Sleeping at Work & Getting Paid for It

Can you sleep at your job?

Typically, sleeping on the job could make you lose your job. But that’s the past. These days, we have companies as well as entire industries encouraging workers to sleep during the business day. One of the reasons for this shift in attitude is the realization that tired employees can actually harm a business.

Sleep deficiency can lead to:

• Increased errors and accidents
• Increased absenteeism
• Increased drug use
• Increased turnover
• Higher group insurance premiums
• Decreased productivity

Russell Rosenberg, vice chairman of the National Sleep Foundation and director of the Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine and Technology, says a recent sleep survey “supports the link between sleep and workplace performance, and shows that inadequate sleep is a primary factor in poor job performance.” The survey’s findings should not be disregarded (or should they?):

• 85% of office workers admit they’d be more productive if they slept more.
• 56% say they don’t consistently get a good night’s sleep.
• 37% of employees aren’t ready to get up when the alarm goes off.
• 23% of employees confess to taking naps at work.

Pay attention, and you’ll see if your coworkers are not 100% in work mode. The following signs suggest the need for a nap:

• Not paying attention in meetings
• Inattention to detail
• Unexpected irritability
•Sudden increase in intake of caffeinated beverages
•Unfinished tasks and assignments

Napping is actually a healthy, energizing behavior that results in alertness. (Be sure to have the approval of your boss, of course!) Companies as diverse as Ben & Jerry’s and Google have designated napping rooms. These quiet spaces provide employees with peace and privacy for a short break. On the other hand––even though poor sleep habits can be threatening to a business––some employers stand firmly by their no-snooze policy, emphasizing: “I don’t pay you to sleep.”

So, can you sleep at your job?

Author: Marina Kaljaj


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