Spain maybe the country of the siesta but it is also the European country leading the way in a productivity revolution made possible by increased sleeping.
Pharma firm Otsuka Pharmaceutical has hit the headlines by its pilot scheme to reward employees who get the most sleep with extra holiday days.
The company measured the hours and quality of sleep of 60 employees with wrist sleep trackers as part of its ‘Dreamland’ project last year.
The Japanese company, which has a lab in Barcelona, reasons that workers who get the most rest are the most productive.
Employee Victor Castano gets about seven hours of sleep per night and has earned himself two extra days off.
He told local media: “Before, I put the kids to bed and stayed up watching TV or doing things around the house, and now I go to bed at the same time as them.”
Oscar Alcoberro, head of HR and comms at Otsuka Pharmaceutical Spain, explained: “If I manage to improve my well-being and they give me extra holidays, I would say it’s a hard proposal to reject.”
Employee Merce Barquero is also a fan of the project. She said: “We don’t normally associate sleep with health. We are very clear about exercising and eating well.”
The results of the Dreamland project were presented in Madrid last month (February).
The 80 per cent of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Spain’s workforce that voluntarily participated in the project increased its nightly rest by 7.4 per cent in just six months, going from 6.4 to 6.9 hours’ sleep per night on average.
It is believed that one in five adults sleep less than they should.
Some studies show an increase in mortality of up to 12 per cent in people who get fewer than five hours’ sleep per night.
Jose Manuel Rigueiro, general manager of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Spain, said: “Dreamland is a clear example of our company’s philosophy, in which we strive to take the road less travelled in order to achieve extraordinary results.
“Just as we have been pioneers in the field of well-being for our team, with recognised programmes of flexibility, work-life balance, and healthy lifestyles, we are now adding, as a new and revolutionary piece, the improvement of rest.”