BBC 6 minute English-Sleeping on the job

BBC 6 minute English-Sleeping on the job

BBC 6 minute English-Sleeping on the job


Transcript of the podcast

NB: This is not a word-for-word transcript

Rob: Hello I’m Rob. Welcome to 6 Minute English. I’m joined today by Finn. Hello Finn

Finn: …

Rob: Finn? … Hello Finn

Finn: Oh sorry Rob, you caught me napping. It’s that time of day when I need to nod off – or in other words, fall asleep

Rob: Well, sleeping on the job – or sleeping at work – is no bad thing – and I hope today’s programme will wake you up to the idea that sleeping in the workplace might be a good thing

Finn: Oh really! That’s good to hear. I would have thought that sleeping at work was against the rules

Rob: Not in every office, Finn, and I’ll tell you why soon as well as explaining some sleep-related vocabulary. But now you’re wide awake, how about a question

Finn: OK, let’s hear it

Rob: When the former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, was in power, she did her job with very little sleep. Do you know how many hours of sleep she is said to have had each night

a) Three hours

b) Four hours

c) Five hours

Finn: I always thought she got by, she managed her job, with just four hours of sleep a night

Rob: We’ll find out if you are right or wrong later. I’m not sure if she chose not to sleep for long or she just wasn’t able to sleep for long. Someone who can’t sleep is called an insomniac

Finn: And I’m certainly not an insomniac. I enjoy sleeping all night and some of the day too. And Rob, you said napping during the day is a good thing

Rob: It’s always nice to have a short sleep – or what I call 40 winks – during the day, but when you’re at work this can be a problem. In some companies, like Google and the Huffington Post, workplace naps are positively encouraged. They’re seen as a way to make staff more productive

Finn: So you mean they work harder and are more creative because a power-nap – a quick sleep – makes workers feel refreshed and more alert. I like the sound of this

Rob: An Australian health writer called Thea O’Connor, is a founder of a campaign called Nap Now which is trying to make sleeping at work more acceptable. She calls herself a ‘naptivist’! Let’s hear from her now. What does she stay is stopping us from doing this

Thea O’Connor, health writer and speaker

I think that our culture is a bit crazy not to embrace it, and one of the reasons we don’t is our attitude, you know it’s quite counter-cultural to do nothing in order to get ahead. I just really see that’s it’s time to disrupt the prevailing work ethic which is all about work longer and harder

Finn: Right – so she wants us to embrace – to accept – the idea of a workplace power-nap. But it is our attitude – the way we think about work – that stops society from accepting this

Rob: Yes, she explains that it is counter-cultural – so going against the normal way of thinking – to actually do nothing and have a snooze

Finn: That’s why she is trying to change – or disrupt – our current work ethic of working longer and harder. She believes this doesn’t necessarily bring better results. But Rob, is this idea just a fad – something that’s popular for a short while

Rob: Maybe, but research has certainly shown that good quantity and quality of sleep is important for our wellbeing. A few years ago research by the East of England Development Agency found 30% of people have their best ideas in bed compared to just 11% who have them at their desk. It called for companies to install beds in the workplace

Finn: Well there aren’t any in our office yet Rob. I think putting beds or areas for naps in the office would help us workers feel more able to rest and recharge our minds

Rob: An alternative idea would be to change our working hours. The UK’s Sleep Council claims the nine-to-five work culture does not fit into the natural sleeping pattern of the human race and bosses need to introduce a more sleep-friendly working day

Finn: That sounds like a siesta to me – a short period of sleep in the middle of the day that people in warm places like Spain often have

Rob: My problem with a siesta is that if I have a sleep in the afternoon I’d never wake up

Finn: Well before you nod off now Rob, could you please tell me the answer to today’s question

Rob: Yes. I asked you if you knew how many hours of sleep the former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, is said to have had each night? Three, four or five hours

Finn: I said four hours Rob

Rob: You are right. It has often been said she needed just four hours of sleep – only on weekdays, not weekends

Rob: Well before you have another power-nap, could you remind us of some of the vocabulary we’ve heard today

Finn Yes, we heard

napping nod off sleeping on the job insomniac ۴۰ winks power-nap naptivist attitude counter-cultural work ethic wellbeing nine-to-five siesta

Rob: Thanks. We hope you’ve enjoyed today’s programme. Please join us again soon for another 6 Minute English from BBC Learning English

Both: Bye

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