Article courtesy of the Chicago Tribune via “The Rundown”
Sleeping on the job has long been frowned upon, but office napping may finally be climbing out from under the desk.
A small but growing number of businesses are encouraging sleep-deprived employees to grab 40 winks during the workday, providing rooms – or, in some cases, high-tech napping pods – to get the job done right. Benefits include a more productive workforce and, hopefully, the end to stealth sales meeting snoozes.
A third of U.S. adults are not getting the recommended seven hours of sleep per night, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, contributing to a range of problems, including health issues and mistakes at work. Sleep deprivation costs the U.S. $411 billion in annual economic losses, according to a Rand Corp. study, with the equivalent of about 1.23 million working days lost each year due to insufficient sleep.
Cutting-edge businesses like Google have been providing napping spaces for employees for about a decade, but it remains a vaguely guilty endeavor in many workplaces, and a fireable offense in others. In some corporate cultures, being sleep-deprived is a source of pride.
Eastlake Studio, a Chicago architecture and interior design firm that works both with office buildings and individual tenants, is seeing increased demand for designated quiet spaces where napping is a contemplated use.
“They’re just looking for places where people can go get re-energized,” said Tom Zurowski, founding principal of Eastlake. “Certainly that need to just get away from all the noise and maybe take a nap is one of the options they want to provide.”