Sleeping on the job will no longer be grounds for a stern talking-to or firing if this company has anything to say about it.
Napwell, the creators of the "World's First Napping Mask," is behind a petition on Change.org to "change the culture around workplace napping." "Many U.S. companies have employee codes of conduct that include specific clauses prohibiting sleeping on the job," the petition reads. "They fail to consider the mounting evidence that links naps with improved mental function and employee well-being."
The petition is Napwell's attempt to engage companies and employees in an ongoing conversation about the importance of sleep to a healthy workforce. Napwell plans to ask the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to come out in support of "smarter policies around workplace napping," which include allowing and encouraging employees to rest during breaks at the office.
It makes sense that a company devoted to improving the quality of naps would take up this cause, but Napwell co-founder Neil Joglekar told Beta Boston that the nap petition was inspired by comments from their Kickstarter backers (the sleeping mask was fully funded on the site). Customers said their bosses wouldn't let them use their Napwell on the job, because “[they] don’t want … employees to look like they’re not being productive," Joglekar said.
But, as Napwell pointed out in its petition, leading companies such as Nike and the Huffington Post offer nap rooms or nap pods for staffers to get some rest. (Napwell is a more personalized version of a nap pod, featuring an internal light that gradually brightens to wake you up gently.)
The petition, which so far has 128 signers, is the latest shot fired for employers to help their employees improve their work-life balance. With the non-stop demands of jobs and home, sleep is usually the first thing to go—even though research has found it does wonders for productivity. In a NASA study on pilot fatigue, one researcher found that "pilots who were allowed to take a short nap (40 to 45 minutes) improved their performance by 34 percent and their alertness by 54 percent," according to WebMD.
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