When you take a break at work, there’s a good chance you go into a breakroom filled with vending machines, a coffee maker, and perhaps even a television. Some employers have started shying away from this practice, and they’re now offering employees a nap room in place of the traditional break room. It’s a growing trend, and one that’s increasing workplace productivity significantly.
Per a survey conducted by Sleep.org, being tired on the job is costing employers quite a bit of money. In fact, about 29% of those who responded to the survey claimed they had fallen asleep or become very sleepy at work. It’s also estimated that the United States as a whole loses roughly $63 billion each year due to the lack of productivity caused by sleepiness. To combat this, some employers have decided to change the social stigma associated with sleeping at work. They’ve created “nap rooms” designed to allow their employees to get some shut-eye on their breaks.
While napping can’t make up for a lack of sleep or even poor-quality sleep, there’s plenty of evidence showing that it can certainly boost our productivity throughout the day. Humans are mammals, and science has shown that about 85% of all mammalian species rely on short naps throughout the day. Because so many people lead such busy lifestyles, it’s often impossible for them to squeeze in the 20- to 30-minute nap that would benefit them so greatly by improving their moods, focus, and even performance at work. Naps longer than 30 minutes may promote grogginess, which is the opposite of the desired effect.
While providing nap rooms for employees can certainly benefit companies through improved productivity, there are benefits in place for the employees themselves, too. Many of the companies around the world who have chosen to provide a nap room do so to improve their employees’ quality of life – to make them feel happier about their careers and their employers, which reduces turnover rates and improves the workplace culture. When employees feel as if their employers care about them, they feel compelled to work harder and do a better job.
One of the biggest advocates of the workplace nap room is the famed Ben & Jerry’s company, which is in Burlington, Vermont. The company produces delicious ice creams and frozen yogurt treats with wholesome, responsible ingredients. They care just as much about their employees as they do their customers, too. Ben & Jerry’s offers personal trainers and yoga classes to its employees, and they even encourage them to bring their dogs to work with them. The company was one of the first to offer a nap room, and they even provide comfortable beds and pillows, to boot. A representative from Ben & Jerry’s says that if it helps their employees do a better job, they’re behind it.
Of course, Ben & Jerry’s isn’t the only company offering its employees a nap room; the trend is taking off, and more employers than ever are getting on board.
If your employer doesn’t yet offer a nap room, or if you’re an employer interested in boosting your employees’ productivity, consider the benefits listed above. More than 40 million people in the US alone suffer from some kind of sleep disorder, and science has proven that a quick mid-day nap not only promotes productivity, but also happiness and focus.