France to experiment with paid “power naps” for workers

posted at 7:35 pm on January 30, 2007 by Allahpundit

Probably not worthy of the red meat graphic but on a news day as putrid as this, it’s now or never.

If this works out, they’re going to move towards “advanced” Eurosocialism: paid storytime hours after lunch with little cartons of milk for all employees.

Mind you, this is on top of a work week that’s limited to 35 hours by law.

“Sleep must not be trivialised,” Xavier Bertrand, the Health Minister, said. The after-lunch nap is to be introduced by volunteer companies and studied for results. It could then be recommended for all employees, the minister said.

“Why not a siesta at work? The question must not be taboo,” Mr Bertrand said. “But let’s not get carried away. The siesta would be limited to 15 minutes. But if the study enables us to confirm the positive effects on concentration and quality of work, we must not hesitate to promote the concept.”…

Southern France used to indulge in the Mediterranean siesta but, despite the 35-hour maximum working week, office workers have long abandoned the traditional two-hour, wine-accompanied lunch. Many city workers have even adopted non-French habits such as sandwiches at the desk.

I have a, er, “friend” who works from home, on a laptop, often while lying in a hammock, and is given to dozing off on the boss’s dime for upwards of 90 minutes at a stretch. That is, when he’s not laughing at the suckers with real jobs.

It’s a good life. Or so he tells me.

Here’s the French Health Ministry webpage on power naps. Anyone willing to translate? Don’t be afraid to identify yourself as a French speaker; it’s no longer a bannable offense.

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Can we PLEASE apply that to law school too?

Defector01 on January 30, 2007 at 7:37 PM

All these slow news days are building up to something big. I can feel it. Where’s my tinfoil helmet?

Hack Ptui on January 30, 2007 at 7:46 PM

Oh that’s funny. LOL

bert169 on January 30, 2007 at 7:53 PM

I suppose their dirtnaps are prepaid.

JammieWearingFool on January 30, 2007 at 7:54 PM

Leave it to the Fwench to be the first to surrender to sleep

Lord Nazh on January 30, 2007 at 7:56 PM

This acceptance of siestas and the loss of productivity that will result shows, once again, the pernicious influence of the mass illegal immigration from Mex…what?

We’re talking about France?

Never mind, then.

Slublog on January 30, 2007 at 8:03 PM

In summary the site says that they will individually evaluate how many such ‘paid’ naps each worker will necessitate…

Economic suicide mania!

Can’t kill something which is already dead!

Worked there for a few weeks, during different time stretches:

- come to work late
- shake hands with every single person you work with, even though you did that every day before
- good, strong coffee
- work some
- go for exquisite long lunch, food/wine superb
- come back late, very late from lunch
- work some, if you can stay awake, from food/wine and p.m.
- have to leave the parking lot, by law, at a certain time – otherwise punishable offence by the company – the police really checks on this – unions people, they mean something there, and the entire populace…humanity means a lot there..

Envy the U.S. Oh, yes. We are the stupid, ignorant ‘don’t know how to live’ ones.

Entelechy on January 30, 2007 at 8:26 PM

Forgot the late afternnon coffe break.

Entelechy on January 30, 2007 at 8:26 PM

And of course it is ‘coffee’, unless it is a very good café.

Entelechy on January 30, 2007 at 8:29 PM

Were they studying the Democrats in our last Congress? It sure sounds like what those ‘Progressives’ [insurance] were doing.

DannoJyd on January 30, 2007 at 8:54 PM

As a gringo I have to say that I’m all for a paid corporate siesta.

Yo Quiera Siesta!

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on January 30, 2007 at 9:01 PM

I would not translate the article because my french is poor. One part struck me as interesting. They said that lack of sleep can have the same effect as 0.5g of alcohol in the blood, and it causes 20% of all road accidents.

Ouabam on January 30, 2007 at 9:10 PM

No. Seriously. Why do I not live in France?!

E. M. on January 30, 2007 at 9:11 PM

Don’t forget 6-7 weeks of paid vacation, for everyone.

I work for a Danish Company and they’re up to 7 weeks, I know France is about the same. I can’t imagine a full time job were you “work” 1575 hours a year.

reaganaut on January 30, 2007 at 9:13 PM

I used to get paid to play video games. . .it was called tech support.

- The Cat

MirCat on January 30, 2007 at 9:16 PM

I think some American companies should voluntarily do the same test.

If I had my own company, it would go a little something like this:

“Sure, if you’re a little tired, take a nap.”

Wait to see which lazy bastards are taking a nap on company time; replace them with employees that get their sleep at night.

Of course, as a person that doesn’t own my own company, I’m all for naptime on the boss’ dime. ;)

JadeNYU on January 30, 2007 at 9:24 PM

Smokers spend more than 15 minutes a day outside smoking. And to think, they could be sleeping instead!

Mojave Mark on January 30, 2007 at 9:36 PM

I think some American companies should voluntarily do the same test.

Actually, they do. I don’t think it should be required, but many companies have started voluntarily allowing their employees some paid time for a power nap or a quick workout… the companies that have done it have generally found that it boosts employee productivity enough to pay for itself.

DaveS on January 30, 2007 at 10:08 PM

If you think about it the EU was formed to ‘compete’ mostly with the U.S. I think to expect American production output and results while trying to maintain Medeterainian culture and traditions is both stupid and arrogant!

sonnyspats1 on January 30, 2007 at 10:12 PM

They’re just the French, who cares?
They surely don’t care about much of anything and the French youth want paid for not working at all. Maybe if they’re asleep, they cant protest.
Like the muslim non-east or west facing potty, WHAT’s NEXT?

shooter on January 30, 2007 at 10:49 PM

..if the study enables us to confirm the positive effects on concentration and quality of work, we must not hesitate to promote the concept.”…

How will they measure the results? They’re asleep all of the time. hmmm…degrees of REM sleep? Pissed off customers due to sleep? How efficiently they get home once they wake up at the end of the day?

