The NASA Nap originated in the 1990’s when NASA devised the idea of permitting their employees to rest each day with a short power nap. These nap times were completed as experiments to determine viable solutions to sleep deprivation that astronauts and other high-pressured employees experienced. According to their study, a short power nap of only 26 minutes increased the test subject’s cognitive ability by 34% and alertness by 54%. The results of the study created the term “NASA Nap.” Many international airline pilots now take these short power naps to ensure they stay alert while flying. Since this experiment, many companies have started to integrate power napping into their workplace environment. This article will discuss the top 5 companies to work for that have such a policy.
1. Huffington Post
The Huffington Post was founded by Arianna Huffington and it is an American Online (AOL) news aggregator. Ms. Huffington’s “pro-sleep” policies have become well-known since she’s been quite outspoken about it in various interviews. Her viewpoint is that mid-day naps can improve employee productivity. Their New York office is very sleep-friendly and provides "Energy Pods" for employees’ to use. These pods are similar in form to capsules that recline. Employees can take naps and set timers to ensure that they wake up after a short rest period. The timer system wakes the napper with both lights and vibrations. The company has seen great success with increased productivity due to these mid-day power naps.
Google is known for its innovative and technological advances. They have taken this innovation into the workplace by cultivating an environment that can spur on creativity. For example, they have created rooms with a ski gondola in their Zurich office, a sidewalk café in Istanbul and the Dublin office has a pub-like meeting room. The company management believes that creating an innovative workplace environment will spark creativity. Additionally, they also believe that integrating power naps into the day is also an avenue to cultivate creativity and increased productivity. Google utilizes the same type of energy pods that the Huffington Post uses. So, employees can sleep for a pre-set length of time and then be woken up to get back to work—and be more refreshed and productive.
3. Ben & Jerry's
Ben & Jerry’s makes the list as the third best company to work for if you love napping. Management encourages a 20 minute power nap as a way for employees to get refreshed and ready to finish the rest of the workday with more energy. This company does not utilize the energy pods that the previous two companies do. However, they have specified nap rooms for the employees to use for these power naps. Liz Brenna is the PR Spokesperson for Ben & Jerry’s and she advised that they value any avenue that can cultivate “happy, healthy employees.”
4. Yarde Metals
Craig Yarde founded Yarde Metals which is located in Bristol, CT. The employees work in three manufacturing shifts and the company runs 24 hours each day. One of the main reasons that Mr. Yarde instituted a napping policy into the workplace is that he found employees napping on the job due to pure exhaustion. In 1995, he built a new facility and included a nap room with couches. Instituting such a policy in the mid-1990’s was considered a far-fetched idea and contradictory to employee productivity. However, the company has seen a vast increase in revenue and employee effectiveness since that time. All of his facilities along the US eastern coast have their own napping room which is available to all employees.
Zappos has awesome perks for employees ranging from great health benefits to free food to fitness centers and discounts on shoes. However, one of the main benefits includes a nap room which is located in the Henderson, Nevada headquarters. Employees from the call center have easy access to the nap room which is right down the hall from their work area. Management tried the energy pods, but couches were brought back in by popular demand from the employees.
What is your company’s policy on power naps? Is it encouraged in the workplace? We’d love to hear from you. Feel free to post your comments below.