For most people, sleeping on the job is generally frowned on. But evidence is mounting that an afternoon nap is a perfect cure for the post-lunch lull. Some of the top companies in the world - like Google, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, Zappos and more are bringing in "nap pods" or to their offices for their employees, and are seeing improved productivity in return.
Sleepiness Affects Work
We've all been there. After a long day - you wake up early to get the kids ready for school, head to work where you are swamped - you're tired and maybe not thinking as clearly as you should. It's only 3 o'clock, but you're yawning already and having trouble focusing. If you're tired, you cannot perform at your best. This is not as uncommon as you think.
According to the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 38 percent or American employees experienced "low levels of energy, poor sleep or a feeling of fatigue" during the past two weeks at work.The problems of fatigue extend beyond lost productivity, sleep deprivation can lead to increased accidents and health problems.
Besides problems like automobile accidents -sleep deprivation is responsible for an estimated 100,000 auto accidents a year - fatigue was a factor in some of the largest man-made disasters in recent memory including the Exxon Valdez oil spill and the Chernobyl disasters.
Chronic sleep deprivation can also increase your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure stroke, and diabetes.To help combat these issues, employers are beginning to take sleep seriously, and taking a nap at work is not the firing offense it once was.
Nap Pods on the Rise
Essentially, a nap pod is a comfortable chair, with some sort of visor or door to block out outside light and minimize distractions.
A leader in creating these pods is Metronaps maker of The EnergyPod, a self-contained sleep pod that provides comfort, gentle music and innovative technology to make a unique nap experience. We at Corporate Wellness Magazine got to try one of the pods (the sci-fi looking bed seen above) in our own offices, and are impressed with both its design and function.
The ergonomic design elevates your legs and relaxes your lower back, with is perfect for someone like me who sits at a desk all day. The interface and built-in speakers that play a specifically composed song to drown out the background noise and ensure you get a restful, 20-minute nap.
We find that our employees who use it are more productive, especially at the end of the day, and are generally in a better mood than their nap-less colleagues. As employers continue to see the benefits of sleeping on the job, they will continue to take advantage of nap pods. Pods like Metronap's EnergyPod provide comfort, a relaxing atmosphere and innovative technology to create a unique nap environment for employees to thrive.