An Indian startup endorses the “right to nap”

Rest first.
Rest first.
Image: Reuters/Mike Segar
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Sleeping on the job is now cool.

“Research shows that afternoon naps help with memory, concentration, creativity, and productivity,” Chaitanya Ramalingegowda, cofounder of Bengaluru-based Wakefit, wrote in an internal memo announcing “the right to nap.”

The mattress company has officially blocked 2pm-2.30pm on all 677 employees’ calendars for some quick shut-eye. Thirty minutes seems to be the sweet spot to improve mood and fight fatigue. Any longer and people may end up more groggy and less productive.

While it appears to be a novel idea in a country where companies pride themselves on long working hours and poor work-life balance, the practice itself isn’t brand new. By 2008, up to 34% of US companies were allowing power naps for employees.

Twenty-minute naps, with pods and rooms for the break, have been normal at Google and Ben & Jerry’s for several years now. At Las-Vegas-based online retail firm Zappos, employees can relax on massage chairs in “The Tank”—a communal nap room with a 25-foot, 3,500-gallon saltwater aquarium.

Wakefit is now working on creating nap pods and quiet rooms in its offices.