Getting a snooze in a workplace is once considered a taboo, but now, more and more companies are encouraging their workers to hit their snooze buttons–even when working. How? By introducing sleep pods to the company. The pioneer of this idea, Google, has been placing them around the vicinity, allowing employees to doze off when needed. Yet, despite the increasing attractiveness of these futuristic pods, why are Singapore companies still sleeping on this method? And how could we improve the dwindling sleeping hours of the Singapore workers?
Sleep is for the Weak
One of the common beliefs shared by many is that the less you sleep, the more likely you will succeed and make the best out of your 24 hours. Singaporeans are not only sleep-deprived but as per the survey, are most stressed at work globally. Having an average of 7.5 hours of sleep each night, Singapore is proving to have the lowest well-being quotient. Why? Because not only will a lack of sleep affect one’s immune system, it will also lower one’s alertness. This will thus affect the workplace productivity and one’s mental and physical health. In short, sleep is not for the weak–it is the lack of sleep which makes us vulnerable.
Pod-ssible or Not?
As of today, sleep pods have been given the benefit of the doubt by most companies, for what benefits do they pose?
First, it improves the worker’s efficiency immensely. According to a psychiatrist at Ohio State University, by sleeping 20 minutes in the afternoon, an improvement in mood, vigilance, and attention are recorded. It is evident that by providing an area for a respite, companies can effectively combat the weariness hanging around the workplace.
Second, it improves the working environment. Many Western companies like Nike have designated areas for meditation and naps. As a result workers are able to hold a more positive working attitude after their power naps, surely the vicinity will brighten up with life, creating a more welcoming environment.
Waking Up to New Possibilities
Another question to be tackled is–what can be done to improve Singapore’s situation.
To begin with, companies should introduce flextime to the workplace. By allowing workers to follow their internal clocks, they can choose when to come in for work–as long as they can meet the number of working hours. The more flexibility and control one has over their sleeping schedule, the more relaxed and well-rested on can be. And more importantly, the more efficient one can be at work. Next, companies can follow France’s footsteps by introducing the “rights to disconnect” to the office. This ensures and forbids workers to answer or send emails after office hours. Having a clear distinction between our work and private lives allows employees to disconnect, refresh, and recharge, hence feeling more ready to tackle another day of work and challenges.
If employers and departments in the government decide to install sleep pods to working areas or introduce the ideas mentioned above to Singapore, perhaps we will wake up to a better, brighter future when we can catch a few more winks more often than not.