Is offering employees a midday snooze a good idea for your office?
When we talk about employee perks and workplace productivity, it’s almost impossible not to think of the effects of the sleep deprivation that so many employees on a 24/7 clock are experiencing. Whether it’s working late or staying up late with new babies, employees face times in their career where the 3 pm crash is harder than usual. And lately, companies are deciding to do something about it, installing nap rooms and nap pods in the office. That’s right, they’re encouraging their employees to sleep on the job.
The benefits of healthy sleep patterns in the workplace
But this is about more than just attracting employees who might like a midday snooze. A Harvard study showed that the average American worker loses around 11 days of productivity yearly due to sleep deprivation. That’s a total loss of more than $62 billion yearly.
Giving employees more sleep has more than just long-term health benefits. A study from the University of Michigan showed that people who took a nap were more able to deal with frustration and less impulsive than their peers, even demonstrating an improved ability to persevere through frustrating tasks.
Some top companies offer sleep breaks
Who’s doing it and how’s it done? Local company HubSpot is practically famous for its relaxing nap room, and giants like Google, Uber, Ben & Jerry’s, PricewaterhouseCooper and Huffington Post also boast spots for workers to take a sleep break. By no means are these spots to snooze the day away – typically 20 or 30 minute refreshers are the norm, but workers and executives report being refreshed and more focused after that short and comfortable break.
Other sleep-related office perks
If a nap pod is a bit too much, companies are also focusing on improving their employees’ sleep through other perks and benefits. Some large companies are employing sleep coaches and digital health coaching programs that help employees monitor sleep, among other habits. Other companies offer screening and scoring the sleep longevity and quality of employees.
Another less direct way that employers are allowing workers to get more rest is by allowing flex time. That way, if a night owl employee gets the bulk of their work done late but needs to come in later in the day as well, they can adjust their workday to their natural rhythm.