- Dr. Eric Carlsen
Innovative Sleep Company Creates an Employee “Right to Nap” Policy
A sleep company based in India went viral when it announced a ‘right to nap’ policy. In the past, sleeping at work seemed lazy, but companies encourage it nowadays. Thankfully, businesses have realized that well-rested workers make happier, more productive employees. And, in our overstressed world, a nap serves as a way to slow down and recharge.
Wakefit, a sleep goods company that manufactures mattresses and pillows established its new sleep policy in May 2022. The company blocked out 30 minutes from 2 pm to 2:30 pm, instructing workers to rest. Most people only dream of getting paid to sleep, but this company made it a reality!
It also comes as welcome news since around 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep problems, according to the CDC. Wakefit co-founder Chaitanya Ramalingegowda said that the company had been in the sleep business for six years. However, they had overlooked an important part of their employees’ health: the afternoon nap.
So, the company decided to rectify this and ensure no work gets done in the 30-minute rest period. While they’ve always encouraged employees to rest, they had never established a mandated nap time before. Now, Wakefit’s roughly 1,500 employees can benefit from the daily rest period penciled into their calendars.
Research Shows How Napping Increases Productivity
Research shows that afternoon napping can improve focus, productivity, memory, and innovation. In fact, a NASA study discovered that pilots who took a 26-minute nap had 54% improved alertness. They also showed 34% increased job performance compared to pilots who didn’t rest.
Ramalingegowda also cited a study conducted by Harvard University and Harvard Medical School, which analyzed participants performing visual perception tasks in four 60-minute intervals. Some participants took naps between 30 minutes and one hour after the second session.
Researchers found that participants who took half-hour naps maintained their performance throughout the sessions. However, the volunteers who took one-hour naps showed even more enhanced productivity.
‘Right to Nap’ Policy A Hit Among Wakefit Employees
Before the pandemic, naps at work were practically unheard of and not considered by most employers. However, when remote work became more popular during lockdowns, employees learned the benefit of daytime naps.
They made time for a quick snooze between calls or meetings with more flexible schedules. This allowed them to recharge during the day and restore their focus for the afternoon.
Wakefit’s right to nap policy comes almost a year after the company encouraged employees to take weekend naps. The company cited that naps could help reduce fatigue, increase alertness, boost mood and improve productivity.
Wakefit aims to create a perfect sleep environment for its employees in the office. The company started building cozy sleep pods and carving out quiet areas in its offices devoted strictly to naps.
Wakefit said in a statement: “An afternoon nap is instrumental in helping the body recharge and refocuses on the task at hand, thus improving workplace productivity and motivation. Conversations around afternoon naps became predominant with the advent of work-from-home, and companies are slowly but steadily realizing its importance.”
Wakefit Employees Love the Innovative Napping Policy
Prateek Malpani, Brand Head at Wakefit, posted Ramalingegowda’s email to his LinkedIn account. He praised the nap policy in the caption, which read:
“Hahaha! What just happened. Quite truly walking the talk. This is for REAL. We just announced official nap time. I can proudly say I am getting paid to sleep at work!”
Ramalingegowda said that after announcing the right to nap policy, he received an overwhelmingly positive response from employees. This surprised him and other executives as they didn’t think it would have such an impact. He added that the policy helped employees who use public transit since they have to wake up earlier.
Additionally, he said that many employees had praised the company on social media. This encourages them to continue their quest to optimize employee health and advocate for their workers.
Other companies that allow and urge employees to nap include Google, Uber, Zappos, Huffington Post, Facebook, and even Ben & Jerry’s! Perhaps the most well-known for its nap-friendly policies is Google, where you can find sleeping pods in employee lounges. The pods have a privacy visor, built-in speakers, and a programmed nap setting.
Credit: Kristen Lawrence is a Staff Writer at Power of Positivity since 2014.