What a Snooze
By Barry Kluger https://twitter.com/ItsKlugerPublished Apr 4th, 2016
What a Snooze
I was watching the ‘Today Show’ and saw an interview with Huffington Post’s Arianna Huffington (disclaimer:I am also a HuffPo blogger) and she spoke of their new policy of allowing workers to snooze to build creativity.
I’ve been doing that for my entire career! At all my jobs before and after, I always had a couch in my office, mostly for meetings but I’d catch a quick nap now and then. I’d like to think it made me more creative.
But then, I looked at the history of snoozing. Some of it makes sense, sometimes it doesn’t.
In elementary school, especially kindergarten, we had nap time. I don’t think it had anything to do with making us more creative. It was an opportunity for teachers to get a break from US or go out and have a smoke. I know firsthand; my mother, wife and mother in law were all teachers. Later on, sometimes they went to a movie.
On the other hand, we see TV shows where doctors sleep during long shifts in windowless rooms. They deserve it for the work they do. But I don’t hear much about ER nurses having the same opportunity to do so. Doesn’t make sense.
School bus drivers? I often see buses parked in shopping centers with the door closed. They’re probably grabbing a quick nap but then again, they have to drive around screaming kids all day and their cargo is most precious to us. They get a ‘buss pass’ for that.
What other jobs have nappers? Pilots, who often have a mandatory sleep requirement are another group. I know I want them alert. Not for creativity but for quick response time.
The tech explosion has brought a mix of being tuned into the needs of workers but sometimes, bordering on coddling. Today’s generations play ping-pong, instead of napping. Maybe the competitive aspect helps them think better.
Universities ranging from UC-Berkley to James Madison to U of Miami have sleep pods where students can doze off between classes. That’s just crazy. Everyone knows college students are supposed to snooze DURING class. But seriously, don’t stay out till 3 am if you have an important class or exam the next day. Take some responsibility.
Hourly workers don’t get to nap. Lawyers bill hourly and while they get a salary for certain numbers billable, their time awake is when they help their clients. I think some of them could use a nap, though. I know my wife would be a whole lot more fun if she did.
Assembly line workers have important jobs and they work around some pretty dangerous equipment so they always have to be alert. That’s another group I think could use a little snoozing on the job. Firefighters nap. Got no problem with that.
We don’t always control our careers or our lives so we are often at the mercy of others. If a few winks help you do a better job, I say grab them if you can.
But remember. Work is what it is. Doing a job. I know one CEO who says: Sleep when you die. I’d bet that employee morale at his company is pretty low. I guess there’s a middle ground somewhere. I just don’t know where it is.
Come to think of it, all this writing has me..yawn..excuse me..a little beat. Pardon me while I..zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.(snore)