skip to Main Content
MSJ NEWS see latest news

Napping on the Job Can Lead to Productivity Boost, Research Suggests

  • Recent research suggests that afternoon naps are associated with improved mental function
  • Several previous studies have shown that even short naps can help workers recharge and be more productive
  • Naps can offer a useful break for remote workers struggling to separate work and home life

The idea of napping at work has long been regarded as the pinnacle of laziness. Think Homer Simpson snoozing at his work console or George Costanza renovating his desk so he can sleep under it.

Perhaps they were just ahead of their time. Research has shown that taking a brief nap during the day can be a useful way to improve productivity, and this strategy could be particularly useful as remote work arrangements blur the divide between work and home.

Research recently conducted in China and published in the journal General Psychiatry paired the nap habits of 2,000 older citizens and the results of their dementia screenings. The study found that afternoon naps were associated with improved mental function. Rzesearchers also cautioned that the positive results may not have been a result of the naps, and the study did not track the long-term effects of nap habits.

However, multiple studies have shown that even short “power naps” can help workers improve their focus and memory. Some research suggests that while worker performance declines throughout the day, a nap helps them recharge and bring productivity levels closer to where they were at the beginning of the day.

Stress can also be an inhibitor of productivity, and COVID-19 has been associated with higher stress levels among workers. Remote work has generally lengthened workdays, as employees find it difficult to detach their work from their home life. Even before the pandemic, workers often had less of an opportunity to reset as they accessed e-mails or other work through their phone or computer outside of normal business hours.

Several tech companies got ahead of the curve by setting up “nap pods” or other places where workers could take a siesta in the midst of their workday. One company, Metronaps, even offers a specialized chair designed for workplace naps.

One benefit of remote work is that employees can easily retire to their bedroom for a quick snooze. This could even take the place of a lunch break, although research has also demonstrated the benefits of a midday meal. The National Sleep Foundation recommends taking a nap of no longer than 20 minutes, saying naps of 30 to 60 minutes are disruptive and leave you feeling groggier than you were before.

Spread the Word

More To Explore

Expert Summaries

Know Your Competitors

By Denis Jakuc 

There are tons of benefits to knowing who your competitors are—what they’re offering, their strengths and weaknesses. That knowledge can help you make your products and services stand out,

Latest News

Join with Free InnovatorsLINK Account

Start accessing all the free member benefits and valuable content on the InnovatorsLINK platform. Create a BizLINK listing to boost brand exposure, receive the weekly Main Street Journal newsletter, engage in forums, get full access to free content, and more.