Making oneself home at workplace

Making oneself home at workplace

Visitors to Goa must have experienced the the custom of afternoon ‘siesta’ when most establishments are shut in the afternoon from 2 pm to 4 pm. In February 2012 The Supreme Court of India  had broadened the ambit of right of life to bring in a citizen's right to sleep peacefully under it.

A citizen has a right to sound sleep because it is fundamental to life, the Supreme Court said. 7 years earlier the same  Supreme  Court  upheld  the dismissal  of an employee of Pune based company for sleeping on the job.

That might  appear a little surprising, when the world over companies are acknowledging  the importance of workers sleeping during the working day.  At last, science has come up with proof that naps during working hours are good for you. People who take at least 3 daytime naps a week lasting 30 minutes or longer cut their risk of dying from a heart attack by 37 per cent,  according to a new study by a team of American and Greek researchers.
 
According to one newspaper report ‘daytime snoozing and siestas is an important part of ‘full–spectrum  fitness’. One company actively encourages  napping by its employees to ‘give them a break, or a napping area where they can unwind.”

Sleeping at work, or a lack of focus due to little or no sleep, affects more employees  than most would  have thought. With hectic lifestyles, repetitive tasks, stuffy  environments and more stress, very few  employees are immune to feeling sleepy at some point during the working day. Surveys show that there is nothing unusual  about  feeling  sleepy  in the office. One recent online poll of over 21,000  european  office workers found that 24 percent had fallen asleep at work, while another 39  percent found it a big challenge at times to stay awake  in the office.
Sleepy workers are a pricey expense for businesses,  since their productivity  and the quality of their work is negatively affected, says Herman Daguere who is with the recruitment  company  that conducted the survey.  Employers should encourage  workers  to take breaks throughout the day.   When sleep deprived, people think  and move more slowly,  make more mistakes and have difficulty  remembering things. Lack of sleep is associated with irritability,  impatience,  anxiety  and depression. These problems can upset job and family relationships and  cause unnecessary suffering.

According to reports, the industry giant Toyota  encourages its employees to take rest and nap during the afternoons in its headquarters at Tokyo. In accordance with their  policy on energy conservation, the company  switches off all lights thereby enabling  workers to get some sleep.  Various other companies across the world  have special nap rooms  for their workers, where tired people can rest and work when they are fresh.  In China, the law actually guarantees a post lunch snooze. And in Spain, business centres have opened up, where for a small  fee workers can relax  and even have a nap.

The experience  of one California consulting  firm  suggests yet another economic benefit  of allowing  workers  to sleep on the jobs.  Since it set up a nap room  two years  ago,  its expenditures on caffeinated soda and coffee have dropped 30  percent!

Anyone  who thinks  that such sleep  initiatives represent  a kinder, gentler corporate response to employees’ needs should wake up and smell the coffee. It is  not an endorsement  of an unhurried old World lifestyle, but  an effort to get employees  to work harder and more productively  once they wake up (power sleep,  indeed).

An increasing number of employees are having less than  the recommended eight hours of sleep  and are therefore sleep deprived. It is important to keep  a regular  sleep schedule, even on days off and weekends. Just as you can take steps  to ensure  a good nights – or day’s  - sleep, you could try  these steps to stay alert on the job. Take short breaks at work. Try to exercise during breaks take a walk or climb stairs.

Don’t leave the most tedious  or boring  tasks to the end of your  shift when  you are likely  to feel the drowsiest. Try to work  with a buddy.  Talking to co-workers  can help  keep you alert. Co-workers can be on the lookout for signs  of drowsiness in each other.

Exchange ideas with your colleagues on ways to cope with the problem. Set up a support group  at work so that you can support and learn from each other.

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