March 15, 2019

Power Napping

Power Napping

In case you didn’t see all of the Tweets, Monday was National Napping Day, held the day after we push our clocks ahead for Daylight Savings time and sacrifice an hour of sleep in the process. It’s almost a week later and I must admit I’m still dragging a little at my 6am wake up time. Between the time change and the demands of tax season, the mere suggestion of a nap sounds pretty good to accountants right about now. With April 15 looming, a little sleep deprivation is par for the course for those of us in the accounting profession.

NASA has found that for tired pilots, taking short naps helps their performance and alertness. I have to assume the same holds true for accountants, although we don’t have the luxury of auto-pilot to help us out when things get turbulent.

Many people are, well, waking up to the value of naps. Some companies are now even renting out napping pods. You may have seen some of these at airports, if you travel a lot, as I do, or in big cities like New York. If you’re ever racing around Manhattan and in need of a little down time, the mattress company Casper will happily offer you space at The Dreamery (pajamas included) for $25. Talk about a clever brand extension. Meanwhile, if you’re really serious about your at-home napping, Hammacher Schlemmer will sell you the Productivity Boosting Nap Pod, a $16,000 splurge that looks like a cross between a chair and a bed.

As a leader, I’m glad to see napping getting its due, although with three young children, napping for me is just a fond memory. Studies show that sleep can help people’s thinking, concentration, productivity and performance. That’s why we see more schools considering later start times for children and teens, who need even more sleep than we do.

Getting enough sleep also protects your health, helping prevent diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. And for athletes – even the weekend warrior kind – getting enough sleep can also enhance performance, boosting speed, accuracy and reaction time.

That said, we have a pretty robust work-life balance culture, including Serenity Rooms in most offices, but I’m not sure we’re quite ready to install nap pods here at Marcum. I’ll leave that to Google and Zappos. What would clients make of it if they dropped into our offices and found their CPA snoozing in the middle of the day – even if HR started handing out Marcum PJs to every new hire?

Fortunately, once we’re through the first busy season of the year, our team will have a chance to take their well-deserved PTO and catch up on any missed sleep. For now, we’ll just keep the supply of energy bars and other pick-me-ups well stocked.