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Sleeping at Work

Some would say there is a stigma associated with the mid-afternoon nap. Most would say there is a definite stigma associated with taking a mid-afternoon nap at work. Alas – we have some good news, a revolution in napping is coming, and it might be hitting an office near you sooner than you think.

For a long time now, sleep experts have been attempting to highlight the importance of getting enough sleep on a regular basis. It is common knowledge that regularly missing out on the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep per night seriously affects one’s physical and mental health over a period of time. Therefore it seems absurd that, especially in the world of work, we look at sleep through the lens of laziness over something which should be actively encouraged. Professor Ian Hickie, of Sydney University’s Brain and Mind Centre considers this relationship between work and sleep:

“It’s a great myth that the longer you spend at your desk, the more productive you are […] We know now that the less sleep teenagers get, the less productive they are during the day, and the same goes for adults.”

And it’s true – we can set ourselves a goal in terms of quantity of work, but the quality of work is often reflected by our personal well-being. Recently, as scientific research begins to build a firmer correlation between sleep and productivity, bosses seem to have become more interested in encouraging sleep as a means to boost productivity.

This is something which has been recognized by Mark Bertolini (CEO at US health insurer Aetna), who has recently announced that he will be paying employees bonuses if they can prove – through sleep-tracking devices – that they are getting enough sleep. Bertolini has stated that he will pay employees a bonus if they can prove they have slept for at least 7 hours per night. This proposed bonus is $25/night, up to $500/year (£350). This is a huge amount of money to be potentially spent across numerous employees per year – which does go to show that the way we perceive sleep in the business world might be changing.

One company taking advantage of the changing shift in how we think about sleeping is the UK based company Podtime. After founding the company a few years back, Jon Gray (Design Engineer) joined forces with Paul Grindrod (Hotels and Leisure business specialist) and have worked together to create a “sleep pod” suitable for the business environment. Gray and Grindrod have already worked with international companies including Facebook, Nestle, Roche and GlaxoSmithKline, taking their business to a global level.

Sleep Pod

With demand steadily increasing for the on-the-go nap, who knows when your office might start encouraging you to take a nap on the job.

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