Employee naps good for productivity

A leading academic from the UK has suggested that both productivity and creativity can be increased if executives allow staff to take power naps during work hours.

Speaking at the Cheltenham Science Festival earlier this month, professor of human brain research at University College London Vincent Walsh said workers should also be able to pick and choose their work times depending on their employer.

Mr Walsh explained that sleeping only during the night could be damaging employees' ability to think and work productively. He said a power nap between 30 and 90 minutes long would dramatically increase creativity. 

"It's best to give your brain downtime. I have a nap every afternoon," he said.

"It's only since the industrial revolution we have been obsessed with squeezing all our sleep into the night rather than having one or two sleeps through the day."

Mr Walsh noted that the brain's most creative thoughts come during relaxation and when the brain is resting. Employees trying to force creativity never works, he said.

"If we want people to be more creative we need people to be able to do less. Companies should allow naps in the afternoon. They should get rid of the habit of clocking in and clocking out," he said.

With tablets and smartphones delaying the onset of sleep, it is important that workers don't over compensate during the weekend. The term 'Social Jetlag' describes how many workers are feeling early in the week after two days of much more sleep than during the week. Taking naps during the day would help to cancel this deficit out.            

If giving employees a chance to catch some  Zs isn't possible, then investing in workflow automation and productivity software can streamline systems so employees have more time to think creatively than be caught under a mountain of paperwork.

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