BacaDog on January 30, 2007 at 11:24 PM

Danno, welcome back. Missed you.

E L Frederick (Sniper One), I’d much rather have a fiesta than a siesta :)

The idea is ridiculous, even more so coming from France. On the other hand, I spend more than that on HA.

However, I will work any amount of hours, at any time, with no restrictions, depending on what is going on; travel anywhere, for however long. Plus, I pretty much decide my own calendar and no government or system tells me when to vacate the parking lot; also, the employers don’t owe me anything, except access to the internet :)

Entelechy on January 30, 2007 at 11:52 PM

15 minutes is not even worth the nap – it takes me longer than that to fall asleep.

Rick on January 31, 2007 at 12:02 AM

Why don’t they just cut to the grand finale and do away with work entirely? It would be years before anybody noticed.

Scotsman on January 31, 2007 at 12:16 AM

Hi, Entelechy. I’ve been busy spreading my particular brand of cheer over at Digg.com after Allah’s request to us.

I personally have no use for a power nap, but I would jump on the workout idea.

DannoJyd on January 31, 2007 at 12:21 AM

As the owner and Chief Executive Officer of my own, personal consulting business, I frequently review my company’s personnel and corporate policy manual for the necessity for update. Usually, I can read my scribblings on the stack of post-it notes.

Why, just the other day, I established a Corporate Nap Time Policy for all my employees (that’d be just me). It’s GREAT to be King!

georgej on January 31, 2007 at 2:11 AM

I actually believe that a mid-day nap is better than the 2:30 cuppa coffee. My employer would get more productivity from me if I could take a time out.

Of course, for this thing to work you can’t leave the office at 3:00 after your 12:00 lunch and 1:00 nap. I’m sure France will figure it out.

CrankyNeocon on January 31, 2007 at 8:12 AM

Well, it is France. Another 15 mins to try and sleep, sweat off all the booze they knocked down at lunch probably is a good thing.

doufree on January 31, 2007 at 8:33 AM

Finally, an issue I can agree with from the left. Like georgj, I too have adopted this policy for all employees (also just me), excluding 1099′s (wife). It was a tough board meeting, but after much debate from all of the stockholders, we now have an official nap time.

right2bright on January 31, 2007 at 8:37 AM

One afternoon they will wake up to find Sharia law now governs their actions. A 15 minute dream turned into a life long nightmare.

Alden Pyle on January 31, 2007 at 8:57 AM

My ever-indulgent wife is from Taiwan. Over there the midday nap is a long-standing tradtion. Offices, factories, etc., they pretty much all dim the lights, everyone puts their head down and takes a break.

They like it, doesn’t seem to hurt their productivity.

Probably wouldn’t work here in the US though – far too many of us would use that ‘spare’ time to get something done rather than ‘waste’ it napping.

KCSteve on January 31, 2007 at 9:26 AM

I have to admit, I’m fascinated by France, and the Euros in general. How long can they continue to reduce the amount of time they spend working and still have an economy?

A friend of mine works with a lot of contractors in France. He told me that the reaction to any job he calls them with is, “No, that’s impossible.” Then he has to spend an hour arguing them into actually taking the job.

Farmer_Joe on January 31, 2007 at 9:54 AM

I would like to comment on this, but it’s time for my power nap.

JackM on January 31, 2007 at 10:35 AM

Is it possible to get a job as a full-time power napper? If so, look out France, here I come!

Kevin M on January 31, 2007 at 10:56 AM

Many jobs in the US already have built-in nap time. When I was in High/School and college, I worked summers doing manual labor outside -and we worked hard. When we got our 20 min afternoon break, I wasn’t the only one who occasionally dozed off while enjoying the air conditioning. The boss would just rouse us with a loud, “time to get back to work!” when the time came.

We were just ahead of our time.

taznar on January 31, 2007 at 12:25 PM

Why, just the other day, I established a Corporate Nap Time Policy for all my employees (that’d be just me). It’s GREAT to be King!

georgej on January 31, 2007 at 2:11 AM

georgej and right2bright, the beauty of running your own consultancy/business is that you can be the “employee of the month” every single month; heck, every day :)

A 15 minute dream turned into a life long nightmare.

Alden Pyle on January 31, 2007 at 8:57 AM

Their lives wouldn’t last very long…

Entelechy on January 31, 2007 at 1:10 PM

The French, as I think Entelechy will affirm, also have the habit of having their main meal, avec vin, at lunch. So napping is pretty much involuntary!!

honora on January 31, 2007 at 2:37 PM

I think some American companies should voluntarily do the same test.
Actually, they do. I don’t think it should be required, but many companies have started voluntarily allowing their employees some paid time for a power nap or a quick workout… the companies that have done it have generally found that it boosts employee productivity enough to pay for itself.

DaveS on January 30, 2007 at 10:08 PM

I read an artuicle a few yrs ago about a company in SC or NC that required all employees take a 20 minute nap in a specified area. By giving up 20 minutes that company estimated productivity was higher in the afternoon when people start to hit the wall. Wish I could rememeber the company or state. Sorry.

VikingGoneWild on January 31, 2007 at 4:06 PM

That’s right, keep them soft and lazy. It makes surrendering that much easier.

Rick on January 31, 2007 at 5:51 PM