Afternoon Nap = An Office Perk?

Its 3 PM and I needed to speak to a friend of mine who is also the CEO of a small firm. So I decided to call her.
“Trrrrng.. Trrrrng.. Trrrrng” Her phone rang..
No response..

10 mins later I called again
“Trrrrng.. Trrrrng.. Trrrrng” Her phone rang..
No response..

20 mins later I called again
“Trrrrng..” .. and “Hi.. ” she said in a groggy voice
“Hope I am not disturbing you” I said
“Nah.. I just woke up” she said
“Woke up? Are you not at work” I asked
“I am.. Just that I am up from my afternoon siesta” she said
“Wow.. Super cool.. How do you manage to sleep at work?” I asked
“Its my office perk. Something I’ve entitled myself to as the CEO. One of the small benefits of being the CEO :)” she said

Increasingly I find a lot of working professionals snoozing off at work post-lunch. The reasons are manifold – Excess stress in life, Not enough sleep at home, Children demanding time and attention way into the night, Spouse demanding time and attention way into the night, Friends / Girlfriend / Boyfriend demanding time and attention way into the night, Excessive TV watching, Conference calls at odd hours, etc etc etc – Whatever be the cause, the effect is this – They SNOOZE off at work!

Initially, my reaction was “How can you sleep at work?”.. But then as I read about this subject, I was surprised to find an impressive list of individuals who integrated an afternoon nap into their every day work life. The list includes the likes of Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, Bill Clinton, Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, Johannes Brahms, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Edison, President John F. Kennedy, John D. Rockefeller, Napoleon Bonaparte, President Ronald Reagan, Salvador Dali, etc. This article on The Napping Habits of 8 Famous Men is worth a read.

According to an article in The Guardian, an afternoon nap is good for you as it helps lower your blood pressure. I also read that an afternoon nap helps improve your concentration, creativity and productivity. All very compelling reasons to indulge in it. One of the best articles on this subject was by Michael Hyatt on Why you should take a nap everyday?

I can’t help but end with a few questions for leaders of organizations:
* The point is if it is so good, and has so many benefits, should organizations institutionalize it?
* How can an organization make it easy for employees to practice it on a daily basis?
* Even if they do, how will they monitor it?
* How can you ensure that employees do not misuse this?
* How do you know if your employees are not sleeping for 3 hours?

Definitely things to ponder about….

What’s your view? Should an Afternoon Nap be made an Office Perk? Leave a comment to let me know


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