Workplace Siestas and Their Benefits
Many adults seem to think that once you get past five, naps are no longer needed. After all, only children take naps. Once you get into grammar school, you go all day long without taking any breaks. Why should that change once you’re an adult?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, many Americans aren’t getting the seven to nine hours of recommended nightly sleep, and that is costing the workplace money. The 2011 issue of Journal of Sleep puts the amount at a staggering $63 billion a year. To help combat the problems of low performance and higher risks of injury due to lack of sleep, some innovative companies have introduced “Nap Rooms” and encourage all their employees, from the upper echelons to the lowest levels, to take advantage of these rooms for much needed power naps.
The benefits the companies have reaped have made it worth their while. The employees have increased alertness and focus and much better moods. Some health benefits have also been proven by medical studies. Getting sufficient rest decreases the risks of diabetes, strokes, and heart disease. Before “Nap Rooms” started to make their way onto the scene, employees tried to keep themselves alert by drinking tons of caffeine. Science Direct performed a study comparing the benefits of caffeine to the benefits of a nap, and the nap came away as better increasing the individual’s thought processes, motor skills, and memory.
The question then arises, how long should the nap be to get the most out of it? NASA has found that a 26-minute nap gives the best results. It will increase productivity by 34% and alertness by 54%. Sleeping longer than 30 minutes places your body into deep sleep, and you will awaken sluggish and groggy.
To successfully encourage your employees to take a nap, setting up the appropriate environment is important. An actual “Nap Room” that is dedicated to getting some rest is a must. This room should be a judgment-free zone. Remember, those who are using it will give back more work and better quality work. The inside of the room doesn’t need to be fancy. Darkness and quiet are necessary for the body to shut down. Hammocks, recliners, or couches are also needed. If you want to be high-tech, you can get “napping pods” instead. These have individual
visors and play music for those who recline in them.
Take on the challenge to be on the cutting edge. The fields of fraud prevention, financial crimes, anti-money laundering, and ID theft protection are stressful and demanding enough. Giving your employees a place to shut down and recharge will place you on par with other companies like Google, Uber, Ben & Jerry’s, and PwC. The power nap may become the secret to your company’s success.
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