“It didn’t take us long to figure out that naps were counter-productive,” said Nabeel Mushtaq, chief operating officer and co-founder of the 15-person Toronto company. Management put a 15-minute cap on power naps, but many employees accidentally overslept, Mushtaq said. Awaking groggy, a number of them then spent even more time refilling their coffee mugs or splashing water on their faces in an attempt to snap back to work form. “The whole process would waste anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour-and-a-half,” Mushtaq said. Employee productivity took a hit, too. Six months into the nap programme, the once-efficient team was reaching only 55% of its weekly goals, down some 30 percentage points from before the sleep experiment, Mushtaq explained. Studies and productivity experts show that power naps and relaxation breaks can restore energy and focus during the workday, even during the dreaded mid-afternoon slump. A number of leading companies, in an effort to keep employees engaged and focused, now offer nap rooms or encourage an afternoon break away from the desk. Among them: Apple, Nike and Procter & Gamble in the US, and HootSuite and Intuit in Canada. MetroNaps, a New York company that produces “sleeping pods” that look like space-age lounge chairs, counts Google, Huffington Post and Cisco Systems among its worldwide customers. Managers eager to appeal to employees concerned with work-life balance sing the praises of such programmes. But lurking behind the lounge chairs and mood lighting are some surprising drawbacks that are only now coming to the forefront. Not everyone wakes up from a snooze able to bounce back to their previous energy levels. And not all employees who leave their workstation for a “quick” walk or game of table football or table tennis return promptly. Managers who’ve instituted these programmes then find themselves tasked with a job more akin to that of a kindergarten teacher overseeing a room of toddlers — monitoring their (grown up) team’s midday sleep and relaxation habits. The conundrum, said Nathan Schokker, whose company Talio Group Pty Ltd added a one-person nap room last year, is determining “the best way to make them available and effective without being excessive and complicated.”.