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Napping at work: helping or hurting productivity?

by MATT GORDON Editor-in-chief

New studies show that napping at work has become a common trend in the workplace and is now being accepted by many companies as a way to increase productivity, instead of the taboo that many managers label it as while on the job.

It is proven that Americans spend more time at the workplace than ever before, many working eight to ten hour shifts.

Ryan Hodson, managing partner of Kodiak Capital Group, says, “Some guys get to work at 8 [a.m.], work until 5, go to rugby practice until 8, go home, and then they’ll work the Australian market in the middle part of the night and go to sleep. Those guys maybe find themselves needing a power nap around 2 in the afternoon.”

Many companies like Google and Cisco encourage workers to live healthy lifestyles, which means eating better and working out in the company gyms. However, napping at work has now caught on and the companies provide napping rooms or Energy Pods.

These Energy Pods are futuristic white capsules that allow workers to stretch out inside and doze off, while lights and sounds go off letting the worker know that its time to get back to work. Another type of napping station is a CalmSpace sleeping room, which is a little booth equipped with a bed and a program that allows the workers a nice 10 to 20 minute nap in the middle of the day.

Power naps in the afternoon are a better alternative to the common large caffeinated coffees and jittery energy drinks that employees often use to stay awake.

Although providing these napping devices and allowing workers to sleep on the job may sound like a horrible business proposal, recent studies have shown that napping at work actually increases productivity and allows for more alertness while on the job. According to a 2008 poll by the National Sleep Foundation, 28 percent of the 1,000 respondents said sleepiness interferes with their work at least a few days each month. If these workers could sleep an extra 20 minutes at work, it could help to combat that mid-day sleepiness and allow for more work to get done at a higher level.

Junior Jacob Egierd said, “Allowing workers to sleep leads to a less stressful work environment and a happy atmosphere. This leads to more productive employees.”

It is true that a happy work atmosphere leads to higher workplace productivity. Companies like online-giant Zappos and Google are commonly noted as one of the best employers because of their laid-back work environments and trendy office routines, and both companies allow workers to nap at work with designated napping rooms. This propels young, hip workers to the companies and keeps the companies ahead in the business world.

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