Allowing employees an afternoon nap could be good for business

Encouraging workers to take an afternoon nap could dramatically improve economic fortunes across the Western hemisphere, according to a duo of business experts.

Research by professors Andrew and Nada Kakabadse finds that a group of workers taking a 90-minute nap improved in their ability to learn by 10 per cent, while a non-napping group did 10 per cent worse.

Nada says, ‘Having assessed employee performance and health studies recently conducted across the UK, US and Western Europe, we believe offering workers the opportunity for a brief nap provides significant benefits in employee concentration, health and productivity.

‘People are increasingly being asked to do more with less at work. Outdated and uninspiring management practice is having an oppressing effect on workforces, which are increasingly operating in environments where the attitude is ‘lunch is for wimps’.’

Kakabadse adds that the management technique is ‘based on 19th century manufacturing models’ which originally featured a proper break during the work day – one example being afternoon siestas, which were commonplace in Germany up until the Industrial Revolution.

People napping at least three times a week for an average of 30 minutes have a 37 per cent lower coronary mortality than those not taking siestas, according to the pair.

Andrew continues, ‘A key consequence of the economic crisis is that breaks are getting shorter as job insecurity increases.

‘We recommend companies consider and evaluate appropriate break times for their workers. Staff should be encouraged to take approved rests, and be provided with a private place where they can take a nap without any pressure of their reputation being damaged for doing so.’

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Workplace wellbeing

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