When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, millions of Americans had to transition to working from home. That meant a lot of adjustments, from attending Zoom meetings instead of interacting face-to-face with colleagues to sometimes wearing pajamas all day. For many, it also brought back something that’s been missing since kindergarten: a refreshing midday nap.
It’s one of the secret perks of remote working: nodding off for a few minutes during your lunch break. In a survey of 2,000 people working from home in April 2020 by the career and jobs website Zippia, more than a third of the respondents said they were now taking naps.
These siestas remain frowned upon by corporate America, even though numerous studies have found short catnaps to be beneficial to your health and productivity. They’ve also been shown to increase alertness, boost your mood and cut down on accidents and mistakes on the job.
Now that the COVID-19 vaccines are flowing and more people are returning to their work sites, some are finding it hard to readjust to life without their power naps. Some workers interviewed for a recent Wall Street Journal report said naps broke their workdays into manageable halves, each of which felt like a productive day by itself. And almost all of them said it’s something they would never be allowed to do at the office.
While many employers report making efforts to recognize the need for workers to have more downtime, such as flexible work hours and other arrangements, few, if any, report being on board with allowing on-the-job napping.
When it comes to enjoying sanctioned naps during the workday, it seems we can only dream.