Napping in the office: How companies are changing corporate sleep culture
There has recently been a shift in the way corporate leaders have begun to look at the idea of nap breaks in the office. Back-to-office mandates are now ensuring that employees show up for workdays in the office, but many people are dreading the long hours at the desk. With the emergence of stay-at-home work, many employees were able to put a greater focus on well-being and sleep, but this shift back to in-person work causes worries about how sleep will be prioritized. The culture of tirelessly working through the day and constantly running to the coffee machine has been the norm amongst corporate offices for years, but recently companies have begun to reassess this idea. Many of the most successful business leaders now realize the benefits of nap breaks, and as a result sleep prioritization is becoming widely accepted in corporate cultures.
A National Sleep Foundation survey found that the average adult is only getting 6 hours and 49 minutes of sleep a night. This is simply not enough sleep for the normal worker to be continually productive during the day. It was estimated in 1942 that the average adult was sleeping around 8 hours a night. There has been quite a change in the way our society values sleep. With the rise of “nose to the grindstone” corporate cultures and the fast-paced environments that many of us live in, there is a real sleep deprivation problem that has created great health risks.
This problem is not only affecting people at an individual health level but is also causing economic shifts on a global scale. The impact that lack of sleep has on a developed nation equates to a loss of 2% in GDP. While this number may seem small, the value of a 2% drop in GDP in the UK would equate to roughly £40 billion. This is a large financial loss, and recently many company leaders have found that investing in employee well-being and productivity can lead to greater economic growth.
To fix this sleep deprivation issue, many companies have begun implementing tactics to encourage employees to prioritize sleep and well-being at work. Here are some examples of companies who have recently taken steps towards fixing the sleep problem:
Nike has invested a great amount of money in sleeping rooms at their headquarters in Portland, Oregon. They have also asked employees to fill out a schedule regarding when they typically feel the need for naps throughout the day. The company has realized that not everyone runs on the same schedule, and even allowed employees to set their hours based on whether they feel more productive in the morning versus the night. When asked about these new corporate practices, Nike CEO Mike Parker stated, “Most of us are out of balance, and that’s OK, but you need to keep your eye on overall equilibrium to be successful.” This focus on sleep balance has been instrumental in Nike’s continued success and they are beginning to communicate more with athletes on the benefits of sleep.
The tech company that has become one of the biggest social media marketing agencies is now putting a great focus on the idea of sleep wellness in its offices. At the company’s Vancouver headquarters they have “sleep cabins” which promote the idea of quick 10-30 minute naps during the day. With the competitiveness of the tech industry, many employees are often working late hours, which eats into the amount of time they dedicate toward sleep. The CEO of Hootsuite, Ryan Holmes, realized this theme and is now very vocal about the change that needs to happen in what he calls a “workaholic” culture in the tech industry. He stated on Linkedin, “In your job, from time to time, you can sprint, but long-term success depends on maintaining a marathoner’s steady gait.” This idea of long-term success through sleep was something that pushed Holmes to ensure sleep areas were available to all his employees. As a result, Hootsuite has seen a great number of employees respond positively to this idea and has pushed a wave of other tech companies to follow suit.
Google has also created spaces for an employee to relax or take naps during the workday, and almost all of their offices integrate state-of-the-art sleep pods. Many different senior executives have pushed their teams to use well-being apps that promote keeping track of sleep schedules, and this heightened awareness of sleep importance has moved Google to take on their own projects focused on curing sleep deprivation. Google has invested in sleep-tracking software and hopes this will change the way society values sleep. The issue lies in how consumers react to these products. Google found that 38% of consumers don’t use a sleep tracking app because they forget to use it or the wearable features are uncomfortable. The hope is that in the future the products will be effortless, and the stigma surrounding sleep importance will be diminished as more companies like Google put sleep at the forefront.
While those are just a few examples of companies that are innovating sleep culture, there are still many that struggle to break the workday napping stigma. A Harvard study found that 51% of the workforce claimed they felt sleepiness on the job interfered with the volume and quality of work they could achieve in a workday. Yet, as a National Library of Medicine study found, a quick nap not only improves productivity but also creative power and mood throughout the day. It also has tremendous health benefits, as that same study found that taking a midday nap an average of 3 times a week created an inverse correlation in coronary mortality risk.
A New Corporate Sleep Culture
If individual companies implement these napping practices, it will create more excitement amongst employees in returning to the office, and those employees will feel they can better contribute to different projects. When employee morale is low during the day, encouraging a quick rest through sleep pod implementation can boost the mood of the office, and in the end, work more towards achieving company goals. Hopefully, with this new emergence of sleep acceptance in the corporate sphere, there will be more companies that pursue sleep prioritization.
As many companies have already seen, breaking the stigma surrounding naps during the workday, and implementing a space to catch up on sleep can be the key to increasing overall productivity. Rest Space offers a unique solution to this corporate sleep deprivation problem. For inquiries about Rest Space’s high-quality sleep pod products, please follow this link.