Napping at work might be frowned upon in most offices, but experts think that's all about to change - and now there's a special device to help you take a short snooze at your desk whenever you need to recharge your batteries.
Called For The Rest, the screen acts as a partition between desks when not in use, folding down into an upright support with padded 'pillow' section where you can rest your head when you need a bit of shuteye. The lightweight net of the main frame cushions shoulders, while the felt centre support helps to block out office noise.
It's not available to buy yet, but will most likely be on sale once the design process is complete.
The screen was designed by Sharon Liverant, a former architecture student who used to take naps at his desk while pulling all-nighters. He now works at Israel-based design firm Joynout, but acknowledges that office culture needs to embrace naps for the product to be a success.
"The concept of a short nap at work must be a part of the firm's DNA in order for our product to be well integrated," says Liverant. "If this is the spirit of the office, the worker will feel comfortable taking a nap, without the need for privacy."
Liverant and his colleagues at Joynout were inspired by a trip to Hong Kong, where they found that it is common for people to fall asleep in public places.
"In almost every corner in town, toward noon time, you could see locals having a short nap," says Assaf Israel, CEO of Joynout. "Whether it was on a bench in the park, inside a public library, on the bus, on the metro - or even cleaning workers who fell asleep on the floor they just finished cleaning - I was pretty amazed by how easy it was for them to fall asleep that spontaneously in crowded public spaces, literally turning themselves off while being totally exposed."
Others are beginning to emphasize the importance of naps at work, too. Arianna Huffington, Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, recently wrote a book about the importance of sleep, and predicts that office nap rooms are going to be “as common as conference rooms” in the next two years. She's been known to take naps at her desk, in full view of other employees, to encourage others to do the same.
There are plenty of studies which illustrate the benefits of naps, too; according to sleepfoundation.org, a quick nap can restore alertness, enhance performance, and reduce mistakes, while a study on NASA military pilots and astronauts found that a longer 40-minute nap improved performance by 34% and alertness 100%.
So, perhaps a device for sleeping at your desk isn't such a crazy idea after all - it might even be the future.