It seems that busy lives are making it tougher to get through the entire work day and still remain conscious. As this article at CNN.com explains sleeping on the job is a growing problem.
The article cites a survey from the "National Sleep Foundation" that shows one third of those who were surveyed had fallen asleep, or become excessively sleepy, while at work. The same survey also discovered that Americans work more and are attempting to get by on less sleep than ever before.
On average, an American sleeps about six hours and forty minutes a night while the average work day for the same person is nine hours and twenty-eight minutes.
The problem with this is that lack of sleep can profoundly affect a company's bottom line. Further studies have shown that lack of sleep causes workers to perform their jobs slower and less efficiently. Those who lack sleep also have reduced immune systems which means they are sick more often and more likely to lose days at work.
This has resulted in companies providing things such as "nap rooms" or even allowing employees to sleep at their desks. Some companies are calling these "serenity rooms" which allow workers to take short, maybe twenty-minute, naps that allow them to return to work function closer to their fullest than without naps.
Studies at companies that allow this show it works better than coffee or other forms of staying awake the people are known to try.
So, if your workforce seems to be slowing down in the afternoons, it may not be all in your head. It may just be time to let them rest for a little while. Letting them get a few minutes of rest may actually improve their productivity rather than detract from your companies'.