Japanese offices bring in ‘sleep boxes’ so workers can get 40 winks in office (while standing up) 

Japanese offices bring in ‘sleep boxes’ so workers can get 40 winks in the office (while standing up)

  • Japanese offices plan to install new ‘nap boxes’ for workers to sleep standing up 
  • The comic invention was devised by a furniture company and plywood supplier 
  • Users’ heads, knees and rears are supported to stop them falling as they sleep
  • Japan has one of the strictest office cultures and overtime records in the world

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Japanese firms have come up with an ingenious solution to the country’s problem of exhausted white collar workers by fitting ‘nap boxes’ in offices to allow them to sleep while standing up.

The vertical sleeping device supports the user’s heads, knees and rear in order to stay upright and avoid falling over.

The scheme is designed to address the country’s strict office culture – with one in four employees losing up to 80 hours a month in overtime – often unpaid.

Sleepiness on the job is so widespread in Japan, the country has the phrase ‘inemuri’ to refer to those nodding off at work.

The new invention emerged from a networking meeting between two companies – furniture makers Itoki and plywood supplier Koyoju Gohan, The Mirror reports.

The vertical sleeping device supports the user’s heads, knees and rear in order to stay upright and avoid falling over

Itoki communications director Saeko Kawashima told media she was confident the novel sleep box will help people who need to take a nap during the day.

‘In Japan, there are a lot of people who will lock themselves up in the bathroom for a while which I don’t think is healthy,’ she told Bloomberg News.

‘It’s better to sleep in a comfortable location.

‘A lot of Japanese people tend to work continuously with no breaks,’ Kawashima said.

‘We are hoping that companies can use this as a more flexible approach to resting.’

Japan is infamous for requiring employees to work intensely long hours. 

One in four firms demands up to 80 hours of overtime from staff members each month – usually unpaid – often according to a government study from 2016.

Research indicates restorative rest improves employees’ performance, which may encourage some companies to introduce devices for power naps. 

The sleep boxes prompted a mixed reaction on social media when news broke of them.  

Frederick von Briel tweeted: ‘Really curious to see whether upright nap boxes will actually take off in Japan or whether they will become one of these well-intended ideas that nobody needs.’

Aaron Buley posted ‘uhhh yikes’ while Coyote Country 99.5 added: ‘I love naps, but not standing up!’ 

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