A siesta on the job?

sleeping on the job

My new series of postings are for both teachers and students to use in conversational classes.  You’ll find that all the themes are relevant, interesting, informative and most of all enjoyable.

Topic – Business

Level – intermediate

Lets Talk!

1)   Do you often feel tired and sleepy at work?  What do you think causes this? What do you do to perk yourself up?
2)   Does your company have strict rules about sleeping on the job?  What is your opinion on this?
3)   If you were a business owner, would you ever consider giving your employees time to take a nap? Why or why not?
 Infraction – (n) an act of breaking a rule or law

 Domino effect – (n) a chain reaction; a series of events quickly following each other, each of which causes the next one

Unsanctioned –  (adj) without permission

Siesta – (n) a midday or afternoon rest or nap, esp. as taken in Spain and Latin America

Reap – (v) to get something as a result of what you have done before

Sleeping on the job coffee break

When employees take a coffee break, most companies don’t really mind. However, if employees take a short sleep break, they’ll probably get terminated. Yes, sleeping on the job is usually a major infraction.

However, it has been discovered that napping actually boosts creativity and alertness, which has a remarkable domino effect on the things the person does after his/her nap. So, if employees were permitted to take a 20 – 30 minute nap in the afternoon, in theory, they could be more productive. Of course, nowadays there are very few companies that allow napping on the job.

How long is your lunch break? Do you take a nap during your lunch time? Why or why not?

Sleeping on the job

Still, according to reports, napping that is unsanctioned – or sleeping on the job – in fact costs businesses in the U.S. about $17 billion annually in lost production.

But then, studies also reveal that tired employees cost businesses up to $140 billion each year in lost production.

These findings now raise the question: When is an acceptable hour or place for an employee to get some sleep, and when is it unacceptable?

In many European countries, like Spain, and so too in several Latin American nations, an afternoon nap or siesta is actually considered normal. Local shops even close for an hour or two during the afternoon.

A nap recharges the mind and body as well as provides that extra push needed to make a day productive, which is both a benefit to the employee and the employer.

Still, only 1 percent of American companies allow napping at work. That’s indeed a shame knowing all the benefits an employee reaps after napping. Companies like Nova, Nike, and Gould Evans Goodman Associates permit in-the-office siestas and they are very smart to do so.

Questions coffee
1)How do you feel after taking a nap? What do you think about businesses in Latin America actually closing at midday to allow employees to take a siesta?
2) Think about the amount of the work that gets done in your office around midday.  Do you think that businesses in your country would benefit from closing at midday?
3) When is an acceptable hour or place for an employee to get some sleep and when is it unacceptable?
More Vocabulary
Pre-frontal cortex – (n) the front part of the brain’s frontal lobe

Wind down – (ph.v) to reduce gradually

Tabilize –  (v) to keep something at the same level

Grogginess – (n) the state of feeling weak or dizzy, especially because of illness or overindulgence (excess)

Turnover – (n) the rate at which people leave a company and are replaced

Absenteeism – (n) regular lack of attendance at work or some other place without good reasons

Stigma – (n) the shame or disgrace attached to something regarded as socially unacceptable

What’s a power nap? power nap

A “power nap” is simply a brief nap of 20 to 30 minutes during the middle of the day .  Usually at this time,  the brain’s prefrontal cortex experiences a winding down of activity. This short nap helps stabilize the brain’s activity because it provides relaxation and rest.

However, one must be careful not to exceed the 30 minute sleep or else one will enter a “deep sleep”. If you wake up in the middle of a deep sleep, you can experience inertia, the feeling of grogginess.

Recent studies suggest that power naps offer a lot of benefits like improved concentration, increased work productivity, better moods, and lowered stress.

According to The National Sleep Foundation, tired employees can be prone to:
• increased accidents and errors
• increased absenteeism
• increased  employee turnover

The obvious benefits of siestas can not be taken for granted.  It appears that many businesses could benefit from allowing nap breaks.

However, there is no need to form a rule that sets terms for napping in the office.  It’s just a matter of removing the stigma linked with power napping.

Agree or disagree question mark man

By allowing employees to take power naps, what companies lose in time, they can make up for in increased productivity.

The end.
If you enjoyed this lesson then you’ll love our online lessons. In real time, mother tongue English teachers, 1-1 or in small groups using WizIQ interactive classrooms. Visit our website and sign up for a free demo lesson.

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5 thoughts on “A siesta on the job?

  1. Pingback: A siesta on the job? | my interests | Scoop.it

  2. Pingback: A siesta on the job? | TeachingEnglish | Scoop.it

  3. Pingback: A siesta on the job? | FOTOTECA LEARNENGLISH | Scoop.it

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