Getting up for work this morning will have been quite a shock for hairdressers and shop workers, many of whom have been on furlough since Christmas. Not being a morning person, I have a lot of sympathy with Vincent Walsh, Professor of Human Brain Research at University College London, when he says “Morning people have been allowed to run the world. We really need to shut them down”.
If you are working at Costa and need to be ready to serve your first flat white at 7am, you don’t have much of a choice, you have to be up bright and early, like it or not. But what’s to stop you having a quick 20-minute nap at work? Well, HR probably, and your line manager. Sleeping on the job is unlikely to gain you many brownie points and repeated naps could lead to disciplinary action.
But if Professor Walsh had his way, we would all be scheduling an afternoon nap. And it’s not as mad as it sounds. We are not designed just to sleep at night and most of us are more productive and creative after a short sleep. Nike, Google and Facebook recognise this and have introduced “sleep pods” for their employees.
The world of work may never go back to normal, so perhaps now is the time to make radical changes. Why not suggest a sleep pod to your employer. If they laugh at you, just remind them that Thomas Edison put beds in his office to make sure he could sleep whenever he felt like it, and he wasn’t exactly an under-achiever.
Failing that, try for a job at Ben & Jerry's. Not only do they have a nap room, but employees can take home free ice cream every day.
There is no biological reason for doing all our dozing at night. We should be encouraged to sleep on the job even when we go back to the office