SPAIN-- What would your boss do if he caught you napping in the middle of the day? Fire you? Beat you to death?!
Well, in Spain the midday nap or siesta has been a tradition for centuries. But that could all be coming to an end. The prime minister there, Mariano Rajoy, wants to shorten the workday and get rid of the two to three-hour siesta.
He says it would improve work/life balance. Right now many folks in Spain work from 10am to 2pm, then they take a siesta before coming back at 4 or 5 and working past 9.
So what do you think? Would working a longer day with a midday siesta work for us in America?
Michael Ulak, an audio-video salesman here in Houston, says yes, "I think that would be great. It would give a little bit of a rest and you'd be re-energized for the rest of the day....and we'd all be more productive."
Biomedical engineer Armando Diaz disagrees, "I'm a guy that likes to get off work early and just go to the gym, work out, kind of have the afternoon free. I don't think I'd consider that."
Charles O'Brian, who works for Coke, wouldn't either, "Not me. I like it the way it is. I like getting home at a reasonable hour."
Studies show siestas decrease a person's chance for hypertension and death from heart disease. Would that change O'Brian's mind? "Not really," he says, on his 30-minute lunch break, "I am eating a cheeseburger, after all."
"I actually suffer from hypertension," considers Diaz, "so it might be something I might consider."
Siestas in America? Would it work here? Hmmm... we'll have to sleep on it and get back to you.