German Town Promotes Sleeping on the Job
BERLIN (Reuters) - A German town has found that sleeping on the job, albeit in limited doses, can boost workers' efficiency.
For two years, civil servants in the small town of Vechta southwest of Hamburg, have been allowed 20 minutes after lunch to go home and take a nap, doze in their office chairs or otherwise relax, town spokesman Frank Kaethler said.
"In the beginning employees were skeptical about the project," he said on Monday. "But then they were happier and they started working better."
Kaethler said Vechta started the project because it had too much work for too few employees and no budget to hire new civil servants. A local health insurance company gave them courses on napping.
Research by the Institute for Sleep Research and Medicine in Regensburg found that 22 percent of the overall German population naps. But institute head Juergen Zulley said only Vechta appeared to have implemented a sleeping-on-the-job project.
"Work and sleep are normally seen as opposites and many firms don't want it to be said that their employees sleep in their company," Zulley said.