Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

Hit Snooze: Is Napping Good for Company Culture?

Are your workers lagging and sluggish? This might sound crazy, but encouraging a little napping on the job might be the answer.

More companies — from Google to online newspaper The Huffington Post — are embracing naps as an attractive perk of the company culture. Moreover, these naps are actually helping the companies keep employees productive and working hard.

With many employees logging more hours in the office, it should come as no surprise that sweet dreams have taken a hit. Employees working on too little sleep are often less productive than their well-rested counterparts. It’s also easier for these sleep-deprived employees to make mistakes.

Your company can’t afford to be cleaning up the mess of grouchy, tired employees when a little nap might just brighten their attitude and your company culture. So it should come as little surprise more organizations are embracing employee naps.

A 2011 study by the Society for Human Resource Management showed 6 percent of companies had a dedicated nap room. Meanwhile 34 percent of responders to a National Sleep Foundation survey said their employers allowed them to nap in the office.

So should you allow your workers to start napping at work? Here are some reasons why you might want to consider it:

Good for Company Culture
The reason many companies have allowed their employees to hit the snooze button is because they know giving naps the rubber stamp of approval can really add to the company culture. Creating an attractive company culture is one way companies of all sizes and varieties lure in the top talent they need to keep growing their organization.

Allowing naps in the office says the company is laid back and realizes the value of their employees. The company would rather have their employees take a short nap on office time and come back fully charged than sleepwalk through the day like corporate zombies. This establishes a caring company culture, and great candidates want to work for equally great companies. Who knew napping could actually be a sound recruitment strategy?

Great for Productivity
The number-one reason to consider letting your workers get in some shut-eye is because it can greatly increase their productivity. A study found pilots who napped for an average of 26 minutes were actually 54 percent more alert and their performance improved by 34 percent. Not bad for a half hour worth of counting sheep!

When workers are so tired they can’t keep their eyes open, they can’t truly focus on the tasks at hand. You might lose a bit of productivity time as your worker naps or hops into a sleep pod, but what you’ll gain is increased job performance. Better yet, creativity suffers when workers are under the gun and tired. With a little rest and relaxation, employees can come back to the job with new perspectives and insights to share.

But Make Sure You Get the Timing Right!
Still, you don’t want workers to nap the day away. This is why it’s best for napping workers to sleep for an average of 15 to 20 minutes, and not much more. In fact, there’s even an ideal time of day to get in these power naps: from 1 to 3 p.m. in the afternoon. Any other time of day and your workforce risks messing with their natural sleep cycle.

It might seem crazy, and certainly outside-the-box, but allowing your employees to sleep on the job might actually be the best business decision you can make. While they’re counting sheep, you’ll be counting cash thanks to your workers’ increased productivity.

What do you think? Is napping in the office good for company culture? Share your thoughts in the comments!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Relaxing Music.

Heather Huhman

Heather R. Huhman is the Career & Recruiting Advisor for Spark Hire. She writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets, and is the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle (2011), and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010).