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Inemuri, The Japanese Art Of Being Present While Sleeping At Work

It’s so common it became a norm.

Sleeping at work is often deemed ridiculous and improper. It can jeopardize one’s job and garner scorn from the bosses. Yet this Asian country opposes the norm and takes a different stance. In Japan, taking a nap in the workplace is socially acceptable. They even have a term for it – “inemuri,” which means “present while sleeping”.

Japan is a bustling country where people live a fast-paced lifestyle. In recent studies, the Japanese only get an average sleep of 6 hours and 35 minutes every day. Because of sleep-deprivation, napping in public places and in the workplace has become a common sight.

Someone took further interest in this aspect of the Japanese culture.

In an article University of Cambridge scholar Dr. Brigitte Steger wrote in BBC, she noted “Daily life was correspondingly hectic.”

People filled their schedules with work and leisure appointments, and had hardly any time to sleep.”

This was her observation in the 1980s and still rings true up to this day.

The Japanese are known worldwide for being hardworking people.

Source: Amir Jina

Workers toil day and night, students stay late to study.

It is understandable why they doze off during classes, meetings, social gatherings and more commonly, in public transportation.

In the workplace, sleeping is considered a deed of the diligent because it is a sign that someone has worked himself to exhaustion.

While sleeping is allowed in the office, rules still apply.

Source: Amir Jina

Dr. Steger concludes that the higher you are on the corporate ladder or the longer your tenure is, the more you can sleep.

If you are new to the job, you are expected to prove your credibility first, therefore you cannot sleep.

Moreover, inemuri is the art of being mentally awake even when sleeping. Employees who take a nap at work must be able to return to their productive selves whenever necessary.

Dr. Steger adds “Your body needs to pretend that you are active in a meeting like you are concentrating.

Source: tokyoform

You cannot sleep under the table or anything. You have to sit as if you are listening intently, and just put your head down. Etiquette in the workplace must not be compromised.

Nowadays, big companies like Google, Proctor & Gamble, Apple, and Nike are beginning to accept that sleeping at work can increase employee productivity.

Their facilities now include napping rooms and sleeping pods. Taking care of oneself is a priority after all.

Source: Vin

Source: Dimitry B.

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