Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sleeping at work

One point on which my wife and I wholeheartedly agreed: every workplace should have a facility where employees can bust a nap. I remember reading a New York magazine article in April, 2007, as we sat at the departure gate at O’Hare waiting to board our flight to LaGuardia. The article was about a growing trend among companies to offer in-house napping facilities. It pointed out the high number of employees—I don’t remember the statistic—who unintentionally fall asleep at their desks. It said that eighty percent of employees who do nap at work are forced to do so in their cars because there are no sanctioned napping facilities at their offices. (Costanza credenza, anyone?) This isn’t always feasible; either there is no car, or the outdoor temperature/sunlight combination does not allow for comfort without running the engine.

With each new position, I have often struggled to adjust to the hours or commute time, with sometimes disastrous results—falling asleep in meetings (like President Reagan obm) or in front of other people. At two positions, my solution was napping in vacant offices. And at one of those, I had a lot of company! I certainly cannot admit to napping at my current position, but I will concede being very sleepy for two reasons: staying up late working on pressing legal matters; and getting to work very early to make up hours lost to yontif and shabbos. Waking up at 5:10am to begin work at 7am is quite a shock to the system.

Workplaces should offer separate-gender sleeping facilities for those who choose to lie down during their lunch hours.

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