Although there has been an increase in the prominence of napping in the workplace, with 80% of Gen-Z workers having admitted to taking naps at work, there still remains a significant portion of people who buy into the negative stigma associated with napping at work. Some of these stigmas link napping with laziness and will often associate napping with children and the elderly. However, this viewpoint can be damaging for those who struggle with sleep in an increasingly sleep-deprived society. According to a study done by Atomik Research, 21% of employees choose not to talk about their sleep related problems due to fears that it would hold back their careers. In order to better support these employees and their wellbeing, napping should be promoted in the workplace.
Napping in the workplace is not unheard of. Countries such as Spain, Italy, Japan, and China all have customs in which employees are given the opportunity to nap during work hours. In Japan and China, these naps are seen as a way to demonstrate hard work and also improve concentration and performance at work. Many companies in the U.S. and the U.K. have also embraced napping in the workplace. Here are some ways to help promote napping in your workplace.
Education about napping is one of the key ways to dispel the stigma surrounding napping in the workplace. Some points to mention are the health benefits, as the Cleveland Clinic states that napping can improve employees’ performance and boost their memories, all of which are important to the wellbeing of employees. For employers, one of the main reasons to consider workplace napping are the productivity benefits of napping; a Harvard study showed that a 20-30 minute nap boosted employee productivity and NASA found that naps as short as 26 minutes increased performance and alertness by 34% and also led to a 16% increase in reaction time. Furthermore, education about how to nap is just as important as learning about the benefits of napping. For instance, the Mayo Clinic recommends that naps last only about 10-20 minutes and warns that the longer a person naps, the more likely they are to feel groggy afterwards. However, studies have found that 90 minute naps allow for the greatest amount of refreshment, as the 90 minutes allows for a full sleep cycle to occur. Tips like these are important for employees to understand in order to best take advantage of the benefits of napping in the workplace.
There are also ways to improve the effectiveness of napping in the workplace. Allowing employees to nap while at work is not enough, employers need to create a culture in which napping is not only normalised but promoted. Some policies could be setting time limits on naps to ensure that employees do not experience sleep inertia, causing them to wake up more tired than before they started their nap. Another policy that could greatly promote napping in the workplace is allowing employees to take technology breaks during naps. In the advent of email and instant messaging for the workspace connecting employees to work on a 24/7 basis, many employees may feel pressure not to nap in case they are needed at a moment's notice. Allowing employees to sign off of their email and messaging during their naps would alleviate these worries and give employees the opportunity to disconnect from their work for a brief time.
Allowing employees to personalise their naps also helps to promote napping in the workplace. Studies have shown that there are a wide variety of factors that affect the effectiveness and efficacy of naps for different people with some suggesting that these differences may be rooted in genetics. Allowing employees to choose when they take naps would increase the effectiveness of naps and better support all employees who choose to nap during the workday. Additionally, allowing employees to have their own napping accessories (pillows, eye masks, earplugs, etc.) would also help to improve the effectiveness of naps in the workplace as employees would be able to nap in greater comfort, increasing the efficacy of naps.
One of the most important and beneficial ways to promote napping in the workplace is to have a dedicated space for employees to nap in. Fortunately, that’s where Rest Space comes in. Rest Space has created the perfect environment for napping in the workplace, with built in privacy and a variety of features that enhance sleep. Rest Space also offers premium support to help employees learn about the benefits of napping, how to nap, and how to take advantage of Rest Space’s nap pods to achieve the best quality of sleep. If you are interested in promoting napping in your workplace, get in touch with us and find out how our affordable nap pods can benefit your employees.