Napping is Coming to the Workplace
Do you get 7-9 hours of rest each night? Did you know that adequate sleep helps you lose weight, reduce sick days, and improves memory and learning? In Dr. Robert Lustig's 2017 book, The Hacking of the American Mind, he says naps can improve cognitive function. But American workers don't take naps. We swig caffeine or energy drinks, which worsen our chances for restful sleep. Even if we wanted to nap, there's no place to do so in peace.
Thanks to MetroNaps, organizations like NASA are now providing nap pods for fatigued workers and seeing the benefits from these popular perks. A Google VP claims “no workplace is complete without a nap pod.” The Huffington Post Media Group says its nap rooms are overbooked.
And now that furniture brands (Designtex + West Elm) have partnered to bring resimercial design to the workplace, this could be the next trend in adding home-like comforts to workplaces.
Twelve years ago while on a trip to Vietnam, I visited a friend at the public hospital where she worked as a dermatologist. As we strolled out for lunch, her two office mates pulled out camping cots and place them on the cool tile floor next to their desks. They promptly tapped off the overhead lights and laid down for their daily siestas. I remember admiring that perk and wishing I could do the same back in America (sometimes at work I was so tired I napped in the bathroom).
EnergyPods from MetroNaps are a good start, but they have a long way to go. For starters, they look like a cross between a dentist chair (not a good connotation) and a hair salon dryer. And they're made for back sleepers only. But what's really unappealing is the hard plastic material. We can definitely do better. I hope brands like Herman Miller will take up the design challenge.
What about you? Have you sneaked out to your car to get some winks? And would you take naps at work if you had the option? I'd love to hear what you think of this emerging trend.