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  • Hello I'm Rob. Welcome to 6 Minute English.

  • I'm joined today by Finn. Hello Finn. Finn... Hello, Finn.

  • Oh... Oh, sorry Rob, you caught me napping.

  • It's that time of day when I need to nod off,

  • or in other words, fall asleep.

  • Well, sleeping on the job, or sleeping at work, is no bad thing.

  • And I hope today's programme will wake you up to the idea

  • that sleeping in the workplace might be a good thing.

  • Oh really! Well, that's good to hear.

  • I would have thought that sleeping at work was against the rules.

  • Well, not in every office, Finn. And I'll tell you why soon

  • as well as explaining some sleep-related vocabulary.

  • But now you're wide awake, how about a question?

  • - OK, let's hear it. - Right.

  • Well, when the former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, was in power,

  • she did her job with very little sleep.

  • But, do you know how many hours of sleep she is said to have had each night?

  • Was it A. Three hours, B. Four hours, or C. Five hours?

  • I always thought she got by, she managed her job

  • with just four hours of sleep a night, Rob.

  • Right, it's not much, is it? Well, we'll find out if you are right or wrong later on.

  • I'm not sure if she chose not to sleep for long or she just wasn't able to sleep for long.

  • Someone who can't sleep is called an insomniac.

  • And I'm certainly not an insomniac.

  • I enjoy sleeping all night and some of the day, too.

  • And Rob, you said napping during the day is a good thing?

  • Yes, it's always nice to have a short sleep

  • or what I call 40 winks during the day,

  • but when you're at work this can be a problem.

  • In some companies, like Google and the Huffington Post,

  • workplace naps are positively encouraged.

  • They're seen as a way to make staff more productive.

  • Yes, so you mean they work harder and are more creative

  • because a power-nap or a quick sleep

  • can makes workers feel refreshed and more alert.

  • - I really like the sound of this, Rob! - Me, too.

  • And an Australian health writer called Thea O'Connor

  • is a founder of a campaign called Nap Now,

  • which is trying to make sleeping at work more acceptable.

  • She calls herself a 'naptivist'! Let's hear from her now.

  • What does she say is stopping us from doing this?

  • I think that our culture is a bit crazy not to embrace it,

  • and one of the reasons we don't is our attitude

  • which is quite counter-cultural to do nothing in order to get ahead.

  • I just really see that it's time to disrupt the prevailing work ethic

  • which is all about work longer and harder.

  • Right, so she wants us to embrace, to accept

  • the idea of a workplace power-nap.

  • But it is our attitude, the way we think about work,

  • that stops society from accepting this.

  • Yes, she explains that it is counter-cultural,

  • so going against the normal way of thinking

  • to actually do nothing and have a snooze.

  • That's why she is trying to change or to disrupt

  • our current work ethic of working longer and harder.

  • She believes this doesn't necessarily bring better results.

  • But, Rob, is this idea just a fadsomething that's popular for a short while?

  • Maybe, but research has certainly shown that

  • good quantity and quality of sleep is important for our well-being.

  • A few years ago research by the East of England Development Agency

  • found 30% of people have their best ideas in bed

  • compared to just 11% who have them at their desk.

  • It called for companies to install beds in the workplace.

  • Right. Well, there aren't any in our office that I can see yet, Rob.

  • But, I think putting beds or areas for naps in the office

  • would help us workers feel more able to rest and recharge our minds.

  • Yes, but an alternative idea would be to change our working hours.

  • The UK's Sleep Council claims the nine-to-five work culture

  • doesn't fit into the natural sleeping pattern of the human race.

  • And bosses need to introduce a more sleep-friendly working day.

  • Woo, yes. That sounds like a siesta to me, that's a short period of sleep

  • in the middle of the day that people in warm places like Spain often have.

  • My problem with a siesta is that

  • if I have a sleep in the afternoon I'd never wake up!

  • - Never at all. - No!

  • Well before you nod off now, Rob,

  • Could you please tell me the answer to today's question?

  • Yes. I asked you if you knew how many hours of sleep

  • the former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, is said to have had each night?

  • Was it three, four, or five hours?

  • I said four hours, Rob. Was I right?

  • - Indeed, Finn, you are right. Four hours. -For once.

  • Yes, it has often been said she needed just four hours of sleep.

  • - But only on weekdays, not weekends. - Low-lying weekends.

  • Well, before you have another power-nap, could you remind us of

  • some of the vocabularies that we've heard today?

  • Off course, we've heard:

  • napping, nod off, sleeping on the job, insomniac,

  • 40 winks, power-nap, naptivist, attitude,

  • counter-cultural, work ethic, well-being, nine-to-five, siesta.

  • Well, we hope you've enjoyed today's programme.

  • Please join us again soon for another 6 Minute English from BBC Learning English.

  • Bye Bye.

Hello I'm Rob. Welcome to 6 Minute English.

Subtitles and keywords

A2 BEG UK sleep rob sleeping finn nap workplace

BBC Learning English_Sleeping on the job_2016

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    LE!   posted on 2017/04/01
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