Sleep Is No Longer For Wimps!
Sleep pods are the new secret tool that many top companies are using to increase the productivity of their staff. In today’s global workplace, most professionals now have to connect with colleagues in multiple time zones and at all times of day. The long working hours and round the clock workdays, makes prioritizing sleep more crucial now than ever. As a result, many companies are now encouraging napping at work. Nap rooms have now become a more commonplace amenity for most companies that are looking to position themselves as fun and dynamic places to work. In the adrenaline charged world we live in, instead of 5 hour energy drinks and coffee breaks, clever health conscious employers and employees are now seeking an afternoon lift with the “nap break”.
A number of leading companies, in an effort to keep their employees focused and engaged, now offer sleep pods and nap rooms. Some of these companies include Google, Apple, Nestle, AOL, Time Warner, Facebook, GlaxoSmithKline, Procter & Gamble and Nike in the United States, Intuit in Canada and London’s Olympic Village.
In some of the nations in the world, workday naps are an important part of their culture and have always been viewed as crucial to the productivity of employees. Some Asian based companies encourage napping. In Japan, the custom “inemuri”, which means “sleeping while present”, makes it acceptable and actually positive to take a nap while at work: it shows that the employer or employee sleeping is committed to his or her work. There are rules however, only people in certain job positions are allowed to do it (usually low, or high positions) and you must remain upright to show you are socially engaged in some way. Not for the Japanese is bragging about being awake all night working, or meeting deadlines despite the odds, no, the Japanese take, or fake a nap to show their machismo!
All companies can improve the productivity of their employees by ensuring that they have adequate sleep. One of the ways through which they can do this is by providing their employees sleep pods and nap rooms. Dr. Russell Sanna and Dr. Stuart Quan from the Division of Sleep Medicine of Harvard Medical School have said that sleep deprivation has a negative impact on our ability to utilize the higher level cognitive functions, our ability to concentrate and our mood. They also said that the combination of the above factors is what is widely referred to as mental performance and pointed out that lack of adequate sleep was one of the major factors that contributed to the nuclear disasters at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, the Exxon Valdez wreck and the blowing up of the Challenger Space Shuttle.
There is practically no facet of workplace success that is not improved by ensuring that employees have adequate sleep and, also impaired by lack of sleep. Decision making, leadership, ingenuity, confidence, creativity – all of these can be improved by simply increasing the number of hours that you sleep. Sleep deprivation among employees poses a lot of risks to companies. Without having enough sleep employees get annoyed easily, get cranky and become unable to do the simplest of things. Some companies are making the mistake of allowing employees to run dangerous and heavy machinery or guard secure buildings and sites while they are sleep deprived. Otherwise well-mannered and intelligent managers do all kinds of things they would never do if they had adequate sleep and rest—they may get angry at employees, make unsound decisions that may affect the future of the business and give muddled presentations before their customers, colleagues, shareholders or the press. Lack of adequate sleep can lead to reduction of safety levels in the workplace and decreased job performance – all of which can increase costs for businesses and employers. If you are an employer, you can increase your company’s productivity, protect your biggest asset (employees) and avoid accidents by simply offering your employees sleep pods and nap rooms.
It is good to see that many companies are now taking notice of the growing scientific evidence of the performance benefits of napping which include increased alertness, learning and well-being, reduced fatigue, quicker reaction times, improved mood, less confusion, better memory, less mistakes and fewer accidents. If more companies would adopt this practice, more people will all stop people feeling guilty about sleeping 6/7/8 hours every night and looking down on workplace naps. As more companies recognize the close relationship between sleep and productivity, more employers and employees will actually start to care of themselves first and embrace the future of the healthy way to recharge through sleep.
Now excuse us while we work on our inemuri.