It’s well-known that, like architecture, the tech field is known for a grueling work culture where 60-plus hour workweeks are the norm. Even in these environments, employees usually leave the office to sleep in the comfort of their own beds. But with a new amenity, Twitter’s new CEO Elon Musk seems to be taking this essential element of life out of the work-life balance.
Employees recently shared with Forbes that some conference rooms had been converted into bedrooms with queen beds, a nightstand, and two armchairs atop bright orange carpets. Sleeping quarters down the hall from one’s desk will reduce commuting time to one minute or less, a move that presumably help foster Musk’s “extremely hardcore” vision for Twitter 2.0.
“It’s not a good look,” a source told Forbes. “It’s yet another unspoken sign of disrespect. There is no discussion. Just like, beds showed up.” The source added that there’s likely four to eight sleeping rooms per floor.
There’s certainly space for these new bedrooms since Musk fired about half of Twitter’s staff and many more resigned last month.
The makeshift rooms appeared without notice or warning this week prompting social media users to reach out to the San Francisco Department of Buildings Inspection (SFDBI) about the setup. The SFDBI has now announced it will launch in investigation in this. Musk weighed in offering his two cents saying the city should place its concern and priorities elsewhere. A top priority in his mind: kids using fentanyl.
Patrick Hannan, the department’s communications director, told CBS News in a statement: “We need to make sure the building is being used as intended. There are different building code requirements for residential buildings, including those being used for short-term stays. These codes make sure people are using spaces safely.”
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 6, 2022
Musk may be onto something. Fatigued workers are unhappy and more prone to making mistakes. According to a 2019 article in the academic journal SLEEP, 10- to 20- minute daytime naps ameliorate sleepiness, increase alertness, relieve stress, strengthen your immune system, and improve cognitive performance, even in people who get the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. All these positives can translate into greater productivity, a conclusion that seems obvious to anyone who’s struggled to stay awake after lunchtime despite three espressos.
Despite the benefits of napping, a 2019 survey from the Society for Human Resource Management found that only four percent of businesses offer a nap room as an amenity, while only 21 percent had a room for employees to relax and unwind. In that four percent are major companies like Nike, Ben and Jerry’s, Proctor & Gamble, Zappos, and Google, which has space age-y sleeping pods for tired techies.
But it must be noted that a 20-minute snooze during a normal workday is far different than an overnight rest at the office. Musk revoked Twitter’s work-from-home policy when he assumed the top role at the company, so perhaps the compromise is bringing at least one element of home to work.