As companies review and adjust their budgets for the year currently underway, there's a line item many may be overlooking: naps. Sleeping on the job was an activity companies frowned on in the past; it could even be a firing offense.
But, as scientific evidence showing how beneficial short rest periods are for productivity and learning becomes more widely known company leaders are rethinking their sleep policies. Today, many world-renowned enterprises - including Google, Mercedes Financial and AXA have onsite napping pods.
They know that short rest periods during the workday can sharpens employees' minds, help prevent chronic disease and enhance learning retention. Napping facilities also help employees beat the "afternoon crash" so many office workers experience.
The fact that high-tech companies and other industry leaders are budgeting for naps gives the workplace short-rest concept a distinctly modern cast. But, the fact is, napping has always been a secret weapon of high-achieving leaders, including Winston Churchill, Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy, all of whom made a daily nap part of their workday regimen, according to Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, author of Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less.
Research shows that a recharging nap can also enhance creativity as well as sharpen leadership skills. And Pang notes that many famously creative people scheduled short rest periods into their daily routine, including writers J.R.R. Tolkien, Ray Bradbury, Jonathan Franzen, Thomas Mann and Stephen King.
Once derided as the habit of slackers, naps are actually a favorite tactic of workaholics, according to Pang: "Architects Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Kahn, both famous for their obsessive work habits, would nap in the afternoon Thomas Edison's long hours in the laboratory were celebrated (partly thanks to Edison's gift for self-promotion), but he also had a tremendous capacity to fall quickly into a deep, restorative sleep for an hour or two.
Alfred Tate, his personal secretary, called the catnap Edison's 'secret weapon' and declared, 'His genius for sleep equaled his genius for invention.' "If you're ready to budget for naps in 2017 to bolster employee productivity and unleash your team's creative powers, it's a good idea to look for a napping facilities vendor that provides transparency in pricing so that rest facilities can be a predictable expense in the company budget.
Not all napping installations are created equal: Look for a vendor that provides upfront pricing as well as quality gear. Restworks offers complete installation packages, such as The Pod Pair, which includes two napping pods along with noise cancelling headphones and other amenities. The napping pod features a timer, music and a privacy visor.
The Pod Pair is available for purchase at $23,999, for rent at $895 per month or for a three-year lease term at $325 per month with a down payment of $3,900. Other packages include The Wellness Room and The Zen Pack, which each feature a combination of popular equipment, products, technology and services designed to meet diverse space and team needs.
Equipment available in these packages includes napping pods with a timer, music and privacy as well as recliners inspired by NASA's gravity-neutral chaise and massage chairs with intelligent sensor technology. The beginning of a new year isn't just a time for considering budgets and evaluating expenses going forward.
It's a great time to rethink your company's approach to talent management and to assess ways to improve productivity, learning, creativity and employee wellbeing. A new workplace rest policy and facilities can address each of these important areas. No matter where you get your short rest equipment, consider making napping a line item on your 2017 budget.
About the Author
Christopher Lindholst is CEO of Restworks and co-founder of MetroNaps. A pioneer in corporate fatigue management solutions since 2003, Christopher has built a client base and established partnerships on four continents.
Christopher is a frequent speaker at corporations and conferences, where he talks about implementing sleep into corporate well-being programs. An avid napper, having amassed nearly 5,000 naps over his 13-year sleep career, Christopher takes a 14-minute nap every workday afternoon.
Christopher obtained a Bachelor's at Wesleyan University and a Masters in International Business at the Columbia University Business School.