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Time vs. Money: Napping in the Workplace

napping in the workplace

Let’s face it, folks. Mornings are tough for most people.

Odds are, you hit the snooze button at least once this morning and if you had enough time to make an actual breakfast, you’re lucky.

You get to the office and spend all morning kicking back cups of coffee, trying to get in the groove.  You work up an appetite, eat a burrito for lunch and by 1pm you’re in desperate need of a nap.

Well, what if your employer not only allowed you to take a nap, but actually encouraged it?

Believe it or not, naptime isn’t just for kindergarteners. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fatigued workers have trouble concentrating and are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and depression. In 1995, a NASA study found that a 26-minute nap improved performance 34 percent and alertness 54 percent. To combat this fatigue, companies (such as Nike, Deloitte Consulting and Google) are creating designated napping areas in the workplace and offering them to workers. This trend peaked our interest, so we decided to include it in our Time vs. Money survey to see how our sample of 1,024 working adults would react.

 

napping in the workplace

 

Not all Americans would take advantage of having a nap in the workplace, but Millennials are on board.

According to our survey results, Americans are split between those who would take a nap during the day (48 percent) and those who would not (49 percent). Interestingly, Americans were much more likely to decline a nap because they didn’t need it (42 percent), as opposed to being concerned about what management would think (7 percent). But, while Americans in general are undecided when it comes to napping on the job, Millennials are up for a power nap. Nearly 6 in 10 Millennials (56 percent) would take a nap during the workday, compared with 47 percent of Gen X and 44 percent of Boomers. To dig further into workplace napping, we asked our sample of workers which places, if any, they’ve taken a nap at work. Four in 10 (39 percent) of Americans have taken a nap while at work, most commonly in their car (18 percent) or in their office chair (16 percent).

Tired and can’t take a nap?

Odds are, this trend hasn’t hit your office yet. If that’s the case, how can you make it through the day without crashing? American workers are logging longer hours than ever before, and with mobile technology it’s hard to ever truly clock-out for the day. If naptime isn’t an option in your workplace, here are a few tips to keep you awake and productive.

  • Bring your headphones

Listening to music is an almost guaranteed way to perk up. Music triggers emotions, waking up different parts of the brain.  Bob your head, sing along (not too loud) and tap your foot. All of these little movements will help wake you up! While it’s common for sleepy workers to turn on loud music, research has shown that listening to quiet, soft music is actually more effective. If your music is too loud, you’ll focus more on the music and less on your work.

  • Go outside.

This seems pretty self-explanatory, but expose yourself to some bright light and fresh air! Your internal clock is regulated by sunlight. Get to work when it’s dark? Leave when it’s dark, too? You might be throwing off your circadian rhythms. Even looking out the window can help make you feel more awake. Consider taking your lunch or cup of coffee outside.

  • Smell the coffee.

Scents can make you alert very quickly. Remember that one time you forgot to take the trash out before you went to work? As soon as we smell something pungent (good or bad), we instantly feel a rush to the nervous system. While caffeine in coffee can be one way to wake up, studies have shown that even just smelling the coffee can wake you up. Peppermint and rosemary scents could also help, so using lotions or candles could be just the pick-me-up you need.

  • Get moving.

As we mentioned in our previous post, onsite gyms are becoming popular with employers. If you have the option of getting a workout in on your lunch break, take advantage of it. Get your blood circulating to wake yourself up. Don’t have a gym? Simple things like taking a walk on your lunch break or even doing little exercises at your desk can help, too.

  • Make some changes.

Still tired? Maybe it’s time for some lifestyle changes. Be sure you’re eating a healthy breakfast, drinking enough water and going to bed at a decent hour each day. It’s recommended that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep each night… how many are you getting?

Thanks for reading our blog series on our Time vs. Money survey results! If you’re interested in more workplace insight, resume tips, industry news and survey results, subscribe to our blog using the box below!

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Author

Accounting Principals

We're Accounting Principals--a leader in finance and accounting staffing. In fact, since 2010, we've been part of Adecco Group, a Global 500 company and leader in staffing services around the world. But this isn't staffing as usual. We take quite a different approach than most staffing agencies. A people-focused approach. We believe in forming real relationships with both our clients and our candidates. We want to understand the needs on both sides.

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