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Ben Parkinson
Ben Parkinson
  • 2 Minute Read
  • 04th September 2012

Caught Napping

A recent survey by Search Office Space has uncovered the secret sleeping habits of employees during working hours – and they are statistics best kept off the boss’ desk.

A staggering 55% of those surveyed admitted to sleeping at some point during their working day (either on a lunch break or at their desk), and of these people as many as 66% were happy to use a keyboard for a pillow whilst taking an un-authorised siesta.

“The population is getting older! They need their rest” – I hear you cry. Well, unfortunately not. Almost two thirds (62%) of those who admitted to falling asleep at work were under the age of 25! Maybe office workers these days tune out too easily, or they don’t tune out enough. Controversially, it could even suggest less of a work ethic amongst this particular generation. Whatever the answer, we believe some of our advice might just help raise morale and reduce wasted working hours; a step towards revitalising your corporate environment.

Our figures also reveal a deeper debate; are we simply working too hard? Or, are we just going about our working day the wrong way? According to figures from The Guardian, we Brits get the bronze medal for the longest hours in Europe (behind Austria and Greece), with an average working week of just over 42.5 hours; in terms of productivity per hour worked, we drop down to a measly 13th.

There’s evidence from both the government and employers that flexibility in working hours can have significant effects on staff well-being. Since the legal right to request flexible working hours from their employers was implemented, almost 90% of applications have been approved either partially or fully, halving the number of employees needing to change jobs after returning to work. Employers have witnessed an array of unexpected advantages, including the retention of experienced staff and a reduction in absenteeism, as well as having cover for non-standard working hours. However, this idea can only succeed if the office never sleeps; but how do we keep our staff awake and away from those all too comfy storage rooms – ideal for a sneaky snooze (… or so I’m told).

Over the past few years it has become widely accepted that employees who work at a computer should take at least five minutes away from it per hour to avoid counter-productivity – a listless 15 minutes spent gazing in to space. It is crucial in these times that employees are given the right kind of environment to unwind, with a peaceful ambience and comfortable furnishings. The properties in the Search Office Space portfolio consider the ergonomics of your communal space on your behalf, to make that much needed tea break feel like you’re relaxing in your own home.

So, there you have it. People are still falling asleep at their desks, and Search Office Space can’t come round and wake up all your employees individually. However, we can offer serviced offices to suit the rhythm of your business. Offices with 24 hour access, comfortable lounge areas and stylish kitchen facilities - but no hammock in the broom cupboard.


The survey was conducted by 70 professionals from a number of different companies.