Big Law’s White & Case may call them “energy pods”, but to any tired lawyer they are sleeping pods . . and they love them, it seems.
Coming in at $13,000 each, the . . what shall we call them? . . “sleep/energy pods” are designed to reward lawyers with the rest they need to enhance productivity and their overall job satisfaction.
“It’s like ‘Wow, I’m refreshed,’ ” said Francis Vasquez Jr., a White & Case litigation and arbitration partner who worked with the office’s associates to get the napping pods installed last year, American Lawyer reports.
The pods come from New York’s MetroNaps, which provides what they describe as the ” world’s first chair designed for napping in the workplace.”
Think of them as lounge chairs with a dome or “privacy visor.” You can listen to “relaxation rhythms” provided by the machine or drift off to your own tunes in cozy seclusion. After 20 minutes, the pod gently nudges you awake with vibrations and soft lights.
Although the pods have become increasingly popular, not so among law firms it would seem. However partner Vasquez is more than happy with the results.
Vasquez said It was at associates’ urging that White & Case bought the pods, but he’s used one a few times in the morning. He gets to the office early after taking his children to school and has crawled into one of the pods to grab a cat nap before the day gets underway.
“They look like little spaceships,” he said.
Other businesses that use MetroNaps‘ “corporate fatigue management solutions” include Google Inc., Cisco Systems Inc. and PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP.
Resting on the Job
The job-based sleeping quarters are not new. In London for instance some of the major law firms have provided Japanese-style sleeping quarters for late-working lawyers.
Round-the-clock working cultures that are so predominant in law firms are not healthy for the firms’ ability to retain staff, with antisocial hours widely cited as the principle cause of their high female attrition rates (just 18% of partners at City law firms are women, despite significantly more women than men joining these firms at graduate level) and consistent failure to retain lawyers over 55, The Guardian reported in 2011.
Stress among lawyers has been the cause of drug and alcohol dependency and suicide, quite apart from stress-related illness.
So the ‘energy pod’ may well be something to grow fast among law firms seeking to embrace stress-reduction – not to mention increased productivity.