On Breaks & Working

AAB / Colin here, I just read an article about work breaks, and naps.  In it some dashing science was thrown around!

Six months into the nap programme, the once-efficient team was reaching only 55% of its weekly goals, down some 30 percentage points from before the sleep experiment,

Oh no! Proof that breaks don’t work. Then in the same interview

(they) set up a nap room to help ease fatigue among its web developers who were working long hours, sometimes as many as 70 per week.

Soooooo, let me think about that.  Is it the nap’s fault?  Or management overworking, and burning out the team?  Public interviews never give the full story, of course, so maybe stuff is taken out of context but if someone is tired, let ’em rest. If they have other issues, support them. But study after study shows that if you work folks too hard for too long, they’ll be less productive until they refresh.  And the time to refresh is about the same time as you forced out of them during crunch time.   So really this is a marathon, not a race.  This was really proven, and turned into huge lawsuits, a decade ago in the gaming industry. For personal, and business reasons, I’d really prefer a smart, rested employee at their best than a burnout, grumpy, zombie attacking the keyboard for double the hours.  It just makes sense.  So take the breaks when you need them; just get the work done.  A reasonable amount of work. Article in question: http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20140409-nap-rooms-gone-bad An article on game industry burnout with lots of references: http://www.psychologyofgames.com/2011/08/burnout-crunch-and-the-games-you-play/ A bunch of other great references out there.  But pretty sure you know how to operate Google and don’t need me to find ’em for ya! 😛