Don’t be afraid of consultants sleeping on the job

Could installing business hammocks be the key to boosting sales at your agency?

The idea’s not a new one – Homer Simpson suggested it to his then boss Hank Scorpio in a mid 90s episode of The Simpsons. And it turns out businesses could benefit from Homer’s idea as new research from the National Sleep Foundation reveals naps of 20-30 minutes actually make for a more productive workforce.

In fact, the NSF claim loss of sleep could be costing the UK £40bn a year and so office products supplier Brother UK investigated eight sleeping customs from around the world.

China – Bring your bedroom to work

In factories and offices across China, the lines between bedroom and workspace are becoming increasingly blurred. Due to longer working hours, many employers now advocate a short nap after lunchtime to increase concentration. Certain offices have even installed temporary or permanent sleeping and washing facilities in their office spaces to encourage employees to stay round the clock.

Japan – Inemuri

Taking a nap at work could well be perceived as a sign of laziness or a poor attitude, but not in Japan. The hectic lifestyle of Japan’s city dwellers has led to the wide-scale uptake of ‘inemuri’, or ‘sleeping while present’. Thanks to inemuri, Japanese workers can nap on public transport, at their desk or even during meetings – and it’s commonly seen as a sign of hard work.

Spain – Siesta

Originating in Spain and parts of Latin America, the siesta is perhaps one of the most well-known daytime snoozing traditions across the globe. This practice might be under threat, however, with new business laws introduced in 2016 limiting how late employees can work, and effectively reducing the time they have to squeeze in an afternoon nap.

Italy – Riposo

Where the Spanish have a siesta, the Italians have ‘riposo’. Commonly taking place after lunch, riposo can last anywhere from 2-4 hours. Frustratingly for tourists, this means that many attractions are closed throughout the day. Unfortunately, the non-stop pace of modern industry means that fewer and fewer office workers are able to benefit from a midday snooze.

Nordic countries – Napping outside

Take a stroll through Oslo, Helsinki or any other Nordic city or town, and you might well see some infants taking a nap in temperatures as low as -5 deg C. Don’t worry, they haven’t been abandoned; sleeping outdoors in the daytime is actually believed to be very good for their health. Could office workers take some inspiration to increase their productivity?

Indonesia – Fear sleep

Stresses of work getting you down? The ominously named ‘fear sleep’ might be the solution. Locally referred to as ‘todoet poeles’ – the practice of fear sleep enables people to nod off instantly to avoid feelings of excessive anxiety and stress. Nodding off when your boss walks in might not be the best solution, but regular naps could well help avoid work-related worry.

Botswana – Sleeping on your own schedule

You should sleep when it’s dark, correct? Not quite. At least, not in Botswana. The country’s native Kung hunter-gatherer tribe are well known for sleeping only when tired, regardless of the time of day. With an increased uptake of flexi-time, rise in self-chosen hours and growth of contract-based work, could businesses be embracing the way of the Kung sooner than we think?

The US – Silicon Valley sleepers

Though it’s not a national custom just yet, sleeping on the job is widely being embraced by some of the US’s biggest employers. Technology and software companies are leading the napping revolution, with firms like Google going so far as to have purpose-built sleeping pods installed in their offices to help employees rest and refresh.

• Comment below on this story. You can also tweet us to tell us your thoughts or share this story with a friend. Our editorial email is [email protected]

Hospitality recruiters merge in fragmented sector

Hospitality recruitment agencies Evolve Hospitality Recruitment and Collins King & Associates have merged.

Contracts 20 November 2020

Red Diamond headhunts two top health and beauty executives

Carol Mosby of Red Diamond Executive Headhunters has made a double appointment with a health and beauty product manufacturer.

Contracts 20 November 2020

Government consults recruiters on proposal to ban movement of care home temps

Recruiters have until midday next Monday [23 November] to respond to a government consultation launched last Friday [13 November] on a proposal to ban temporary staff from moving between care homes.

18 November 2020

New beginnings for Serocor in MBO by trio

Three members of the management team of STEM recruiter Serocor have completed a buy-out of the group, according to a company statement.

18 November 2020
Top