Sleeping on the Job? Now That’s a Workforce Trend I Can Get Into

Photo by istockphoto.com.
Photo by istockphoto.com.

The older I get, the more I appreciate trends like this: According to Inc. magazine, more and more businesses are allowing (and even encouraging) workers to nap on the job.

According to the magazine, “For some, it’s a company perk akin to gym membership, or free lunch.”

Perks like that are what separate smart, forward-thinking organizations from those who just think they’re the innovative ones, and it’s a trend I can see growing since it is very low cost, high reward.

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Still, napping employees can be a management challenge. Once I had to go find one of my reporters who was sleeping outside in his car at 9:30 in the morning — when his shift started at 9 am. Needless to say, that’s not the kind of “napping” perk you’ll find too many companies offering. So, take a read of this story and let me know if this is a perk you can see YOUR organization embracing:

Years ago, Craig Yarde, founder of Yarde Metals in Bristol, CT, noticed his employees—who work in three manufacturing shifts, 24-hours a day — napping on the job. So when he built a new office space in 1995, he threw in a nap room, with couches.

“People thought we were just completely nuts,” recalls Yarde. “Even some of my employees said ‘What are you doing?'” Fifteen years later, Yarde Metals has grown to nearly 700 employees, with $500 million in annual revenue and locations up and down the east coast—each with its own dedicated napping room.

“Without a question, [naps] improve productivity,” Yarde says. “It’s funny how these things go. It went from being totally ridiculous to being cutting edge now.”

Office naptime is zonking workplaces across the country. OnSwipe, a software shop in Manhattan facilitates napping at an office “den,” as does Pontiflex, a mobile app ad start-up in Brooklyn; Jawa, a mobile app maker in Scottsdale, AZ; and 42 Inc., an information technology consultant in Berkeley, CA. Big-name players like Google and Ben & Jerry’s endorse napping. NASA has teamed up with the National Space Biomedical Research Institute and 91 volunteers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine to teach astronauts how to nap better during long missions. For some, it’s a company perk akin to gym membership, or free lunch.”

For the rest of the story, click here. 

John Hollon is Editor-at-Large at ERE Media and was the founding Editor of TLNT.com. A longtime newspaper, magazine, and business journal editor, John has deep roots in the talent management space. He's the former Editor of Workforce Management magazine and workforce.com, served as Editor of RecruitingDaily, and was Vice President for Content at HR technology firm Checkster. An award-winning journalist, John has written extensively about HR, talent management, leadership, and smart business practices, including for the popular Fistful of Talent blog. Contact him at johnhollon@ere.net, connect with him on LinkedIn, or follow him on Twitter @johnhollon.

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