It’s a scene you might not expect to find in a modern office: tucked away in a hidden corner, an employee grabs a quick nap, hoping not to be discovered. But is it ever acceptable to #SleepWhereYouWork?
The Case for Workplace Napping
The modern work environment has evolved, as have the demands placed on employees. With the lines between personal and professional lives blurring, particularly in the age of telecommuting, more employees find themselves working irregular hours, juggling family commitments and battling constant fatigue. This is where the appeal of catching a few minutes of shut-eye at work comes in.
Leadership perspectives are quite mixed. On the one hand, managers demand peak performance and productivity from their teams. An employee sleeping on the job might initially appear as the antithesis of this. A 2018 audit highlighted a Department of Motor Vehicles worker whose daily three-hour nap led to £31,000 in lost productivity over four years.
However, other cultures offer a contrasting viewpoint. In Japan, the act of inemuri or catnapping at work is seen as a testament to an employee’s dedication – an indication that they have worked to the point of exhaustion. The likes of Elon Musk might nod in approval at such a sentiment.
Considering a Nap? Keep These in Mind
Should you be contemplating a workplace siesta, here are some guidelines to ensure it doesn’t backfire:
- Occasional Napping: Firstly, ensure that it isn’t a routine occurrence. A nap here and there might fly under the radar, but regularly clocking out could draw negative attention and impact your productivity.
- Choose Your Spot Wisely: Popular options include isolated office toilets, the nurse’s sofa, the gym (disguised as meditation) or even the prayer room. However, don’t be so elusive as to trigger concerns about your whereabouts.
- Avoid Sleep Traps: If you don’t want to end up as office banter, ensure you’re not resting on objects that might leave an impression on your face. Forego the Sharpie for more face-friendly surfaces.
- Trust in a Colleague: Inform a trusted colleague about your nap location and duration. It’s always helpful to have someone watch your back, in case of unforeseen circumstances or accidental disturbances.
The #SleepWhereYouWork trend offers insight into the changing dynamics of workplaces worldwide. While there are merits to rejuvenating oneself for peak productivity, there’s also a thin line that separates rest from laxity. For those treading this path, discretion, understanding the company culture, and ensuring it doesn’t affect overall productivity are key. After all, a quick nap can be refreshing, but it’s essential to remember why we’re at work in the first place.