Sleeping on the Job: The Rise of Nap Pods

They look futuristic, like something out of The Jetsons . But nap pods — shiny spheres encapsulating chairs with long, horizontal leg rests attached — are cropping up at more and more businesses and universities across the United States and the globe.

Made by a variety of companies, the pods enclose the user in a bubble of silence or tranquil music at a position that promotes relaxation while isolating them from seeing what’s happening outside.

Growing in popularity as a response to more studies that show the harms of not being well-rested, companies use the pods to provide mid-day naps to workers to boost productivity. Schools hope to increase student and staff brain power. For many clients, the overall goal is health.

Christopher Lindholst is CEO of MetroNaps, one company that produces the pods. Its signature product is the EnergyPod, and while Lindholst doesn’t discuss sales figures, he does say client inquiries about the product have increased 186% in just the past 2 years.