The Future of The Workplace Includes Plenty of Nap Pods
Josephine Walters | Sept. 8, 2015
Mid-day naps aren’t just for kids. We all experience the need for a daytime nap every now and then, so why fight it? Health, productivity, and revenue can benefit from well-rested employees.
According to research by the National Sleep Foundation, almost half of Americans say that lack of sleep affected their daily activities. In addition to health, lack of sleep hurts company revenues; costing U.S companies $63 billion a year in lost productivity, according to a September 2011 study from the Journal of Sleep.
Sleep is a necessity to maintained health and work ethic and, as we’ve all been told, 7-9 hours is what we need daily. Snoozing for short periods of time (20-30 minutes) during the day can also help in satisfying our sleep requirement.
Napping helps you regain concentration, boosting productivity. Health benefits include the reduction of anxiety and depression through the reduction of cortisol levels, a hormone known to raise your blood sugar level.
Today there are companies that encourage napping in the workplace. Ariana Huffington, co-founder of Huffington Post became an active advocate of sleep after collapsing from exhaustion one night at her desk. The Huffington Post New York City office has two designated napping rooms. “Increasingly, companies are realizing that their employees’ health is one of the most important predictors of the companies health, as well,” writes Huffington in her latest book Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder.
The number of employers encouraging rest through on-site napping spaces is growing and is now at 6%. Here are a few of those companies:
Uber’s San Francisco headquarters includes nap rooms designed under the supervision of principal Denise Cherry of Studio O + A, an interior design firm.
“For Uber, a company known for regulatory battles, we were tasked with creating a room built for maximum efficiency—a room so built for work that no one would need to leave,” says Cherry. “This included a living room space, a kitchenette, and, of course, small focus rooms that double as nap rooms.”
Google’s Mountain View California headquarters boasts nap pods, complimentary food and drinks, and shower rooms.
This online shoe retailer’s Las Vegas headquarters has EnergyPod chairs, massage chairs, regular wellness fairs, as well as on-site health screenings.
Capital One Labs
Capital One Labs was one of the award winners of World’s Coolest Offices 2014 for a reason. The San Francisco office is a bright space with sleeping nooks connected to the ground by ladders and support beams.
Ben & Jerry’s
The Burlington, Vermont-based ice-cream company was one of the earliest adopters of napping in the workplace and has had an office nap room for over a decade.
“The room itself is really part of the larger corporate culture here and the company’s belief that a happy employee is a productive employee,” a spokesperson told the BBC.
Price waterhouse Coopers was another early adopter of nap pods.
“A lot of companies are realizing that good performance needs a balance of healthy eating, resting, and focusing,” says Stefan Camenzind, CEO of Evolution Design. Evolution Design is the design firm that has been responsible for PwC’s 50,000 square foot offices in Basel.
“Most people are told that the harder you work, the longer you work, the better it is,” Camenzind adds. “That’s not sustainable, and that’s probably also not true. It’s about smart working, and that means you need to recharge. In this context, nap rooms become more and more important.”
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