Question: Nap room
Delphi Question #503 (received 18 June):
Why is the idea of a nap room such a shocking or laughable idea? In many
cultures siestas are an acceptable part of the daily routine and considered
healthful. Yes, its true we are not in a warm clime (Mexico, Italy,
Spain), but there are many people who need a quick nap in the afternoon
(pregnant women, athletes, older staff, brainiacs, physically disabled,
and so on). Historically, it was acceptable to have coffee/smoking breaks
in the afternoons. The culture has changed since the high-tech revolution.
In America, you may be looked upon as lazy or heaven forbid,
unproductive, if you want or need to have a nap in the afternoon.
Ive found that a quiet 15-minute catnap in a relaxed (not-quite-sleep)
state is a great battery recharger and would make one more productive
in the afternoon, able to finish 8 hours (or more) in an alert fashion.
A catnap could replace the extra caffeine most of us need to finish the
day. Also, most people dont require a nap every day but it would
be nice to know a nap room exists when needed.
Ive taken an informal survey in my division and it seems what many
people do when they get groggy in the afternoon is shut their office door
and lie down (either on a couch or on the floor) to power down for a brief
time. Ive also heard, I just go home and then work at home
in the evening to make up the time. Thats wonderful, but how
about those who do not have the luxury of office doors to shut or couches
in their offices (or cubicles), and who cannot just go home
in the afternoons and work from home later?
On the question regarding a nap room, the general consensus is that more
people than not agree it would be nice to have someplace to go to take
a short nap in the afternoons, when needed. I think UCAR staff would be
responsible and not abuse such a room. And, of course, it would be up
to each divisional director to approve of such a room for his or her division.
I know that space is extremely tight in some divisions but would it be
that difficult to find a small space to create a nice private, quiet area
to lie down in? Perhaps the first obstacle would be the shift in thinking
required to approach the idea positively. (Rather than a nap room
maybe it could be called something else, like siesta room, power down
room, or catnap room.)
I know this may sound like an incredibly trivial issue to some but sometimes
quality-of-life issues are very small indeed.
Answer (received 26 June):
Dear Power Napper,
UCAR Policy 2-4-7 allows for employees to arrange flexible
work schedules with their supervisors. If you feel strongly that you need
a nap during the day and that this will make you more productive, then
I suggest you make the appropriate arrangements with your supervisor.
As for providing a designated nap room, Im afraid that we simply
do not have the luxury of space to accommodate such a request. We are
currently overcrowded at all locations and the UCAR Space Implementation
Committee is evaluating options to accommodate this growth, including
doubling up in offices in some cases and converting traditionally non-office
space to offices in other cases. Consequently, we cannot set aside space
for an official nap room.
Associate Vice President
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