In most business meetings where participants were seated…lasting for even just a few moments…I have seen at least one person drift off to sleep, albeit briefly. Mind you this is during the Monday-Friday 9-5 period…the traditional first shift if you will. The normal work day. Heck, I’ve seen folks doze off at their desks. We all have. (if you don’t have pictures of me doing it…then neither have I)
Our world is not normal by any stretch of the imagination…never more so when it comes to tasks requiring execution after 5 PM…or 24/7. We’re global time now for better or worse.
With reports of air traffic controllers falling asleep at their screens regardless of day or shift – there has become a heightened sense something needs to be done to assist all workers in all environments…as Americans apparently have been sleeping less and less over the years while the world has gotten more and more active.
Have always been a big fan of the comic strip Dilbert. As this blog evolves, I can assure you there will be multiple references to it as it applies to my real-life, cumulative work experiences. (apologies in advance for those co-workers who will experience post-traumatic work disorder reliving the experiences)
Scott Adams’ comic can be less funny the longer you play it out in life and calculate how many years have been stolen from your longevity…but at least he assures us we’re not crazy. He validates our feelings.
In that spirit I re-introduce a solution kicked around for quite some time now which addresses the sleep problem nicely.
One of my favorite blogs illustrates the idea. Stand up whenever possible. Admittedly, Adams’ strip here a) is tailored to conference room meetings and b) goes on to suggest standees pelt each other with office supplies…but the basic foundation is laid down…to get up.
You certainly would get more exercise and burn more calories. Has to be harder to fall asleep standing up. (ramifications of falling from a standing position rather than just slumping forward in a chair would have to be evaluated by “ergonomic experts” of course)
Allowing people to sleep while on the job sounds to me…like they’re not on the job at all…no matter what the job is…unless they are participating in a dream study, of course.
I do agree those whose schedules are switched back and forth have issues and challenges to work through. It is one thing to get your mind and body adjusted to a regular rhythm of second or third…or weekend shifts. It is quite another to work mid-day one week, at night the next, back to mid-day the following week, etc. That’s rough.
Yet, let’s agree as a nation to keep this simple rather than start ordering up trucks full of La-Z-Boy recliners. In the specific case of the airline industry it can surely solve their own problem of sleepy radar readers, correct?
“Hello, La-Z-Boy?…Federal Aviation Administration here…we’d like a 1,000 of those Dreamtime Reclina-Rockers please…”
OK, a bad example. However, other industries should not panic and start flipping through furniture ads. Retool those cubicles and work stations…redesign tasks…to make it easier for all of us to stay awake no matter what our biological rhythms or schedules are.
Wake up, America! Stand up, America!
As for throwing office supplies around…wouldn’t recommend it. You might aim at someone who can’t get out of the way.
They might be asleep.