Monday, March 30, 2009

Nap time!

Haven't you heard napping during the day increases productivity? About 8 hours after waking many folks get drowsy, and research shows that you can make yourself more alert, reduce stress and improve cognitive functioning with a nap.

Did you even know March 1~8 was national sleep awareness week! It seemed like no one acknowledged it! Gosh. Why don't we take naps at work? Well, most of us don't take naps at work that is. I have a friend who crawls under his desk on many days - I thought he was lazy, but maybe he just cares about productivity?

Now we know how Google rose to be Wall Street's (well everyone's) sweetheart. Naps. Napping chambers are among the well known benefits at the Googleplex.

Google must know sleep deprivation cost US businesses as much as $150 billion annually in absenteeism and lost productivity. The Better Sleep Council says poor sleep affects accuracy and attitude on the job. Survey respondents reported sleep deprivation impaired their quality and accuracy of work (31 percent), clear thinking or judgment (31 percent) and memory of important details (30 percent).

There, it is settled. ZzzZzzzzzz. Welcome the Future of Work Productivity - the nap pod. Ah, man - I have to add this to this list of things we need to add to our office.

In all honesty, I've never been at a place where napping is encouraged and I'm not ready to push it now. I am not against productivity - it's just a big leap. It's not an easy transition. And it's hard to take baby steps to get there - I can't think of a way to incrementally phase in naps. Most of all, the productivity gain is hard to measure, and it would likely end up looking just like another one of those HR costs. Not to intentionally open a can of worms, but it reminds me of ROWE (Results Oriented Work Environment) - there are situations where it makes lots of sense, but it isn't easy to implement. Otherwise everyone would be napping and ROWEing.

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