In “is this good news or bad news?” news, standing boxes built for naps are coming to Japan. The country’s workplace culture encourages long hours of unpaid overtime but also allows for power naps. Yep, standing nap boxes. It’s both a potentially nice feature and an indictment of a horribly skewed work/life balance. The nap box also looks like a standing coffin if IKEA made such a product. The Japanese companies partnering on the new office furniture report that there’s support for your head, butt, and knees. So it’s almost like lying down, but takes up less floor space than a sleeping pod. Pricing and availability are not yet determined.
We saw this wild news on DesignTAXI. According to Bloomberg, workers in Japan sometimes take their power naps in bathrooms. In that case, nap boxes seem like a far healthier alternative. But so do eight-hour work days with eight hours of sleep per night. Bloomberg also compares the pod to sleeping like a flamingo, which (fun fact alert!) can even sleep when balancing on one leg.
If you’ve ever been to Japan, you’ve likely noticed a cultural difference. Referred to as inemuri, people sleeping in public places like trains or even in bars is not uncommon. We can’t quite picture napping upright though. Unless of course you’re in the zero gravity environment of the space station, as pictured below.
As for the precedent, I do like the idea of a quick power nap when the workday drags. I’ve never tried sleeping standing up in a tiny closet, but I can’t rule out it could be the best sleep of my life. For now though, I’ll stick to Japanese influences like cute robots that serve ice cream or a Super Nintendo theme park.
Melissa is Nerdist’s science & technology staff writer. She also moderates “science of” panels at conventions and co-hosts Star Warsologies, a podcast about science and Star Wars. Follow her on Twitter @melissatruth.