It might sound like the dream life: working at home in your PJs, able to get up when you want, play whatever music you want (and sing along) … and take a nap when you feel a little drowsy.
It’s every Mom’s dream job, right?
It’s certainly likely to be tempting: your bed is nearby, so you don’t have to sleep at your desk, in your car, or in some other awkward position in a workplace. That great mattress that you carefully picked out might well seem like a very inviting place to be when your eyelids are drooping. Here’s a great guide that will help you to choose the most comfortable one for your sleeping position.
But is napping a good idea, when you’re working from home? Will it damage or improve your productivity? (And – if you’re employed rather than freelance – what might your employer think?)
The Benefits of Napping When Working From Home
Proponents of napping cite a number of different benefits, but the primary one is that napping gives you more energy.
If you find yourself drowsy and unfocused for a couple of hours every day after lunch, then taking a nap for 20 minutes might be enough to restore your alertness.
You might actually get much more done by taking a nap than by making a coffee and trying to power on through.
Napping can also have significant health benefits:
“In a longitudinal study of over 23,000 healthy people, nappers had a much lower rate of coronary mortality. Those who napped occasionally had a 12% lower coronary mortality rate, while those who napped often had a 37% percent lower rate.”
(Erin Wildermuth, The Science of Naps, MichaelHyatt.com)
More and more companies are recognising the benefits of napping, too. Google famously has “nap pods”, for instance, and other companies are following suit.
With all that in mind, why wouldn’t you want to nap? Well, there are some potential drawbacks to be aware of, too:
The Drawbacks of Napping When Working From Home
If you work remotely but have an employer, then they might not be too happy about you napping while you’re supposed to be on the clock.
While telecommuting has become more common, with the advent of high-speed internet, some companies still view home workers with suspicion.
If someone sends an urgent email and you don’t respond for two hours because you’re having a nap, that’s not going to create a great impression.
Even if you work for yourself, long naps in the middle of the day could cause work issues. Clients might expect to be able to reach you during standard business hours, for instance – and you may lose out on work if they can’t get hold of you because you’ve switched off your phone while you sleep.
Another potential drawback, particularly if you like long naps, is that your work/life schedule could become increasingly blurred.
Some freelancers are perfectly happy keeping odd hours (napping all afternoon and working late into the night, for instance) – but if you have a partner or kids with a more regular schedule, this could put your body clock out of sync with theirs.
The solution here is simple: keep naps short. Leadership expert Michael Hyatt advises napping for 20 – 30 minutes at most.
If napping works for you and helps you to focus, then definitely work a short nap into your schedule. This could be as simple as having a 20-minute nap during your lunch hour, to help you feel refreshed and alert for the afternoon ahead.