HR Strange But True

Spanish Government Wants to Stop Siestas!

Naps during the workday may soon be a no-no in Spain! Despite the historical precedence for a daily doze during the noontime heat, it was found that the practice actually made workers less productive after they snooze.

The tradition of the siesta is thousands of years’ old in countries in warmer climates and began to keep workers from toiling in the broiling sun. It was spread throughout the world by the Spanish empire. As economies became more industrialized, the practice was adopted by some employers and usually followed the lunchtime meal break. The tradition has become passé with electricity for fans and air-conditioning and better heat-protective gear for outdoor workers.

Although the practice is on the decline, the Independent newspaper in the United Kingdom reports the tradition of the afternoon siesta is being targeted by some Spanish government officials, including Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, to keep the country’s workday in line with other countries and to stop it from extending into the evening.

Additionally, a recent report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development shows that while Spanish employees taking the midday breaks work longer hours than European counterparts, the other workers are more productive than the Spaniards in less time.

It is also helpful to work/life balance for employees in Spain with young families to know their workday will end by 6 p.m.