Should Employers Let Their Employees Nap On-the-Job?

Google is known for workers that are fast-paced and some of the most talented in the world. And while some workers complain of working too many hours, very rarely do employees complain about the perks of working at Google.

One perk that stands out, aside from the free food cooked by a gourmet chef, is that workers are allowed to take naps.

Yup, if you’re tired, you can take a nap at Google. The company isn’t alone in this practice. You can also take a nap if you work at:

  • Uber
  • Zappos
  • NASA
  • Capital One Labs
  • Ben & Jerry’s
  • PwC

As a business owner working long hours or as a business owner with employees, you may be wondering why anyone would allow their employees to nap at work. Of course, the financial resources of these companies allow them to offer additional perks.

But you may want to consider power naps for your business, too.

Statistically, 33% of Americans are sleep deprived, sleeping less than seven hours in a 24-hour period. Your workforce is tired, and this is why 6% of employers have started to incorporate nap rooms into their businesses.

There’s a good reason for this:

Lack of Sleep leads to $63 Billion in Losses Annually

A study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation found that $63 billion is lost every year due to insufficient sleep. Productivity goes down the less a person sleeps, and the number of sick days used rises.

When you offer nap time opportunities, it will:

  • Recruit employees that are dedicated. Many employees are flying back to the office, taking a quick nap and returning to work. It allows for a much easier transition and will encourage employees to head to work more often even if they’re tired.
  • Creativity is boosted thanks to naps, and allowing the body to enter REM sleep has been shown to enhance a person’s creativity process more than a wake state or other sleep state.
  • Safety in the workplace is also increased. Sleep-deprived interns in the healthcare field had 36% more major medical errors than those that were allowed to sleep 7-8 hours per night.

There will be circumstances where employees may want to nap every day, and this is obviously not what nap time was designed to do. Instead, sleep monitors or a simple sign in sheet can help solve the problem. Employers don’t mind the occasional nap at work, but a nap every day of the week points to a much larger problem that the employee should deal with on his or her own time.

Naps can also be very short, and this will even help boost short-term alertness. The National Sleep Foundation suggests that employers offer nap pods that allow up to 30 minutes of sleep time in an environment that is quiet and cool.

Quiet areas that encourage employees to nap are best, and some companies do have employees bring their own pillows for nap time.

Whether or not you’re a fan of nap time, it can help reduce loss in productivity, boost creativity and help you retain hard-working, dedicated talent.


Alex is a small business blogger with a focus on entrepreneurship and growth. With over 5 years of experience covering the startup and small business landscape, Alex has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, approachable and entrepreneurial-minded blogger. He has a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing small business owners, and is able to provide actionable advice and strategies for success. Alex has interviewed successful entrepreneurs, and covered major small business events such as the Small Business Expo and the Inc. 500|5000 conference. He is also a successful entrepreneur himself, having started and grown several small businesses in different industries.