Office culture has changed significantly over the last two decade or two. Traditionally, offices used to have strict hours, dress codes and a formal or at least semi formal work culture. But all of these have become negotiable today, and companies care way more for their employees than ever before.
Companies have realized that their benefit lies in happy and content employees – the happier the employees are, the more productive they’ll be. Open door policies, working from home, integrating fun routines and group games are just some of the ways companies keep their employees satisfied. In the era of competition, it is very important to retain employees that are valuable to you.
The principle has reached new extremes in recent years with tech giants allowing their employees to nap during office hours and Sweden officially introducing 6 hour work days.
Taking naps at work – How much is too much?
Naps during office hours – the concept raised a lot of eyebrows when it was first introduced a few years back, it sounded counter-intuitive.
Organizations are recognizing the challenges employees face outside of work – such as being a full time dad, or going through a stressful personal issue – and help them maintain a way to take a break without losing productivity in the short run and burning out in the long run.
That’s why the concept stuck with some of the tech and software industry giants and actually proved to increase productivity.
The Trend Varies
As we said, certain industries have embraced this trend more than others – the IT industry for example, has widely got on board with the idea. Many companies have separate napping areas and people keep their own convenient means to sleep handy, for instance air mattresses. Air mattresses in particular are popular because they are easy to use and pack away, but if chosen right they are durable, heavy-duty and built to last even in an office environment.
For example, developers typically keep long hours when on a task and a designated napping space in office allows them to stay mentally fresh.
So, what’s optimal?
It could be a few minutes to as much as half an hour – few organizations do understand that a little bit of napping is essential to boosting the overall productivity levels.
Of course, not everybody likes the idea. The corporate world in large, is still skeptical of it and often views it simply as sleeping on the job. However, as work hours become more stressful, it is inevitable that even the corporate culture will recognize the benefits of having well rested employees.
Making sure it’s done right
Apart from the fact that napping should be done for short periods, it is also important to make it comfortable for the employees for it to have its positive effects. Sleeping on the desk will only cause body pain and discomfort.
A lot of companies and the employees themselves keep air mattresses at their workplace because these are easy to use and make sure your body gets the full rest it deserves. Having a different space where employees can use air mattresses to get power naps encourages them to power down for a period of time. It also prevents employees from staying home from work on days they feel they haven’t been able to catch enough sleep. It therefore keeps employees not only productive and content, but also more consistent.
If you are the manager – a few tips on choosing the best air mattress for a work environment
Let’s take a look at a few rules of thumb to follow when choosing an air mattress:
- Go with a reputable brand that has a history of quality (some of the established brands of air mattresses include: Intex, SoundAsleep, Coleman, Insta, etc.)
- Consider the size: every airbed includes dimensions in the fact sheet, so make sure you read it before deciding if it’s the right fit for your space
- Consider the height – you can choose between a high-rise and low-rise, with the high-rise usually being the superior option in terms of comfort
- Make sure the product has stood the test of time – to make sure you are getting the biggest band for your buck, do a bit of research and see what other users are saying in their reviews of the bed. Browse through the recent reviews to make sure there aren’t any red lights in terms of quality changes
The point is, well-planned work rest (both in terms of how often and how long you do it and choosing the right beds) can have nice, refreshing impact on office atmosphere and (in the long run) a significant boost on productivity.
A good confirmation of the good old, “Sometimes, less is more.”
The topic of sleep during office hours seems to be one of those times.