Young workers especially attach great importance to the flexible organization of their working day. They also like to take a break from their work. Science shows that this only leads to productivity. for this reason Growth hacker Claudio Frey (28) regularly takes a nap during the working day, on the sofa in the office or just at home.
Claudio Fry works as Growth hacker at Sprints & Sneakers, a company that helps other businesses grow faster. “I definitely take a nap a couple of times a week. Usually one of twenty or thirty minutes, sometimes an hour. Before I’d make coffee to stay energized. Now I take naps. It’s better for myself – it makes me more productive and energetic – and for others: it also makes me a nice fellow.” “.
Sometimes Fry’s classmates take a nap during recess. “There’s always someone on the couch here. But since it’s been so busy in the office lately, it’s gotten a little more difficult to lie down. I work at home a lot, and I do it a little easier there. But when I nap in the office, I lie on the couch or in the Fatboy, I put on a sleeping mask, a pillow on my head and go to sleep.”
Take an active break
An Australian study showed that napping makes you less drowsy and increases your cognitive performance. You instantly reap the benefits of a five to fifteen minute power nap, plus the effects last up to three hours. But make sure you don’t sleep too long: naps of more than 30 minutes make you less alert.
However, not everyone wants to take a nap, says Casper Jansen, MD, sports physician and power nap expert. “We Dutch tell ourselves we should always be productive, that’s really a Calvinist idea. We prefer to ignore our fatigue, have a cup of coffee and get on with work.”
Effective rest periods and building recovery time into your day are extremely important
Janssen sees that more and more employers are encouraging employees to take an active break from work. “In health care, for example, it is increasingly normal for someone to sink into the restroom while on shift.” In addition, a barrier between employees seems to have disappeared. “Many of us have been working from home since the corona crisis. Here we have the idea that we are being monitored less and have more freedom to organize our workday ourselves. This also makes it easier to work out, do some laundry or take a nap.”
Research conducted by consulting firm Devoteam among 750 IT employees showed that 26 percent of IT professionals sometimes take a nap during the workday, compared to 10 percent of other employees. HR Director Anuradha Tikai of Devoteam says the fact that IT workers do this so often is due to the nature of their work. “Many IT workers spend all day behind a curtain. They develop software, they manage systems, they maintain databases, and that’s it on the computer. Also, it’s intense work, they have to be constantly focused. Then you need a break every now and then.”
But it’s not just IT staff who need this break, it’s also other employees who spend a lot of time behind a screen. Teekay: “Because we work from home, meetings are held online a lot and that way, even if you’re not an IT savvy, you’re still behind a laptop all day.”
Sports physician Jansen says every worker benefits from a good break. “Pausing effectively and building recovery time into your day is so important. It keeps you from lying on the couch in the evening too tired to go back to work the next day.”
Read also at Intermediary: Night sleep can be trained better during the day
Jansen knows that not everyone wants to take an afternoon nap. Some workers get energy from walking outdoors. “That’s fine, it’s about doing something other than your job for a while. Employers should make sure that employees can choose for themselves what works for them.” Jansen says setting strict rules for how employees fill in recovery time isn’t necessary. “If you give people freedom, they are often quite capable of using it in a responsible way.”
At least that’s the case in Fry’s office. “You can decide for yourself what is good for you and the client in the end. You have to plan for that well, and make sure you exercise or take a nap right before the meeting.” Human resources manager Teekay advises employers to set rules for power naps. “It should be clear how long power naps can last and when and where they are allowed. This way you prevent twisted faces and misunderstandings.”
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