Most of us could use a nap at some point in the day. Sometimes we feel sleepy after lunch. Other times, we run out of steam mid-afternoon, and could use a quick catnap to get back in the swing. Often, we would rather be snoozing than attending the morning meeting. (Just kidding. That’s all the time, and it’s probably off the table.)
But is napping good for productivity?
According to the Harvard Business Review, it is. Recent research shows that workers are much more productive if they’re able to take a short nap.
For maximum productivity, experts recommend scheduling a nap between 1 and 3 PM, and keeping nap time short: 20 to 30 minutes max. Beyond that, the most important thing is to make sure you have absolute peace and quiet. Turn off your phone and tune out, preferably away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the office.
Thinking of developing a nap room at your company? Think beyond the nap mats of your nursery school days. Adults in need of a restorative rest require comfy furniture and soft lighting. Think Google’s lounge furniture and aquarium set-up:
Don’t have Google money? There are plenty of places to get cheaper, but still comfy, loungers and chaises. We like IKEA’s selection of nap-appropriate furniture, but you can also find great deals at brick and mortar furniture stores near your office.
If management isn’t buying the nap room idea, you can still squeeze in a secret snooze on the sly. Since your cubicle probably isn’t the best place to catch some Zs, scope out conference rooms or empty offices. The ideal secret napping spot has a door that locks and reasonably comfortable furniture — although we’ve taken plenty of secret naps on the floor, and it will do for many folks in a pinch.
Finally, if worse comes to worst, you can do what an old colleague of ours used to do: Go into a bathroom stall, lock the door, sit on the toilet and hold your keys in your hand. When you fall asleep deeply enough to drop the keys, you’re done with your nap.
Maybe not the most satisfying nap in the world, but hey, it’s better than nothing.