By Daniel Hunter
Encouraging workers to take an afternoon nap could dramatically improve economic fortunes across the western hemisphere, according to leadership and business experts, Professors Nada and Andrew Kakabadse.
"Having assessed employee performance and health studies recently conducted across the UK, US and Western Europe, we believe offering workers the opportunity for a brief nap provides significant benefits in employee concentration, health and productivity," Nada Kakabadse explains.
"People are increasingly being asked to do more with less at work. Outdated and uninspiring management practice is having an oppressing effect on workforces, who are increasingly operating in environments where the attitude is ‘lunch is for wimps'.
"Today's management techniques are based on 19th Century manufacturing models. These originally featured a proper break during the work day - one example being afternoon siestas, which were commonplace in Germany up until the Industrial Revolution.
Andrew Kakabadse adds: "Our review collated recent findings on the significant value to employee health and efficiency in the UK and across many of our economic allies". These results included:
- People napping at least three times a week for an average of 30 minutes have a 37% lower coronary mortality than those not taking siestas
- A group taking a 90-minute nap improved in their ability to learn by 10%, while a non-napping group did 10% worse
- Many airlines, including Continental and British Airways, allow pilots to sleep during long international flights while colleagues take over the controls
Andrew continues: "A key consequence of the economic crisis is that breaks are getting shorter as job insecurity increases.
"We recommend companies consider and evaluate appropriate break times for their workers. Staff should be encouraged to take approved rests, and be provided with a private place where they can take a nap without any pressure of their reputation being damaged for doing so."
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