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I want you to answer this question very honestly; what if your office colleague walks in on you while you are napping on your desk during your break time? again, during your break time? My guess is that you will be the talk of the office, or at least you will lose the confidence of your colleagues and will be labeled as the lazy guy in town! Now, imagine what if your boss walks in on you? Enough said …
Just last year in 2008, a poll conducted by the American National Sleep Foundation found that 1/3 of adults who work more than 30 hours a week have fallen asleep or become extremely drowsy during working hours!
Now … napping at office; is it good or bad?
Many reports, and one of them just published in June 2009 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, are stating that having a nap at the middle of the day is helpful for you. They claim that a nap at the middle of the day actually improves memory, enhances the ability to integrate unassociated information, fosters creativity, enhances problem solving, and improves visual discrimination.
These are not only studies without any practical applications. Napping during break times is a recognized practice in many Japanese and Chinese firms. I witnessed that first hand during my last visit to China; just after the launch break, it is normal to see many employees napping on sofas at the breaking area! Even Google has its own napping rooms which are called ‘nap pods’; these are rooms that block out light and sound and they come in line with Google overall policy of flexible working hours!
I have to honestly say that I do not know any Saudi company, or Arabic one for that matter, that follows such a system (if you know any, please share it with us.) Furthermore, I am not even sure that any Saudi, or Arabic, company is willing to give such a system a try. I believe it is more of a cultural issue rather than anything else. Most of our companies’ cultures tend to give an overrated importance to the employee mere presence at the office regardless of his/her productivity. So suggestions to enhance the employees’ productivity by allowing them to nap at the office won’t resonate with such cultures!
Stickgold, Robert, 2009. The Simplest Way to Reboot Your Brain. Harvard Business Review, Vol. 87 No. 10, p. 36