Reading time: 5 minutes
Not too long ago, we looked at how founders can practice self-care in the super busy startup environment and one of the best things you could do was getting enough sleep. Studies have shown that an adult needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep (including nap time). Lack of sleep results in reduced decision-making abilities, memory issues, and affects concentration. So what about your employees? Sleepiness at work is common, but it could cost your business so much money in lost productivity if your employees are too tired to function. And so when it comes to employees, the question is, to nap or not to nap?
Napping and your employees’ productivity
Sleeping in an office sounds like the most unprofessional thing an employee could possibly do. The US government has even gone as far as to ban it in federal buildings, but science seems to think that a power nap isn’t so bad. In fact, research has shown that different kinds of naps during the day have different benefits. One of them is to prevent performance from deteriorating over the course of the day. Another is that napping regularly can reduce stress and even decrease the risk of heart disease. Surely employees shouldn’t be getting their 8 hours of sleep on their desks, but there are other options that can help them be razor-focused
What’s a power nap?
The trick when taking a nap at work is to keep it short and sweet. 15 to 20 minutes are enough for the body to energize without falling into a deep stage of sleep that could leave the napper groggy. Major companies such as Nike, Zappos and Ben & Jerry’s offer their employees quiet or nap rooms that they can use as needed. Japan now even has “sleep cafes” where you can grab a nap instead of a coffee.
When to power nap?
If your employees work from 9 to 5 (or 9 to 9 somedays), they can notice a dip in performance and concentration an hour or two after lunch. This is when everyone usually goes for another cup of coffee. A 20-minute snooze can be a better alternative for your employees to restore their focus without interrupting their night sleep. If they still think they need some caffeine, they should drink their coffees right before the nap, so the caffeine rush can hit at the same time they wake up.
A power nap is not a post-on-Instagram break. In fact, blue light coming out of electronic devices is the reason behind so many people are sleep deprived So, it’s important to put phones away, turn screens off and just get down to business.
Napping and Leadership
Aside from the boost of productivity which every startup hopes to achieve, allowing your employees to nap shows them that you care about their wellbeing and shows that you trust them. Giving an employee a break to sleep proves that you trust both their character and ability to get back to work and finish their tasks on time. When you invest this trust in an employee, you empower them to prove themselves and do the best they can to deserve this trust. After all, everyone in a startup is crucial to its success.
If you find your employees constantly tired or not very focused, the answer might be more than that they just need a nap. You need to look around and ask yourself, are they tired and overworked or unmotivated and disinterested? In a perfect world, you only hire self-starters that are always motivated, engaged, and believe wholeheartedly in your business. However, over time, employees can get caught up in their day-to-day activities that they forget how their work contributes to the overall goals of the company. If you think that’s the case, it may be a good idea to show them appreciation or even offer them a new challenge that they can get excited about. Challenges can get them out of a rut and motivate them to prove themselves and give you their best once again. Engaging employees and allowing them into the grand scheme of the business, where it stands, where performance is against goals will make sure your employees are so invested in the success of the business that they would not want to sleep at work.
What keeps your employees awake at night makes them sleepy during the day
Employees have full, busy lives outside of work. And no matter how hard everyone tries to be professional, personal issues can affect their performance. Be understanding if an employee is going through a hard time and provide them with the support they need to get over it. Not only can this support help your employees solve their problems and get back to being efficient, but it also can make them see work as a place where they can get away from their personal problems and do their best.
Keeping your employees woke will keep them awake
Another problem startups face when it comes to employee performance is the lost sense of purpose, not of the employee but of the entire company. When you onboard new employees, you should be educating them on the purpose of the business, why it exists, and what change you’re hoping to make in the world through it. Are you developing software that will disrupt an industry? Building more energy-efficient machinery for cleaner earth? Or creating an AI that will help identify diseases better? Make sure your employees understand and believe in what the business is about and the good impact it will have. This will give them a macro sense of purpose and will trigger them want to combat whatever they’re facing in their personal and professional lives to make it happen.
If what you need to make it happen for your startup is extra capital, we can help. Contact us today to see how we can work with your team to finance your SR&ED, Tax Credits, or MRR and get you the funding you need to succeed.