Smile@Work | Solutions for happy workers

Words from pros
14 Oct 2022

Napping at work: sleeping for better work

Could the solution for better productivity be found in the arms of Morpheus? Very widespread in Asia, the nap at work is slowly developing in Europe: more and more companies are being seduced…

Anthony Koljaj is a fan of napping and is convinced of its effects on well-being and productivity. With his partner Paolo Capizzi, he founded WeNap, a start-up that markets rest cocoons for companies. Objective: to spread this practice at work. Here are some explanations.

How would you describe micro-napping?

Anthony Koljaj: The micro-nap is a short moment of disconnection during the day. It’s the ideal way to recharge your batteries in a short time and decompress before starting again! The length of the micro-nap depends on each person: from 5 to 30 minutes, but not more than that to avoid falling into a deep sleep cycle, with a more complicated awakening and potential difficulties to sleep at night. In general, 10 to 20 minutes are enough for the body to regenerate. In the military, GIs only need one minute! It’s a habit to get into, a bit like a workout: you can start by putting yourself down for a few moments, with an alarm clock, and test different durations over a week to find the one that suits you best.

When should I take a nap?

AK: Here again, it all depends on each person, according to their rhythm and working hours. Classically, the 1pm – 3pm time slot meets the physiological needs of most people: it corresponds to the drop in attention caused by the digestion of lunch.

What are the benefits for the napper?

AK: First of all, a boost of energy. But also a boost in creativity, concentration and benefits for the memory. A Nasa study conducted on pilots proved that a 20-minute nap can increase productivity by up to 35%! In other words, these few minutes of rest are not “lost”: on the contrary, they only generate positive effects on one’s work.

What does this mean in terms of installation?

AK: All you need is a quiet, dark room equipped with chairs, poufs or sofas. But there are other solutions. With WeNap, we have developed the “Nappy Box”. It is a sleeping cocoon, which takes the form of a visually and acoustically insulated box. The user settles in a position adapted for micro-nap: the zero gravity position, used by NASA astronauts during take-offs. It reduces the pressure on the lower back and lumbar vertebrae and relaxes the body, by holding the legs slightly elevated. A sophrologist has also developed audio tracks for relaxation, played through headphones. Finally, thanks to our application, it is possible to reserve a time slot to allow as many people as possible to benefit from it.

Are mentalities evolving on this practice?

AK: A change has been felt in recent years. The health crisis has led to a shift in paradigms and napping is now less of a finger-pointing exercise and less of a “lazy man’s thing”. Companies have become aware of the challenges linked to the well-being of their employees, with the accompanying issues of loyalty and attractiveness. This is essential at a time when recruitment is becoming increasingly complex! And for employees, it is important to take time out between two meetings to be more efficient for the rest of the day. The same goes for freelancers: “taking a break” for a few minutes has many benefits. The coffee break is perfectly tolerated: why not the micro-nap break?

Wenap at Multiburo

Three resting cocoons are now available at 3 Multiburo locations in Brussels. Users can sit comfortably in these adapted spaces for a restorative micro-nap. An initiative in line with the coworking spirit!

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