Q: There’s an elderly man in our office with 50-plus years of service. It’s widely accepted by the staff and management that it’s “OK” for him to sleep on the job, which he does with the door wide open. I believe it is never OK to sleep at work and that if you can’t keep awake you should stay home or retire. How should this be handled?
A: Recently I was reading over the index for my next book (not the most stimulating work) when I suddenly felt my head jerk up. I had nodded off without realizing it. In fact, most of us have experienced the unintentional nod during some boring task. Aside form the occasional nod-off, however, sleeping on the job is basically unacceptable. You’re really not being paid to put your head on your arms and catch a quick 40winks, and if your sleeping is tolerated by management, it can become a cause of friction: “Why does he get to sleep on the job while I don’t?” Unless your company has a specific policy allowing naps (some companies, realizing the value of a quick nap to productivity, have installed “nap rooms”) then the etiquette is clear — catch your zzzz’s at home.