With the release of The Internship in 2015 almost anybody with a penchant for bad comedy can tell you that the Google HQ offices have nap pods; a place for employees to take a quick snooze in between app ideas. Of course Google have been exploring employee perks for a while now, but they’re not the only ones with this current idea, Ben and Jerrys, Zappos and Nike are just a few of the other businesses that encourage napping at work. So we’re asking, does a ten minute nap improve productivity that much. And is it really okay to sleep on the job?
Scientists have been telling us for years that napping can minimise your levels of cortisol. In essence reducing your chances of getting anxiety or depression, which apart from caring about your employees is actually proven to lose businesses money. A commissioning by the Journal of Sleep found that lack of sleep costs U.S companies $63 billion in revenue every single year.
Although having the option to nap might improve your employees mood and make them less reluctant to get up in the morning, is there a darker side to this way of sleeping, one that goes beyond simply installing a blackout blind.
We at Goodman Masson like to promote a healthy work-life balance but after the introduction of Googles futuristic sleep pods, a competition was sparked between their employees to see how long they could ‘live’ at HQ. The record is reportedly currently held at Crittenden Google HQ and is somewhere within the two year range.
Although this may not have been Googles intentions, Uber, a company who also provide a place to nap, have openly admitted to using the perk in order to keep employees at work for longer, with principal Denise Cherry stating that they created “a room so built for work that no one would need to leave”.
Arianna Huffington, whose Huffington Post headquarters also house a place to nap has remarked that, through sleep, “increasingly [companies are] realising that their employee’s health is one of the most important predictors of the companies health as well”, a fact that NASA actually discovered in the 1990s when performance skyrocketed after they began taking short naps throughout the day. And yet Huffington herself actually broke her cheekbone after collapsing at her desk from exhaustion. Could introducing napping areas actually raise this possibility by increasing work days and creating an uneven playing field between those who simply cannot sleep in the day?
Realistically, we would hope that your days aren’t long enough to require a quick snooze under your desk, but everybody has days where they’ve stayed up too late after thinking ‘just one more episode’ or maybe even ‘just one more beer’, so if you can wake your boss up, maybe ask their permission to increase your productivity by sleeping on the job.