Neuroscientists have known for decades that a "10‐minute nap results in significantly improved alertness and cognitive performance." We even know from brain scans specifically how napping makes you smarter, better and faster.

Given all that peer-reviewed evidence, you'd think that CEOs--who no doubt want and expect employees to perform at their peak--would be rushing to make it easier for employees to take power naps.

But you'd think wrong. According to the New York Times, many if not most companies are still forcing people to employ subterfuge--like hiding in their cars or in the restroom--simply to take a brief restorative nap.

What gives? Why do naps remain verboten?

The sad truth: as a class, CEOs are notorious for ignoring science in favor of biz-blab and bullsh*t. Rather than relying on peer-reviewed neuroscience into productivity, CEOs have a depressing tendency to glom onto the latest management fad du jour.

It's very bizarre, if you think about it. If CEOs made financial decisions with the same disrespect for facts that they give to productivity decisions, CEOs would be rubbing gold dust on dollars to ensure the money comes back ten-fold.

Nowhere is this tendency to swallow malarkey more obvious than with the open plan office, which runs contrary to over three decades of research from some of the world's finest universities reveals that OPOs massively decrease productivity.

Despite mountains of research, CEOs have spent billions of dollars to implement "collaborative team-based environments with innovative blah-de-blah-de-blah" without realizing their firms' success was in spite of, rather than because of, these monstrosities.

OPOs, of course, are antithetical to napping because they turn offices into noisy jabber-fests. Private spaces are rare by design; even a request for privacy is suspect. "What? You don't want to COLLABORATE? What is WRONG with you?"

Having wasted all that money on playground slides and other assorted whatnot, CEOs are stuck in a sunk-cost fallacy. Creating a nap-friendly office would mean admitting they'd been snookered. And if there's one thing CEOs don't like, it's admitting they've been dumb.

Fortunately, the CEOs who drank the OPO Kool-Aid will eventually be replaced by younger, smarter CEOs who'll throw OPOs in the trash and start implementing privacy-rich workplaces where power naps are easy.

And it may happen faster than you think because those younger, smarter CEOs will create better, healthier workplaces that will utterly outperform the companies still clinging to the 20th century thinking that's made them full of tired, yawning burnouts.

Published on: Sep 25, 2018
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