We live in a society where the average person doesn’t get an ideal amount of sleep per night. According to the National Sleep Foundation, Americans average approximately 6.9 hours of sleep, when we really should be aiming for 7 to 9 hours every night. With less than 7 hours of sleep, productivity is negatively impacted. Sleep deprivation also leads to more dangerous issues such as increased blood pressure and drowsiness while driving which can lead to car accidents.
Recently, companies have been investing more in their employees’ health through various measures. One of which is encouraging daytime naps and offering nap areas at work so that employees can regain concentration, boost productivity, and reduce anxiety as well as depression. According to a 2011 study from the Journal of Sleep, lack of sleep costs U.S. companies $63 billion in lost productivity, so it’s no wonder that these firms take their naps seriously!
Founder Arianna Huffington has frequently spoken out about the importance of rest to increase productivity after collapsing from exhaustion herself in 2007. In Huffington Post’s New York offices, employees have access to EnergyPods, which are futuristic-looking rest capsules with privacy visors and allow nappers to set timers to wake themselves up. The offices are also equipped with nap rooms that feature candles, incense, and calming music that make you feel like you’re in a spa instead of at work.
Not surprisingly, since Google has topped the list of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For six times, of course, Google has nap policies in place that are topnotch. Googleplex uses the same EnergyPods that are used at Huffington Post’s offices. The famous Google “campus” in Silicon Valley also boasts access to an on-site gym, hair salon, laundry, massages, free food at their cafeterias, and shower rooms. They really have everything covered for their employees.
This is where power nap policies began in the 1990s. NASA first introduced the idea of napping at work after results from a study they organized showed that 26 minutes of sleep improved cognitive performance by 34% and alertness by 54%. In their effort to find a solution to sleep deprivation for astronauts and other high-pressure workers in the company, they started implementing “NASA naps,” which airline pilots on international flights have now adopted as well.
Ben & Jerry’s
One of the earliest adopters of the workplace napping policy, Ben & Jerry’s has had an office nap room for over a decade. “A happy employee is a productive employee,” said Ben & Jerry’s Publicist. Their quiet rooms for napping are equipped with beds and pillows, and employees are highly encouraged to use them. Additionally, employees are offered sponsored gym memberships, on-site yoga and Pilates classes, personal trainers, the opportunity to bring their dogs to work and obviously, lots of ice cream.
Uber tasked its interior design firm with the mission of “creating a room built for maximum efficiency––a room so built for work that no one would need to leave.” This includes a living room space, a kitchenette, and small focus rooms that double as nap rooms, according to Denise Cherry of Studio O + A, the interior design firm hired by Uber.
If your employer doesn’t have a nap policy in place yet, you might want to send over this article to your HR Department. Alternatively, if you’re interested in exploring new job opportunities, now you know where to submit your resume!