The joy of napping

Firms are finding that it can be productive to let their employees catch a brief midday nap

Sleeping on the job? At some companies, it’s not such a sin anymore. Increasingly, firms are finding that it can be productive—even beneficial to the bottom line—to let their employees catch a brief midday nap. Corporate nap rooms, once associated with laid-back Silicon Valley firms, are popping up in unexpected places. MetroNaps, a company that makes chairs designed for napping, counts Google, Procter & Gamble and Cisco Systems as clients, reports Bloom­berg Businessweek. (The chairs, called the Energy­Pod, can also be rented for US$795 per month.) Napping spas in New York are also luring big-name corporate clients.

Scientists have long understood the benefits of rest, like alertness and reduced stress. So it shouldn’t be dismissed as something reserved for the lazy, say advocates, who note that most companies have no qualms about paying for gyms offering the same kind of health benefits to employees. Ultimately, stealing a few minutes of rest can really pay off.