Japan is renowned for its greulling work culture and a recent poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that, on average, the country’s employees get far less sleep than their American or European counterparts. Now, Japanese bosses are waking up to the problem of sleepy employees – but they’ve got rather a novel solution.
According to a report in the Guardian, Japanese companies like Okuta, a home renovation outfit near Tokyo and Hugo Inc. an internet consulting firm in Osaka, are increasingly allowing staff to take power naps during working hours. The move is bolstered by recommendations from the national health ministry that working adults should take half hour siestas in the early afternoon, and appears to be proving popular.
Inemuri, or “sleeping while present” has long been seen as proof of hard work and dedication, although those that do it were typically expected to look smart and upright even while they snooze. The new, more permissive attitude to napping has seen sleeper sofas introduced in some offices, whilst in other areas, public napping facilities are being dreamed up. At one, the Ohirune Café Corne in Tokyo, women on a work break pay a little under 10p a minute to curl up in their own partitioned, essential-oil-scented space to catch some restorative shut-eye. Most stay for about an hour, says the report.