It’s time to admit it - when we have the freedom, flexibility and lack of judgment, many of us choose to incorporate rest into the working day. Since working from home many people have been able to nap or take breaks whilst working, knowing that there’s actually not a negative impact on the workload by doing so. Free from the stigma of ‘looking unproductive’ or even ‘lazy’, employees have discovered just how beneficial rest at work can be.
Now that employers have begun the transition from home into the office, what happens to newfound habits that so positively affect employees? How can employers support the transition back to the office and bridge the gap between busy office environments and working from the comfort of home?
If the approach is to go back to the standard office practice before COVID-19, employers must realise that can no longer be the attitude towards post-pandemic life. Whilst for the vast majority of things, we want things to ‘go back to normal’, opinion on working from home is pretty divided. A recent survey by Ipsos in partnership with the World Economic Forum surveyed employed adults in over 29 countries about working from home. They found that the majority of employees surveyed miss working with other people and being around their colleagues but 65% of those surveyed also feel more productive with a flexible work schedule. However, 38% of people did find their home a difficult place to be productive.
"If you’ve got used to the flexibility of working from home - napping or resting more - that shouldn’t have to be sacrificed once you return to the office."
These preferences can be supported in workplaces and the best way to navigate these differing opinions is through incorporating flexible working within the office. In fact, flexible working is something that many organisations are seeking to encompass. It’s not just about working from home, it’s the attitude to the working day, the office environment and recognising that rest is essential to better productivity. Employers can better support their employees by providing adequate spaces for rest and napping in the workplace. Through recognising the benefits of workplace napping, reducing the stigma of rest and giving employees the opportunity to determine the schedule which works best for them, employers can continue benefiting from new habits formed during the pandemic whilst moving forward.
There’s a lot to look forward to with returning to the office and the benefits of a more distinct work-life balance, working alongside colleagues and perhaps a better sense of routine. However, it’s important for workplaces to support employees in this transition. It’s time to acknowledge the flexible working pattern that we’ve all become accustomed to in the past year or so, it’s here to stay. There’s no way around it - working from home has led more people to incorporate rest (whether that’s naps or just short breaks) into the working day - and it’s not a bad thing. Studies have shown how useful napping and resting is to productivity. It’s time to reduce the stigma of workplace napping and rest, let’s learn what we can from this past year and continue to utilise what works.