Let's face it. With today's hectic work schedules, and the drive to do as much as possible with your free time, sleeping for modern men and women has been cut down to a minimum. No longer are the 8 hour sleeping patterns the norm, as we approach a time when everyone will be working on 6, 5 or even 4 hour sleep cycles. Unfortunately, sleep is still required by the human brain to avoid insanity, and to let the body repair itself, so alternative locations and times must be developed.

Some progressive corporations are introducing ideas such as "company nap time", whereby a time period is designated (usually during lunch, or it leads to longer mandatory working hours) where workers can bring in a blanket and pillow, curl up in a ball of some sort, and fall asleep for about 30 minutes.

We all know that 30 minutes is NOT nearly enough time to fully recharge the human body, so alternatives to this must be implemented. Since management tends to frown upon workers who sleep on the job, one should to be careful to avoid management while sleeping. There are several ways of doing this, which I shall outline later in the document. This works extremely well if the one who wants to sleep on the job IS management, as they have the luxury of being able to sleep with very few people telling them they shouldn't. However, in such a case, they should not require their subordinates to continue to work while they sleep, lest they be outed to any higher employee on the managerial chain, or if they are at the top, to the stockholders and investors in the company.

Most (but not all!) managers have the company's best interest in mind, so they will not be keen about utilizing their, or your salary for sleeping purposes. Therefore, one must take special precautions while finding the perfect time and place to take a company nap.

Here are some suggestions as to where to go on for your rest:

  • Your car. This is a classic method, and has many, many advantages which on first appearance, make it seem like the best option. However, your absence from both your desk, and the building, will be noted by those who seek your services. The advantages are, a well conditioned climate, suited to your individual tastes, comfortable sleeping surface, music to coax you into sleep, and any amenities you wish to bring from home. The major disadvantage is that, if found, you will have zero excuses as to what you were doing, and will be on grounds for immediate termination.
  • Your desk. This is another classic method, and carries many advantages, which ensure job security should you be caught. The disadvantages are the exact same as the car's advantages. Comfort is a key issue, as standard office chairs have no advantage over a bed, or a car seat. However, the benefits become immediately apparent upon being caught. Your excuses are now numerous, especially as the day continues. You should always make an attempt to fall asleep with your hands on the keyboard or grasping a pen or pencil with ONLY work related documents on your desk or computer. This way, upon discovery, you can give the excuse that you were working so hard that you tired yourself out. This may garner praise instead of criticism from your management, as management typically likes the type of worker who would sacrifice his or her personal health to ensure company profitability.
  • The Bathroom. A method not oft used, but should be. You sacrifice all comforts in this case, however, with smaller offices, the advantages far, far outweigh the disadvantages. Smaller offices, in an effort to reduce overhead, opt for unisex bathrooms. These bathrooms are almost always equipped with a lock and key system, as they are also typically single-capacity. In such a manner, these bathrooms can be used for sleeping quarters. I recommend sitting on the floor with your back to the wall for optimum sleeping purposes. If you plan to sleep in a larger scale bathroom, you may wish to sleep while sitting on the toilet. However, this may not be advantageous, should you be the type of person who tends to snore while sleeping, as persons who come in to use the facilities are capable of hearing you.
  • The janitor's closet. Janitors usually do not begin their rounds until the day shift is over. Therefore, they are not in the building during normal working hours. Their closet usually contains a chair and a small desk of some sort, ideal for sleeping purposes. The downside to this is, of course, that the closet is often kept locked, and normal employees are not given access.
  • Conference rooms. Should you be aware that a conference is not taking place, a conference room is a fine place to catch up on a few minutes or hours of rest. Under the conference table is a favorite position for these types of office sleepers. However, in the event that a meeting is thrown at a moment's notice, or you do not do your research and look up the schedules for this conference room, you could be headed for a large amount of embarrassment, upon your discovery.
  • Empty offices. Some office buildings are not expanding quickly enough to fill all the offices in the building. This creates empty offices, whose lights are usually dimmed, and makes for the ideal sleeping environment.
  • Network closets. The big disadvantage is that you always need a key into these rooms. The big advantage is that you are probably the only one with said key.
  • Air ducts. Should your building be rather old, you can attempt (and I stress that this is for hardcore sleepers) crawling up into the air ducts of the building. Preferably, your point of entry and exit should be in a vacant area, as your emergence will rouse suspicion amongst your coworkers.
  • Under your desk. Should you be blessed with your own office, you can arrange said office in order to maximize your sleeping efforts. Place the desk in a position whereby crawling underneath, you will not be noticed by people walking outside or stepping into your office.

There are many ways to sleep at work. Try them all, and discover what works best for you. Now, you can enjoy the luxury of the weekday night life, and a full paying job, all thanks to knowing where to go to sleep on the job. Use these suggestions wisely, as sleeping on the job may or may not be a practice that is looked down upon at your place of employment.

Good luck, and have a nice nap!

I used to work at the IBM 24-hour helpdesk in RTP. Working the evening/weekend shift there was much napping and going out for Chinese food, but there was one guy who lived in legend.

He had two fulltime jobs, one during the day and one at night. At night, he would show up at IBM with a blanket and pillow, crawl under his desk, and turn out the lights in his area. He'd take the phone under his desk in case it rang, in which case he would wake up and take the call.

We didn't have any managers there at night, but I think at least some of them must have known about it. I think he did a good job and it was hard to get good people to work the midnight - 8am shift, so they didn't say anything. But eventually upper management found out and he was fired. Too bad. I thought it was a great idea.


p.s. The coolest boss I ever had once gave me a great tip on how to sleep at work. If you have your own office (or I guess it would work in the conference room method mentioned above), lie on the floor with your feet against the closed door. That way, if someone comes looking for you it will wake you up. Also, if you do get caught lying on the floor with your feet against the door, say your back was hurting from sitting at the computer for so long so you were doing back exercises prescribed by your physical therapist. It works!

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