What's a potential yet unusual way to engage employees and increase productivity that most companies haven't tried? It's an idea as original as the the fold up mats from your old kindergarten class.
It's the fine art of napping.
According to an older article by TIME magazine, naptime could become the new coffee break. Studies by the National Sleep Federation have shown that the average working adult gets six hours and 58 minutes of sleep, which is about an hour under the recommended amount. The increased rate in drowsiness in the office has cost businesses an estimated $100 billion in lost productivity, not to mention the added health risks that go along with sleep deprivation. Due to increased traveling and commuting and having to do business in multiple time zones, sleep has become harder and harder to come by for the average worker.
So does taking time out to snooze really help productivity? According to a NASA study it does. They proved through experiments that a 26 minute nap by their astronauts resulted in a 34% increase in productivity. Some corporations have seen the benefit of naptimes, setting up sleeping rooms or adding sleep pods to their supply of office furniture.
What's the point? Most businesses are using naptime not really for productivity purposes but for employee retention. However, most of these companies have seen a positive trend in productivity as result. So should a naptime be considered as an employee engagement technique? If it improves productivity, loyalty and retention among your workforce, it definitely seems to meet a lot of the same goals most engagement and employee motivation programs strive for. Just a hypothetical thought.
What do you all think? While you're responding, I'm going to roll out a mat under my desk. Be back in 30 minutes.