Safety and OSHA News

Survey: Who sleeps at work, where and how much

A recent survey shows which workers are more likely to sleep while on the job, including four safety-sensitive industries. 

Amerisleep polled 1,001 people about sleeping at work.

Here’s the breakdown for four safety-sensitive industries:

  • construction: 68.2%
  • manufacturing: 52.6%
  • transportation and warehousing: 52.6%, and
  • medical and health care: 52.1%.

For comparison, the top industry was technology at 70.0%. The survey notes tech workers are sometimes encouraged to nap on the job, including those who work at Google which has nap pods at its Mountain View, CA, headquarters.

Least likely to sleep: arts, entertainment and recreation, 34.6%.

Employees in the medical field say lack of sleep was their No. 1 reason for napping at work. Many nurses work three 12-hour shifts (or more) a week. One out of four doctors work between 61 and 80 hours a week.

Where do people nap at work? For those in the medical field, meeting rooms and vehicles were the top locales.

Amerisleep also looked at what percentage of nappers were breaking a no-sleep rule at work:

  • construction, 65.9%
  • transportation and warehousing: 49.0%
  • medical and health care: 48.3%, and
  • manufacturing: 44.8%.

On the other hand, 25.0% of respondents in information services said their employers allowed napping.

What were the consequences for these rule-breakers?

  • nothing: 49.7%
  • verbal warning: 35.3%
  • written warning: 11.0%, and
  • other: 4.0%.

Overall, about half of workers faced consequences for napping on the job.

How long do workplace nappers snooze on the job? By percentage of their work day:

  • medical and health care: 16.7% (two hours out of a 12-hour shift)
  • manufacturing: 4.9% (about 24 minutes out of an 8-hour shift)
  • transportation and warehousing: 3.9% (about 19 minutes out of an 8-hour shift), and
  • construction: 2.9% (about 14 minutes out of an 8-hour shift).
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