Smart Benefits: Employers Are Okay With Sleeping On The Job

Monday, March 25, 2013


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Innovative companies like Google and Ben and Jerry's see bottom line wisdom in allowing employees some shut-eye during the work day. Should you follow suit?

Tech giant Google may offer round-the-clock service but its workers get to snooze – in the middle of the day. And the company’s not alone. Other big brand like Ben & Jerry’s as well as a growing number of smaller employers are encouraging workplace naps as a way to boost productivity. In fact, a study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation revealed that 34% adults polled are allowed to take workday rest.

The Y Behind the Zzz

Americans today work longer and longer days, and many are sleep deprived. While many of us think that taking care of ourselves only requires good nutrition and increased physical activity, the right amount of sleep can have powerful health benefits as well, including:

  • Reduced stress
  • Improved attention
  • Protection against serious illnesses like heart disease


How Much is Enough?

A workplace nap doesn’t have to be long or detract from an employee’s responsibilities. Experts agree the ideal amount of sleep during the day to feel refreshed and renewed is somewhere between 10-20 minutes. Any more than 30 minutes can cause grogginess.

Pods are Not the Stuff of Movies

While employers may accept the benefits of a short snooze, many don’t know how they’ll accommodate multiple daytime sleepers. The solution: pods.

Thanks to innovation in furniture design and technology, sleek, cocoon-like pods in chair, recliner or bed designs are a great solution for short-term sleeping at work because of a number of features:

  • The sphere shapes are designed with privacy in mind
  • Nappers are shielded from light
  • Many pods include relaxing music
  • Blue light technology slowly awakens the employees
  • The pods can fit into empty office space or be set up in a sleeping lounge atmosphere.


Lying Down Perks Up Workers

Employers who allow employees to nap say these power snoozers show increased alertness, better decision-making, and improved mood. With more employers focused on creating cultures of wellness within their organizations, sleeping on the job may be the wave of the future.


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Amy Gallagher has over 19 years of healthcare industry experience. As Vice President at Cornerstone Group, she advises large employers on long-term cost-containment strategies, consumer-driven solutions and results-driven wellness programs. Amy speaks regularly on a variety of healthcare-related topics, is a member of local organizations like the Rhode Island Business Group on Health, HRM-RI, SHRM, WELCOA, and the Rhode Island Business Healthcare Advisory Council, and participates in the Lieutenant Governor’s Health Benefits Exchange work group of the Health Care Reform Commission.


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