In Fresh Hell for the Overworked, Japan Now Has ‘Nap Boxes’ for Offices

In Fresh Hell for the Overworked, Japan Now Has ‘Nap Boxes’ for Offices
The 'nap box'. Image: Itoki Corp./Koyoju Gohan KK

Have you ever felt the need to sleep upright at work? Well, does this Japanese collab have something for you.

It’s called a ‘nap box’. And the idea, according to a report from Bloomberg, is to help bring a healthier office culture to Japan.

Looking into this nap box, to be released by Itoki Corp. and Koyoju Gohan KK, it reminded me initially of Miss Trunchbull’s ‘chokey’ from Matilda. But on a lighter note, Bloomberg likened the way one would nap in the box to how a flamingo would sleep. A much nicer thought.

A recent study by the Japanese government found that the country’s strict office culture means nearly a quarter of companies require employees to work more than 80 hours of overtime a month. We’re back to the not nice thoughts. The extreme hours take a toll, of course, which is where the nap box hopes to help.

The initial design, Bloomberg explained, has been made to ensure that the head, knees and rear are all comfortably supported so that the person will not fall over. The idea is get employees to take short power naps throughout the day, but in a safe manner (and one that allows a comfortable sleep). Japan has a word for people who take naps to make it through long workdays – inemuri.

“In Japan, there are a lot of people who will lock themselves up in the bathroom for a while, which I don’t think is healthy. It’s better to sleep in a comfortable location,” the report quotes Itoki communications director Saeko Kawashima as saying.

“I think a lot of Japanese people tend to work continuously with no breaks,” Kawashima told the publication, adding that with the nap box, the company is “hoping that companies can use this as a more flexible approach to resting”.