power nap’ in the middle of their work day.

According to the research conducted by the Entrepreneur (2014), a nap can increase productivity by up to 34 percent. The ultimate goal of the sleep pod is to increase employee productivity and employee wellness. The benefits of taking a power-nap in the workplace have been addressed by advocates such as Winston Churchill, Leonardo Da Vinci and Albert Einstein – but they never tried anything like this:

Facebook

Facebook prides itself in creating the ultimate office environment for their staff. Facebook installed sleeping pods to allow their staff to think and work undisturbed, or even use it for a 20 minute power nap.

image001

Zappos- online show retailer

The nap room has been incorporated into their offices because management have a high focus on employee happiness. “We know how much sleep impacts well-being” (Henry 2016). Their sleep room is furnished with a couch, a beanbag, two recliners, which are available 24/7 for those who work night shifts.

image005

Roche

Roche UK recently leased a sleep pod for their employee wellbeing week. Roche employees used the sleep pod to improve their productivity and regain concentration throughout the day. Roche received such great feedback from their employees that they decided to install the sleep pod as a permanent fixture in their office. In order for the ‘sleep time’ system to work in the office, we would recommend implementing a booking system, so that employees can schedule their naps prior to using the nap pod, and alleviate confusion in the office.

image003

Google

Googles company culture emphasises the importance of sleep, promoting private nap spaces and positive sleep break policies. Employees utilise the nap pods to take a quick nap when they need one. These nap pods at the Google campuses look like futuristic lounge chairs, allowing employees to rest peacefully, with calming music playing in the background. Using the nap pod is quite simple – you sit down, press the button and the chair reclines with a slight vibration top to relax your muscles. Employees are given the option to use a visor to create a dark space, enabling them to fall asleep quicker. The perks at Google’s Mountain View, California, headquarters are: nap pods, shower rooms, complimentary food and drinks (including a coffee bar with a full-time barista), and many more. Google focuses on creating a working environment that enables employees to thrive.

image007

Ben & Jerry’s: Ice Cream Company

Ben & Jerry’s offers employee’s yoga classes and provide spaces for employees to take naps to express that they care about their employee health and wellness. For companies with a smaller budget, a bed, plus an alarm clock could be used for nap times just as effectively. Ben & Jerry’s have incorporated a sleep room in their offices, with a bed and pillows that employees are welcome to use at any time throughout the day. “The sleep room itself is really part of the larger corporate culture here and the company’s belief that a happy employee is a productive employee,” a spokesperson reported to the BBC (Henry, Z).

As office design specialists, we have realised that the workplace has now become an environment that caters for the employee experience. If management is on-board and believe that their employees will be more productive taking 20 minute power naps throughout the day, then this may be a great investment for the company. The benefits of people napping during the day are endless- increased energy levels, reduced frustration, well-rested employees, greater productivity, as well as increased employee health and wellness.

If you think that a nap pod may be beneficial for your company, then we would advise that nappers should follow ‘pod etiquette’ in the office. This means nap time should be kept to 20 minutes max per day. No food or drinks should be allowed in the pod. After using the pod the nap chair should be wiped with disinfectant for the next person to use. Employees that are sick, should not be permitted to use the pod until they are well. These are simple rules that can be followed by all.

REFERENCES

Anonymous (2015). Sleeping at work- companies with nap rooms and snooze friendly policies. Retrieved from https://sleep.org/articles/sleeping-work-companies-nap-rooms-snooze-friendly-policies/

Evans, L (2014). Why you should let your employees nap at work. Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/236755

Henry, Z (2016). 6 Companies (including Uber). Where it’s OK to Nap Retrieved from http://www.inc.com/zoe-henry/google-uber-and-other-companies-where-you-can-nap-at-the-office.html

Kittaneh, F (2014). How small changes in the workplace can improve your sleeping habits. Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/237170

Rowe, G (2015). Why an afternoon nap is seriously good for health. These companies even have sleep pods in the office. Retrieved from http://www.high50.com/health/why-afternoon-nap-good-for-your-health-lower-blood-pressure-heart-attack-risk

Shandrow, L (2016). 3 companies That Do Culture Right and what you can learn from them. Retrieved from http://www.entrepreneurmag.co.za/advice/staff/how-to-guides-staff/3-companies-that-do-culture-right-and-what-you-can-learn-from-them-infographic/

Suzman, L (2015). Nap Pods. Why Some Companies Are Letting Workers Sleep on the Job. Retrieved from http://www.payscale.com/career-news/2015/05/nap-pods-why-some-companies-are-letting-workers-sleep-on-the-job