Photo: By Mattastic! on Flickr
The U.S. Census on Tuesday told its employees they had to stop sleeping on the job (via The Washington Post). Apparently it’s been somewhat of a regular problem for the government office’s Maryland headquarters, where a handful of workers could regularly be spotted napping in public areas like the cafeteria, library, and even the lobby.
A memo sent to Census workers flatly said that sleeping at work is “not acceptable behaviour” and named concerns taxpayers might have over productivity, and also safety in the event of an emergency.
In a couple of other high-profile cases, workers caught napping on duty lost their jobs. The Transportation Security Administration showed an officer the door after a traveller photographed her snoozing in full uniform at LaGuardia Airport and posted the picture online.
Perhaps more troubling, an incident in March got scary when an air traffic controller mysteriously wasn’t available to help land two aircraft safely at Reagan National Airport. The man admitted he was sleeping after working four consecutive night shifts. Luckily, both planes landed without incident (and without the controller’s help), though the Federal Aviation Administration official in charge of air traffic control resigned when several other controllers admitted to sleeping at work.
It’s true that a nap at work may not be such a bad thing. Some companies — which, to be fair, aren’t charged with high-pressure tasks like bringing planes down for safe landings — even encourage it, claiming it boosts productivity.
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