Learning & Development

How Common Is Napping on the Job?

In today’s high-speed, always-on work environment, the line between work and rest is increasingly blurred. A recent The Sleep Doctor survey, led by Dr. Michael Breus, sheds light on an interesting trend: A significant number of employees are napping during work hours. According to the survey, one in three workers nap on the job every week, and 46% have admitted to napping on the job at least a few times per year.

Key Findings of the Survey

The implications of these naps aren’t trivial. One in three respondents reported missing meetings or deadlines because they were napping. Remote workers, particularly, seem to struggle with staying awake, with one in four admitting to falling asleep during meetings. Notably, 34% of remote workers and 45% of hybrid workers report taking on-the-job naps compared with 27% of in-person workers, indicating a more prevalent trend among those with flexible working environments.

The survey also highlighted gender and age disparities in napping habits. Fifty-two percent of men reported napping during work compared with 38% of women. Younger workers aged 18 to 34 are the most likely to nap at work, with 54% reporting daytime sleep compared with 46% of those aged 35 to 54 and only 25% of those over 55.

Interestingly, the most common nap location for in-person workers is their car, with 50% using it as a makeshift bedroom. Other popular spots include desks, company-designated napping places, and even bathrooms.

Implications for Employers

The prevalence of on-the-job napping should be a bit of a wake-up call (pun intended) for employers. First, the fact that so many workers admit to literally sleeping on the job should be cause for concerns around lost productivity, negligence, and work quality. Second, the data may suggest that workers are overtaxed in performing their job duties and that employers may need to consider lightening the load or finding other ways to promote better work/life balance for their staff.

Lin Grensing-Pophal is a Contributing Editor at HR Daily Advisor.

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