French workers ‘should get right to post-lunch nap’

A French think tank says workers should be encouraged to take a 15-minute post lunch nap. One in five workers takes one anyway, apparently.

French workers 'should get right to post-lunch nap'
Photo: Jason Ernst/Flickr

With their three-course meals and a glass (or two, or three) of wine enjoyed at lunch, is it really any surprise that French workers tend to nod off in the afternoon?

OK it's a bit of a cliché that's no longer quite accurate, well in Paris anyway, but the French still do value a big lunch and it seems to be affecting their productivity in the afternoon.

A study released on Monday by left-wing French think tank Terra Nova reveals that 20 percent of French workers doze off in front of their computer, usually after the midday meal. 

Normally, nodding off at your desk is an act you’d try to cover up, but this study says that taking a short afternoon nap should actually be encouraged in the workplace.

Napping benefits everyone

According to these sleep specialists, napping is a physiological need that should be recognized by businesses. 

Furthermore, the study says that letting workers nap is in the company’s best interest, as lack of sleep is tied to lower productivity and higher rates of truancy at work. 

“In many countries or big cities, the cost associated with sleep troubles can be counted in the billions of euros,” the study says, noting that problems of vigilance and wakefulness can be tied to workplace or road accidents, accumulation of social inequalities, and sanitary risks. 

(Photo: Michael Coghlan/Flickr)

A micro-nap is all it takes

Dr. Giordanella, the co-author of the Terra Nova report, told Europe1 that bosses need to have designated napping rooms in their offices. 

“All that’s needed is a calm room where you can turn off the strip lighting and come out refreshed,” she said. “We realized that this simple practice improves work efficiency and reduces absenteeism.” 

And there’s no need for an extended Spanish-style siesta; a micro-nap of 15 minutes will do just fine.

According to the report, these good sleeping habits should be instilled at a young age. Just as elementary school age children take regular naps, this practice should be extended to older students and adults. 



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French ‘have more sex while working from home’, poll claims

For most people working from home means rarely changing out of PJs and spending a lot of time on zoom calls - but respondents to one French poll said for them it's an opportunity to have more sex.

French 'have more sex while working from home', poll claims
A change from the classic work-from-home outfit of pyjamas. Photo: AFP

A poll conducted by Ifop for extra-marital dating site Gleeden reported one third of respondents (34 percent) saying they had had sex during working hours while on télétravail (home working) and one third of people said they had more desire for their partner since the second lockdown in October.

In total 18 percent of people said they are having more sex now than they did before the pandemic.

“I've got into the habit, since I've been working at home, of taking a little nap in the middle of the day,” web designer Tomas told Le Parsien, “and my girlfriend often joins me”.

“Sometimes we even warm up beforehand with very explicit messages. In the end, it doesn't take us long, we are very relaxed afterwards and just as efficient when we get back behind our screens to work. Frankly, it's better than a cigarette break in the cold outside the office.”
The trend was particularly marked among couples with children, when working hours have become time spent together at home without the children around.
“Unlike in the spring, the children are at school and without our travel time, our days are longer,” said Sophie, a civil servant based in Strasbourg, who works two days a week at home with her husband.
However, some of the participants told pollsters that lockdown and working from home had lead to a drop in morale and libido, while others said being with their partners all day dampened their desire.
The French government still recommends télétravail for those who can, but in January released an updated protocol adding extra days in office for those who wanted them, recognising the impact of loneliness and isolation on many home-workers.
The poll – entitled The sexual and emotional life of the French during the second lockdown – was carried out on 2,017 over-18s between November 24th and 30th.