16 March 2018
What would your boss do if you took a nap halfway through the working day?
Ariana Huffington once said: “Burnt out people make stupid decisions.” I couldn’t agree more. Sleep is essential. We make better decisions when we’re well rested. Our brains function better. Our mood is lighter.
In her TED Talk Ariana notes the competition between professionals about who can survive off the least amount of sleep. Sleepless nights have almost become a status symbol, a badge of honour, particularly with men.
In reality, we’re far more productive when we’re rested and focussed.
Did you know that the average Brit misses out on an entire night’s worth of sleep each week? Only 8% of us wake up every morning feeling genuinely well-rested, and one fifth of GP appointments focus on feeling tired.
Back in 2016, Rand Europe found that sleep deprivation costs the UK economy an astonishing £40billion per year, thanks to the issues with productivity, focus and physical and mental health caused by a lack of sleep.
So why do we brag about missing sleep?
Today is World Sleep Day, and it should be an opportunity to have a good night’s rest, a nap or generally just to take some time for yourself. We all need to switch off, put down our phones and wind down. It’s incredibly important for both physical and mental health.
Offering workers the time and space to nap when they need to could be a part of that approach; accepting that a productive, focussed worker napping for 20 minutes then working for seven hours could be better than a tired worker slogging away for the full day without pause.
That’s why we designed and built a room filled with sleep pods, away from the busy office floor. A space that’s warm with low light and so many soft furnishings. Somewhere to completely switch off and rest. They’re used by teammates who are working a long shift to complete a project (we’ve tried sending them home – it doesn’t work!). The pods are perfect for new parents who are having sleepless nights with their little ones. Equally, it’s a space for someone who’s just not getting the rest they need. They’re incredibly valuable.
The responsibility is very much shared between the person and the business. Business leaders need to limit the amount of work their teams take home with them and reduce their stress levels while they are in the office – free yoga sessions, an office gym and spaces to zone out.
Would you ever sleep on the job?