Leave it to capitalism to profit from a simple afternoon nap. I’ve stumbled upon an array of Google photographs of napping pods. Imagine a comfortable dentist’s chair with some portion of an eggshell providing shelter and privacy. The good news about the advent of the napping pod is the progress it demonstrates; the business world is slowly figuring out that employees work better if they’re not tired. I don’t think for a moment that businesses generally place a high priority on comfort, but the science is clear: if you let people sleep for twenty minutes in the afternoon, not only are they more productive, but you can also squeeze an additional hour’s work out of them at the end of the day. Still, whatever’s behind the napping pod, I’m grateful at least for the imagery: a siesta is sleek, profitable, smart, and hip. If people peek through my office door and see me curled up on my old daycare mats, maybe they’ll think their savvy pastor is taking his lead from techies at Google and financial wizards at Kodiak Capital Group. Both companies, along with AOL Huffington Post Media Group, Cisco, and plenty of others, are setting up napping areas for employees.
Google especially isn’t messing around. Management.fortune.cnn.com says, “Google’s Mountain View campus has received quite a bit of attention for its “Energy Pods”—futuristic-looking white capsules that rent for $795 a month or sell for $12,985 where nappers can recline out of other people’s sight and set timers to wake themselves up with vibrations and lights.” AOL Huffington’s “NapQuest” rooms also have Energy Pods. The article quotes napping authority Bill Anthony of Boston University, who thinks napping’s growing acceptance is related to improving economic conditions. If companies have to compete for the brightest and best, a workout room and glossy napping eggs might sweeten the pot.
But, seriously, $12,985 apiece? They’re made by MetroNaps, which spells them EnergyPods. (Is English heading in the direction of ancient Hebrew? The spaces between words are disappearing.) The company website’s homepage doesn’t quote the price, but they want you to know a lot of thought and science went into the design:
- “The contour of the EnergyPod takes pressure off the cardiac system with the elevation of the feet and relaxes the muscles of the lower back with a slight bend in the knees.”
- “The EnergyPod’s sphere provides semi-privacy without overly enclosing. Rotate the privacy visor for additional seclusion.”
- “Specially devised rhythms play to facilitate relaxation and eliminate surrounding distractions.”
- “Wakes gently but effectively as the EnergyPod executes a programmed combination of lights and vibration.”
I suppose the EnergyPod is the Mercedes Benz of corporate napping. For $2,112.00 plus shipping and handling firebox.com will send you a “shippable, stackable, sleeping sanctuary” manufactured by Podtime Sleeping Pods. “Never again,” the website promises, “will you think to yourself ‘Curses! If only I had a comfortable, stylish and secure sleeping compartment right now’. Because that’s precisely what the Podtime Sleeping Pod is. A practically indestructible polycarbonate tube, with heavy-duty frosted doors, a luxurious fitted mattress and outstanding air circulation; meaning you can relax in comfort and privacy.” The white (of course) pod looks like it would work great, but it’s a little too private. Innovative employees could meet for alternate forms of horizontal refreshment in the Podtime Sleeping Pod.
Also available from firebox.com are pup tents that look like a slice of watermelon, sheep in a pasture, a turquois book entitled The Natural World, and a man and woman on their knees, leaning into each other for a kiss–$600 to $800, which is as high as I’d go as an employer providing private napping spots. Employees can bring their own pillows, mats, and blankets.
Lingering on this playful website is much better for the spirit than obsessing over my usual worries. The black and white Retro Invader Couch for $8,722 looks slick and comfortable as a steel floor. The G-1 Glass Pool Table would be fun, but not for $61,846. Best of all is the Hoverwing Flying Hovercraft: “It’s a boat, it’s a plane.” More specifically, it’s “a floating speed-machine, made from a super strong fibreglass/PVC composite, that can carry 4 people over pretty much any terrain you can think of. Then they added wings. The increased elevation means that you can glide for long distances and achieve clearance heights of up to 6 feet, making even choppy seas and small inclines a breeze. Eat your heart out James Bond.”
$237,870, with free shipping in the UK. Is this for real? I must be boring. If I had $237,870, I’d be debt free. My splurge would be a great bottle of Pinot Noir and a few days on the Victory Chimes, a three-masted schooner sailing out of Rockland, Maine. The sailing is calm, and napping in the cabin to the gentle rocking of waves is unbelievable.