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“Keep a clear mind” is a sign you see put up in most corporate offices. An employee is expected to be brisk, active and focused at work. Sleeping on the job is considered to be a sign of laziness, but recent years have paved the way for progressive companies to encourage employees to take mid-day recharge naps. A nap room is the perfect way to help employees balance work and life. Sleep is an essential need for all life. Offering employees a space and time to catch a short mid-day siesta is now becoming a norm for companies aiming to position themselves as progressive, dynamic places to work. Power naps have proven to be more effective than caffeine.
Let’s consider some pros and cons of power naps:
Potential hires see nap rooms as a perk. That can aid your recruiting process. In addition, nap rooms can also encourage existing employees to be even more focused in their job.
Well-rested employees perform and behave well. Not getting enough sleep through the night can affect employees’ attention and also their ability to control negative emotional responses.
Longer naps that allow you to enter REM sleep and boost your ability when it comes to solving problems creatively. It is also found that REM directly helps creative processing more than any other sleep or wake state.
NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration find short 20-min naps improve psychomotor performance, mood and even improve alertness by 54% for pilots and astronauts undertaking critical missions that require intense focus and attention to detail.
Many employees dream having nap times at office, but it can also become an employer's nightmare. Employers often worry that employees might take advantage of nap times and might not being able to monitor efficiently if work is actually getting done.
There’s always right and wrong time to nap. According to the Mayo Clinic, the best time to nap is from 2 p.m to 3 p.m. Taking naps any later could interfere with a person's routine REM sleep cycle. Considering this, you can determine if employees are really taking their much needed rest or slacking if you catch them snoring at 4 pm in the evening.
If employees taking advantage of nap time is a concern, there’s another easy way to monitor effectiveness. Depending on how you decide to set up your “nap area”, try placing an entry sheet for employees to use. This way, if an employee's performance starts slipping and goals aren’t met, you can always go back and review whether they had used their nap times effectively or not.
Say you're willing to provide employees a chance to rest up during the day – but you’re still unsure where to set it up. Purchasing nap pods can be expensive, but they aren't your only option!
You can simply block off a regular conference room at certain times. Just ensure to set “the right mood”:
Tip 1: Incorporate dark shades to block out the sunlight or provide eye masks
Tip 2: Use long couches, reclining chairs or bean bags for optimal comfort
Tip 3: Play an ambient soundtrack to block out noises
Tip 4: Direct employees to bring their own pillow and blankets
Make naps a part of company culture.
Making napping a part of company culture would ensure employees don’t sneak shut-eyes away from supervisors and co-workers. You can rather send the message that naps are encouraged as a way to help employees perform at their optimal best. As long as your employees meet their performance goals and are happy, there is no stopping you from building this culture.
Encourage employees to time their naps properly.
A nap timed right before a meeting or a major presentation could make a world of a difference between performance success or a flop.
Wink & Nod encourages you to give priority to sleep in both your work and life to achieve the perfect balance.