Date
21 August 2017
Engineering a productivity boost. An attendee takes a nap at the Macworld/iWorld conference in San Francisco, California. Photo: Bloomberg
Engineering a productivity boost. An attendee takes a nap at the Macworld/iWorld conference in San Francisco, California. Photo: Bloomberg

¡Ay, caramba! Seoul city govt adopts the siesta

It might sound counterproductive but the Seoul metropolitan government is allowing staff to fall asleep on the job as the heat takes hold over the peak of summer.

The news from city hall is that workers will be able to take a power nap of up to an hour in the early afternoon from August on the proviso that they make up the time earlier or later on. 

They can’t just put their tools down and feet up as the mood strikes though. Workers have been told that they have to put in a siesta application on the morning of their intended nap. With Seoul officials already putting in an average of 11 hours a day at the office, according to the Financial Times, some could probably do with more of a rest.

It’s the first time a South Korean employer has proposed the idea and the pioneering approach is in the interests of productivity.

“Many health reports show that taking a short nap in the afternoon helps workers perform better,” the Korea Times reports.

The news will be a yawn for anyone working at Google, which apparently provides napping pods at its Mountain View campus in California.

A Dutch duo have gone one step further, pushing the edge of the pillow case by creating Google Naps, a user-generated map service that plots the best places in the world to catch forty winks. Their site includes a plea to Googe’s Sergey and Larry not to take them down and an open invitation to the tech company’s founders to doze on their couch.

There doesn’t seem to be any danger of Google shutting the nap mapsters down any time soon. The search giant told the Huffington Post that “as longtime supporters of napping, we’re thrilled to see Google technology connecting the world’s sleepiest citizens with places to catch some zzz’s”.

Phew. There’s still time for Google Naps to add Seoul’s metropolitan government buildings to their best spots for some shuteye — assuming they haven’t fallen asleep at the website’s wheel.

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RA/SK

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