Why sleeping at work could actually make you better at your job?

02 Sep Why sleeping at work could actually make you better at your job?

One topic that can be controversial for some people is the opportunity to get a nap in the workplace.  In the economy field, some people want employees to be alert, not just active; to be engaged, not just present.

In past times, the employee was evaluated based on his/her inputs. Nowadays, it is based on his/her outputs. Therefore, people need to be focused on producing the highest quality outputs possible.

It is also true that we are in an epidemic of exhaustion and Jamie Gruman, Professor of Organizational Behaviour of the University of Guelph, describes in his article that “according to the National Safety Council in the United States, almost 70 per cent of employees are tired at work. This level of fatigue is estimated to cost US$410 billion annually in societal expenses. As I discuss in my latest book Boost: The science of recharging yourself in an age of unrelenting demands, healthy adults need between seven to nine hours of sleep a night, but many of us don’t get enough shut eye”.

This lack of sleep can cause daytime sleepiness and tiredness resulting no only in reduction of the concentration in basic activities, but it could be related to a dangerous one, such as risk of dozing while driving.

In this world with the advances in technology and everyone having access to smartphones and mobile phones, Professor Jamie says that employees can now be contacted any time of the day or night, on or off the job. Research shows that 84 per cent of employees report having to be available after hours at least some of the time. This essentially puts employees “on call.” And guess what happens when people are on call? They don’t sleep as well.

We know that naps improve performance. Naps as short as 10 to 30 minutes can increase alertness, reduce fatigue, and improve performance. Not only that, but recent research suggest that napping may be as effective as drugs at reducing blood pressure, so organizations that implement napping policies may save on health-care costs.  Many companies, such as Ben & Jerry’s, Zappos and Nike, allow employees to nap at work.  Professor Gruman believes this trend represents the workplace of the future.


Jamie Gruman, Why sleeping at work could actually make you better at your job. World Economic Forum. Available online: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/04/if-youre-not-sleeping-at-work-you-should-be-fired/ Consulted April 12 2019.