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Surprising Science

Seoul Adopts the Siesta, Will Allow City Employees to Take Afternoon Naps

The Seoul Metropolitan Government has offered employees the chance to take an hour off of work for an afternoon snooze, just as long as the workers make it up by arriving to work earlier or leaving later.

What’s the Latest?

If you had the chance to take an hour off work to take an afternoon nap, granted that you made the hour up by arriving earlier or staying later, would you take it? Employees of the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) will be able to make that decision beginning August 1 as the city implements the first form of the Korean siesta. SMG employees, who already work from 9 A.M. to 6 P.M., will be given the opportunity to nap for an hour between 1 P.M. and 6 P.M. They will have to inform their supervisors at the start of the day if they intend to take advantage of the nap gap. This would mean arriving at 8 A.M. or leaving work at 7 P.M.

What’s the Big Idea?

The siesta is a common tradition in Spain and Latin American countries with supporters worldwide. Seoul’s decision to give the afternoon nap a go is part of an effort to reduce employee stress and boost productivity. An SMG spokesman spoke to the Korea Times about the new policy:

“Employees can use lounges, conference rooms and other places to rest. Frankly, I don’t think many will go for siestas because they have to make up for lost hours,” the spokesman said. “Nonetheless, the city government will spend more money next year to create more rest areas for employees.”

Read more at the BBC and the Korea Times

Photo credit: Creativa / Shutterstock


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