Magazine article The New Yorker

LIGHTS-OUT; Benefits Dept.; Benefits Dept

Magazine article The New Yorker

LIGHTS-OUT; Benefits Dept.; Benefits Dept

Article excerpt

Peter Workman, the founder and chief executive of Workman Publishing, is known among his employees as a stickler for traditional business hours: his editors are expected to be at their desks every morning at nine, an hour at which many in the industry are still spilling crumbs upon Michiko Kakutani. In January, though, the house published "Take a Nap! Change Your Life," a how-to and why-you-should, by Sara Mednick, which argues that napping increases productivity, improves health, and encourages weight loss, among other benefits. After it came out, Workman was persuaded that his own minions ought to be encouraged to fall asleep on the job.

"If it does work, why not us?" Workman said the other day in his office, whose bookshelves are filled with copies of "The Silver Palate Cookbook" and "1,000 Places to See Before You Die" and other books that his team had produced while not napping. Tie loosened and wire-rimmed glasses askew, Workman looked as if he had just woken up from a nap himself, but a can of Diet Coke and a jar of chocolate candies on his conference table testified to a dependence upon more traditional means of stimulation. (He has brought a pillow to the office but has yet to use it.)

His staff members have been more eager to enjoy a sanctioned slump, under the guidance of Mednick, a research scientist, who hopes to use data gathered at Workman to encourage other companies to adopt her program. Mike Vago, who works in the art department, said that, whether or not taking a five- or ten-minute nap every afternoon had improved his productivity, it had definitely improved his mood. Vago has been napping, on a company-provided yoga mat, in the designated nap area--a corner of the library that has been sectioned off by a shoji screen--and said that sleeping in semi-public did not bother him. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.