Monday, November 29

“Sleep is venture capital”: employers wake up to the benefits of a nap | To sleep

TO A three-hour break in the middle of the workday for a languid lunch, followed by a restorative nap sounds like the Mediterranean dream, but employers in Spain are increasingly moving away from this rigid schedule, which for many workers feels more like a nightmare.

The merits of introducing napping in the UK have been hotly debated this week after the National Trust unveiled plans to move towards ‘Mediterranean work schedules’ in some sites in the South East, to help cope with rising temperatures. yearly.

But Spanish businessmen have moved in the opposite direction. “People from big cities don’t go home for lunch. They are working overtime and come home very late at night, so there is no time for family, personal and social life, ”said Nuria Chinchilla, professor of People Management at the University of Navarra in Spain.

This work pattern is believed to be partly responsible for the fact that Spaniards sleep 53 minutes less than the average European, he added.

Spanish employees usually start work earlier, around 8:30 a.m. M., Then they rest between 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. M. For a nap to avoid the midday heat, returning home for lunch and a nap, before resuming work until 9 p.m. M. The National Trust has yet to set your new formal working hours as this is not a company-wide policy.

The heat and late ending is the reason why the siesta is an essential feature of the siesta. Matthew Walker, a professor of neuroscience at UC Berkeley and the author of the bestselling book Why We Sleep, believes that employers who prioritize sleep is a step forward, no matter how they allow it.

“In the workplace we’ve had this dream machismo mentality. We applaud the airport warrior who has been through four different time zones in the last three days, was in the email at 2am and returned to the office at 6am, ”he said.

The idea of ​​allowing employees to nap has been around since the 1980s, when NASA observed how effective it was for astronauts and extended the opportunity to personnel on the ground. More recently, Google has popularized it by using nap pods.

“Sleep is the best form of physiologically injected venture capital you could want. When you don’t get enough sleep, you can’t think that fast and you’re not that creative, “Walker said.

However, Walker and other sleep scientists warn that naps during the day can disrupt your sleep pattern, making it difficult to fall asleep at night.

Taking a long break in the middle of the day is also considered less effective for productivity. “More breaks is better than one,” said Mahir Yilmaz of the Energy Project, citing a study that he conducted his consulting with Harvard Business Review that found that for each additional break employees took, their well-being, creativity and focus increased.

Most importantly, employees have the flexibility to choose the work pattern that benefits them, said Tim Sharp, labor rights leader at Trades Union Congress.

“Things that might seem like flexible work can be very disadvantageous for workers if they don’t fit where they are and travel arrangements,” he said.

Sharp praised the National Trust for extending flexible work to people in manual occupations, as they have been largely excluded from the opportunity to work from home during the pandemic.

The past 18 months have brought about a broader shift among employers in the way they understand the relationship between flexible working hours and productivity.

Camilla Kring, who runs work-life balance consultancy Super Navigators, said the companies she works with are increasingly interested in tapping into different people’s sleep preferences and energy levels rather than opt for a one size fits all from 9 to 5 p. M. 20th century.

“I’m talking about energetic animals: if you’re a dromedary, your peak is once a day, while camels peak before and after lunch. So you are a snake if you sting three times a day, ”he said. “The more you can work according to your energy levels, the more productive you can be.”

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