Friday, 27 May 2011

Nap to it

Afternoons are the worst. There's a point, usually around 3.30, when my eyes are so tired that even Brad and Angelina riding unicycles naked through my office couldn't keep me awake. It doesn't help that I work in an agency with lots of handy little 'screening' rooms, with a comfy couch, lockable door and dimmer switches. The temptation to slope off and catch forty winks is almost unbearable at times, like waving a bacon sandwich at Paul McCartney.

But I'm a professional. So I gulp down a coffee that's as bitter than David Miliband, and try to focus on my work, rather than what the insides of my eyelids might look like. Then again, not everyone's as diligent as me. I used to manage a team of writers, one of whom would regularly disappear to an uninhabited part of our building, kick off his espadrilles and snooze through most of the afternoon. He always argued that it improved his productivity. But the clients who were stuck listening to hold music on a conference call may well have disagreed.

Some cultures firmly believe in the value of a mid-day nap, believing that a well-rested workforce is an effective one. But unless your workplace has an abundance of sofas and quiet spaces, it's tough to find the right place to get a little shut-eye. Wouldn't it be nice if you could just curl up at your desk and kick back? 

That's the thinking that led architecture and design company kawamura-ganjavian to develop the prototype of a new product called The Ostrich Pillow. Vaguely reminiscent of a giant grey scrotum filled with foam, the Ostrich is "a micro environment in which to take a warm and comfortable power nap at ease. It is neither a pillow nor a cushion, nor a bed, nor a garment, but a bit of each at the same time." If you don't mind your colleagues worrying that you're being slowly ingested by a hippo's clopper, this could be the answer to your prayers.

Not recommended for anyone suffering from claustrophobia, the curiously comfortable sleeping device offers users "soothing cave-like interior" that isolates your head and hands. And presumably, its soft fabric lining is ultra absorbent, to soak up any involuntary drooling that may occur whilst you're off in the land of nod.

At present, The Ostrich only exists in prototype form. But given the right level of consumer support, there's no reason why we shouldn't all be able rock up to work someday with one of these babies tossed over our shoulder. Wake me up when they're available in IKEA.

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