Chances are, if you work in an office, you’re probably not as productive as you could possibly be every day. While court reporters needs to type at a rate of 225 words per minute on a stenotype to get certified by the National Court Reporters Association, the average computer typist can only type at a rate of 41 words per minute.
And as new research shows, the key to increasing office workers’ productivity is simple: let them take a nap.
According to a new study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, taking a nap can be an effective way to boost tolerance for frustration, and counteract impulsive behavior. In other words, taking naps can help people keep their cool.
For the study, researchers at the University of Michigan examined how short naps affected adults’ emotional control. Participants, who ranged between ages 18 and 50, maintained a consistent sleep schedule for three nights leading up to the study. They were then required to complete tasks on computers, and answer questions in regards to their sleepiness, impulsivity, and mood.
Researchers then randomly divvied participants up into two groups: one that received a 60-minute nap, and one that didn’t get to nap, but watched a nature video. The participants then completed the questionnaires and tasks again.
The study found that those who got to nap were more likely to spend time trying to complete a task than their tired counterparts, and were also less impulsive. In other words, well rested participants were less likely to give up on a task than those who didn’t get to nap.
“Our results suggest that napping may be a beneficial intervention for individuals who may be required to remain awake for long periods of time by enhancing the ability to persevere through difficult or frustrating tasks,” said Jennifer Goldschmied, the study’s lead author, in a press release.
Researchers were also sure to note that napping could increase productivity, and act as a safe, cost-effective reason to extend break time in the office.