Many employers are starting to offer workplace napping to increase employees’ quality of life and productivity. From professional athletic organizations to tech companies to hospitals, businesses are increasingly providing a space for daytime sleep. According to a Pew Research Center poll, one-third of those making six figures or more said their workplace allows napping.
Much of this is due to recent research demonstrating the benefits of catching a bit of shut-eye during the work day. This study by Jessica Stillman shows that workplace napping reduces stress, boosts memory, and beats caffeine for improving performance. Another study by the National Sleep Foundation found that napping increases alertness while reducing mistakes.
But becoming too casual about napping at work could cause the experiment to backfire. If we all follow a few rules to respect our colleagues and employers, it’s more likely to be a successful experiment for your organizational culture.
1. Don’t take advantage of a great perk
They’re nap pods, not let-me-get-a-quick-10-hours-in pods. Use them when you need them, enjoy your 30 minutes of solitude and rest, then get back to doing your job. Be sure to set an alarm to wake yourself up — and don’t hit the snooze button 10 times.
2. Remember why you’re napping
Your employer may have spent up to $13,000 on a single nap pod according to Sleep Review. Or they’ve set aside an entire room specifically for napping. Their priority is to boost productivity in the long term and to give a little boost to overworked employees. They didn’t spend a significant chunk of their budget so you could snooze off a hangover.
3. Keep it neat and tidy
Don’t drool on the pillow. Or mess up the sheets. Or leave behind your sleep mask. If you’re sick, don’t sneeze or cough all over the nap pod — the last thing anyone wants is for it to be a germ conduit.
In general, you should keep the nap pod as neat and professional as a workplace sleeping area can be. It’s essentially a public space, so don’t ruin it for others.
4. Keep it quiet
If you like to fall asleep to music, make sure it’s soothing and not distracting to coworkers. And if you’re a snorer, gets some Breathe Right strips to remedy the problem. Remember that you’re in a work space and act accordingly.
5. Use sparingly
“Oh, it’s 2:30? Great, I’ve got my daily 40 winks ahead of me. If anybody calls, tell ’em I’m passed out.”
Don’t be that person! You don’t need a nap every single day. Use it when you’re struggling to stay awake and want to avoid drinking that third or fourth cup of coffee. Use it if your newborn baby kept you up half the night. Use it if you have a big presentation and need a pick-me-up. But don’t abuse it.
Allowing workplace napping is one way businesses are recognizing the importance of work-life balance. By following a few rules, you can help your employer not regret that decision.