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18% of People Now Working From Home are Napping During Work Hours

Nothing beats a nap

For millions of office workers, the transition to WFH has had its upsides. Turns out, catching some shuteye is one of them.

Image: Shutterstock/Elnur

Survey findings:

  • 18% of people that are now working from home are taking a nap during work hours.
  • Men are 10% more likely to be new WFH nappers than Women
  • Young people are slightly more likely to nap during work from home hours

There can be nothing better for some people than a midday nap. A little bit of shuteye can help refresh the mind and body, and some might argue that it helps improve workplace productivity to have a policy that views these short, sleepy breaks as a positive thing.

While some employers offer things like nap pods as a perk, sleeping during work hours is generally not a standard benefit for the average employee, and many employees worry that the impression of taking a quick nap at work will be frowned upon by team members and management.

However, because of how the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically moved millions of office workers into a WFH environment, it’s far less likely that a quick snooze will be noticed by even the most overbearing managers, giving employees more opportunities to take a little “me” time.

We wanted to get a sense for how common this might be, so we took a survey of 1176 US residents who report they are working from home. Almost 20% of respondents say they have started taking naps in the middle of work hours.

When broken down into demographic data, two trends come into focus:

Men are 10% more likely to nap during the work day than women.

And younger people currently working from home are slightly more likely to take a nap midday compared to their older counterparts.

In a 2017 New York Times article, the author cites studies and argues that we are all too stressed out from working too much, and recommends that we all take naps during the day.

“Dr. Mednick, a sleep researcher and the author of “Take a Nap! Change Your Life,” said daytime napping can have many of the benefits of overnight sleep, and different types of naps offer specific benefits.

For example, Dr. Mednick said a 20- to 60-minute nap might help with memorization and learning specific bits of information. It’s just long enough to enter stage-two sleep, or non-rapid eye movement (R.E.M.) sleep.”

So why isn’t this more common? There can be a lot of pressure on employees to appear “always on.” An immediate response to an email request from a manager, or completing a task at 11PM at night might make for good annual review fodder. The appearance of working a lot, many believe, will help their careers.

This seems likely to change in the coming years, as flexible work hours and more relaxed remote policies appear to be trending more commonplace. We would not be surprised to see the number of people napping during normal work hours increase in the next decade.