View Full Version : Desk Pillows and Nap Rooms

Sonya P
26-07-2007, 12:05 PM
Not sure whether this thread belongs under Retention strategies, Benefits or Health and Safety ....

Employers in Japan are now providing Desk Pillows and Nap Rooms, so that staff can have a little sleep in the afternoon.

So when you hit the wall at around 3pm you just put your head down for a bit. Apparently providing you don't sleep for more than 20 minutes you will awake refreshed and ready for more work!

Imagine the OH&S implications if the sleeping posture at the desk isn't quite right ....

Is anyone in Aus offering this 'benefit' ?

01-08-2007, 12:59 PM
Wow, that's very interesting! My history is working in HR, but i'm taking some time out to teach English in Japan for a year. I've noticed that Japanese salarymen and women will sleep anywhere, anytime. I guess the theory is that if a 20 minute nap around 3 will allow them to keep working until midnight then it's a sound investment. I think the implications for OH&S stemming from the ridiculous working hours of the Japanese is more of a concern. There is even a Japanese word that means "death from work" - karoshi. There's an interesting article about it here: http://www.ompersonal.com.ar/jobs/karoshi.htm

I'll take my nap around 6:30pm at home please! :)

02-08-2007, 09:42 PM
It is an interesting idea and I have heard that it is the same in Mexico (but at the time thought someone was trying to have a lend of me).

03-08-2007, 11:24 AM
Sorry! I haven’t heard of any organisations offering this …yet.

I can see it now! Resistance/ questions from our OH&S Manager will go something like this

 Cost of the organisation in providing desk pillows and/or nap rooms, how many and if so who manages the booking system for the room
 Cost of the pillow…or pillows with special requirements (i.e.: for neck issues) etc…
 Long sleepers… “sorry I’m late minister…I overslept”
 Pillow theft
 Pillow cleaning
 Pillow cover cleaning
 Do we provide pyjamas?
 Then we have equity. What about outdoor staff that dont have desks? Do we then supply swags? Each location would then require a OH&S assessment.
 Safety of staff while asleep
 What if there is a fire? Worse? What if there is a fire and the fire warden is sleeping
 Injuries sustained from sleep walking
 Embarrassment from sleep talking
 That one staff member that thinks it is really funny to put the sleeper finger in warm water
 The other staff member that shave off a sleepers eyebrows
 The w/c claim re: psychological damage from finger in warm water and/or lack of eyebrows
 The grievance that subsequently follows ....

Need I say more.

06-08-2007, 09:18 AM
LOL! Well put Meli!!!

We have to remember that HR initiatives need to fit the work culture and the wider culture of the country a business is operating in.

I know of a country that provides 1 hour paid lunch breaks to all employees because eating is a social activity for that culture. People get connected more within the organisation because they have more time to chat, relax, and eat in the middle of the day. Some people choose to spend the other half hour taking a nap. People are apparently more engaged and productive...although I haven't seen the stats :) Like in Japan, long-working hours is part of that culture as well.

06-08-2007, 01:32 PM
HR Beat, you mention the working late culture in Japan - but does the average Japanese person really work longer hours than we do here in Australia ?

Although there is a humorous aspect to this thread, it is worth noting we humans are apparently the only mammals who have only one sleep every 24 hours. So the Japanese, and a few of the European countries probably have it right.

Meanwhile in Hungary, residents are campaigning for a referendum on making siestas a legal requirement! (they do like their referendums in Hungary).

06-08-2007, 01:37 PM
I was actually talking about a Southeast Asian country who also have a strong culture of having siesta.

I didn't mean to be offensive when I had an LOL (laughing out loud)...

02-11-2007, 06:20 PM
Personally I think a bit of LOL lightens the day and it's great mixed with serious knowledge sharing.

At the mention of Siesta my heart sings, I lived in Spain for several years and all the local businesses were open 9am-1pm then 4pm - 7pm (or similar). It was perfect for the climate, although most corporate offices were air conditioned it was great to go home at lunchtime for a sleep/chores/errands then return for 3 hours refreshed and more productive. Going home at 5pm would mean a sleep anyway due to the heat, and Spanish culture in my experience was to have the evening meal around 8pm so it made sense to have an afternoon break.

Perhaps this should be introduced for Australian summer? Clearly it would be difficult to implement in cities with a long commute as the norm, particularly with increased transport costs and subsequent environmental implications, but in smaller regional towns it might be a good attraction and retention tool linked with 'lifestyle change'.

18-10-2009, 05:38 PM
hi..I haven’t heard of any organizations offering like this.....