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Unions,Productivity, and working in the U.S.

Power Nap Now

"Power Nap Now" by tm-tm on flickr

I came across this article and looked for someplace to use it as a comment and couldn’t find a diary apropos, so here’s the article.

German unions call for healthy lunchtime siestas

Now, siestas are ‘de rigueur’ in Latin America but I never knew that such was the case in Europe.

Yet Europeans have always seemed to have taken a different route when it comes to the work/life balance. Germans on average work around 1,436 hours per year, versus the 1,804 hours Americans work. With those numbers it would be easy to conclude that Americans do more and would be more productive in the workforce.

But we don’t. Studies show that Germans get roughly the same amount of stuff done in fewer hours each week, and with more vacation time.

“We Didn’t Used to Be This Way”

And as the article referencing Europeans points out, the difference might be because of the unemployment situation here in the U.S. But I think it’s deeper than that.

From the first link:
“The DGB confederation of trade unions argues that a short, lunchtime power nap makes sense for health and performance reasons. “Even though the siesta is something that isn’t a given anymore in the southern European countries, it is still a good idea for health reasons,” said Annelie Buntenbach, a DGB executive board member. “A short afternoon nap reduces the risk of, for example, a heart attack, and provides an energy boost,” she told Tageszeitung in an interview.

Studies bear this out. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Athens Medical School in Greece found that Greek workers who took regular siestas had 37% lower mortality rates from coronary illnesses than their napless counterparts.

The idea has caught on in Germany, where big German companies such as BASF, Opel, Hornsbach and Lufthansa provide special rooms for their workers, and employers say they benefit from the increased productivity of well-rested employees.”

Now contrast that with what unions and companies here in the U.S. say and do; those are BIG German companies but here in the U.S. we have Boeing moving production from WA to SC to get around ‘possible work stoppages’. Anyone hear of any union leader calling for siestas? Anyone remember having the afternoon ‘nap’ in kindergarten/early grade school with milk and cookies afterward?

See how early the indoctrination into ‘work’ begins?

Of course Germany is still into manufacturing goods while the U.S. is into outsourcing and playing with computer accounts.

Maybe we should be pushing for Congress to start taking naps; nevermind, that would cut into the lobbyists time to much.

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Jobs I've had: mowing lawns,delivering newspapers,Bedding deliveryman, short order cook,vietnam vet,bookkeeeper in Fulton Fish Market,merchandiser/asst. buyer in Garment District,Womens shoe store salesman and asst.mgr.,wholesale egg delivery man,telephone company phone booth and car washer,taxi driver,mud carrier for bricklayers, college student,radio/tv repair training, fm disc jockey, dealer,Vegas bartender,registered commodity representative(broker and mgr.),programmer,systems programmer,systems engineer,pre and post sales engineer,computer admin, computer systems support,notary public and probably a couple of other jobs I've forgotten.