Will bringing back the traditional Spanish ‘siesta’ culture to the large urban centers make workers more productive, driven, and efficient? Here is an article on Bloomberg for some interesting insights:
There’s little that’s more Spanish than the afternoon siesta.
As the mid-day sun goes up, businesses in small town Spain pull down their shutters for a traditional nap. In big urban centers, modern business trends have ended that habit, leaving many Spaniards who work long hours exhausted.
Now, Maria Estrella Jorro de Inza has found a way to bring back the siesta, making money while her countrymen nap. Bankers, lawyers and consultants catch up on their sleep at Siesta and Go — Madrid’s first nap-bar located in Azca, in the heart of the city’s financial district that’s home to firms like HSBC, Google and Deloitte. The concept is simple: for just 14 euros ($16) an hour, you get to unwind and take a power nap in a private bedroom before heading back to work.
“It’s funny that we’re known for the siesta, but we haven’t been professional about it,” said De Inza, the nap-bar’s 32-year-old founder. “We get a lot of men in suits who just want to relax and women wanting to take their heels off. Lunch break is the busiest time.”
The idea is, of course, not original. De Inza came upon it while on a trip to Tokyo. The Japanese capital, famous for its short-stay options for space-starved citizens like “capsule hotels,” also has what are called nap cafes. The cafes offer clients the option of a short snooze during the day — a practice some Japanese claim has enormous health benefits.
It struck De Inza that the Japanese offer fit nicely with her own country’s traditions. The Spanish workday is often divided into blocks, with lunch breaks that can drag on for over two hours, meetings that run into the late afternoon and days that end late into the night. Spaniards racked up 1,695 hours at work last year, beating neighboring Germany and France, according to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Only Italy and Portugal pulled longer hours out of the main euro-area economies.
That’s left Spaniards who like to stay out late stuck in a form of permanent jet-lag, a feeling that hasn’t been helped by dictator Francisco Franco’s decision to the move the clock forward an hour in 1940 in line with allies Germany and Italy. The daily grind of Spaniards trails the sun, which often translates into late dinners and less sleep.
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