Why Napping as a Perk Makes the Most (Business) Sense

Look around your office... You'll likely find someone who is tired, stressed out, and could use a nap. Perhaps it's you! 

Whether in accounting, retail, finance, or technology, napping is the most underrated thing that most (re: all) of us fail to do, despite our bodies crying out for it almost daily. So considering that most companies these days provide everything from subsidized gym memberships and catered lunches, to fully stocked liquor shelves and game rooms, why hasn’t napping as a perk (NaaP) received more serious and meaningful consideration?

First off, while many companies commit themselves to certain perk programs with high hopes of boosting productivity (re: performance), these programs are really only creating a favorable sentiment for the organization at best. It’s quite fashionable these days to offer everything under the sun in order to attract top talent, but companies are arguably missing an opportunity to provide perks that focus on improving overall productivity and boosting employee function during the work day.

'Measuring' Productivity

Productivity can be divided into 2 married categories.

  1. Quantity, or “productive volume”
  2. Quality, or “productive value”

Your company’s objective is to successfully marry these entities and maximize them together, as each taken individually has low productive worth. Let's dissect a few things...

Catered Lunch (By the Numbers)...

You’ve decided to provide catered lunches to recoup the wasted time that your team spends on the daily hunt for food outside of the office – typically 1 hr.

Let’s use Cindy as an example. You pay Cindy $45/hour.

Assuming Cindy spends 20 minutes eating lunch, you’ve recouped 40 minutes of Cindy’s productive time. (Your cost is $15 to retain $30 in wage productivity). Tack on the $10 lunch you provided to keep her in the office, and you’ve spent $25 to save 40 minutes of her productive time ($15 wages + $10 lunch). Said another way, you’ve spent $25 to retain $30 in wage productivity – a $5 savings!

Now, if Cindy decides that she wants to take just 4 minutes longer to eat, you’ve recouped 36 minutes of her productive time. (Your cost is $18 to retain $27 in wage productivity). Tack on the $10 lunch you’ve provided to keep her in the office, and you’ve spent $28 to save 36 minutes of her productive time ($18 wages + $10 lunch). Said another way, you’ve spent $28 to retain $27 in wage productivity – See the problem?

Of course both of these scenarios are still better than her leaving the office and having to pay Cindy $45 for an hour of nothing, but this only accounts for the cost of her productive volume and not her actual productive value. And since catered lunch does nothing for fatigue, if Cindy is feeling sluggish, unfocused, or otherwise, you’re unlikely to get any meaningful bump in her productivity levels regardless of how she chooses to take her lunch. 

Making Mistakes

Keeping Cindy as an example, you’ve decided to provide her and the team with subsidized gym memberships. Cindy works out 2 hours per day, 6 days per week and is an exemplar of good exercise habits.

Cindy also enjoys the occasional late night out and every now and then comes into work on 4 (terrible) hours of sleep.

Even just one sleepless night can increase her likelihood of making mistakes in her work by 30%! That's the difference between hitting ‘reply’ vs ‘reply all’ with a sensitive internal memo; not catching the misspelled name of an executive in a big press release; or overlooking critical terms in a large case settlement. In other words, this particular perk still doesn’t directly contribute to increasing Cindy’s productive value in the office. Again, if Cindy is feeling sluggish, unfocused, or otherwise because of her sleepless night, you’re unlikely to get any meaningful bump in her productivity levels regardless of how many times she has gone to the gym that week. 

Accounting for Both

Napping as a perk however, prevents burnout and information overload by allowing the brain to perform memory consolidation. This translates into higher productive volume as employees are able to process more information and accomplish more tasks. And as common sense tells us, where it pertains to virtually any task, it’s easier to get more done when the brain is less fatigued.

Additionally, because napping increases alertness and creativity, it also reduces the likelihood of errors and mental blocks. This translates into higher productive value as employees enjoy increased cognitive awareness and are able to coalesce disparate insights together more quickly.

It’s the productivity marriage most companies dream of… (And that the likes of Google, Nike, Facebook, Huffington Post, and British Airways have already found.)

If you haven’t considered endorsing napping as a perk for your office, now is a great time to re-evaluate. Whether creating a quiet space onsite, or exploring a partnership with a nearby nap studio, the benefits can’t be ignored. And for companies in the Downtown San Francisco area, you can contact Doze to set up free trial access for your team at no risk. It’s a very simply cultural shift that will not only benefit the organizational sentiment, but your employees’ quality of work and bottom line.  

It's time to work smarter.

-B

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