China tech workers asleep on the job - with the boss's blessing

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
27 PHOTOS
Sleeping on the job in China
See Gallery
China tech workers asleep on the job - with the boss's blessing
Cui Meng, a co-founder of Goopal Group, covers employee Li Yan with a blanket as Li takes a nap on a sofa during a break at work around midnight, in Beijing, China, April 19, 2016. Office workers sleeping on the job is a common sight in China, where a surplus of cheap labour can lead to downtime at work. But in China's technology sector, where business is growing faster than many start-up firms can hire new staff, workers burn the midnight oil to meet deadlines and compete with their rivals. Some companies provide sleeping areas and beds for workers to rest during late nights. REUTERS/Jason Lee SEARCH "JASON SLEEP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Zhang Huichao, a programmer at N-Wei (Beijing) Technology Company Limited, plays with his mobile phone at an apartment that his company rents as office and employees' dormitory, in Beijing, China, April 22, 2016. Office workers sleeping on the job is a common sight in China, where a surplus of cheap labour can lead to downtime at work. But in China's technology sector, where business is growing faster than many start-up firms can hire new staff, workers burn the midnight oil to meet deadlines and compete with their rivals. Some companies provide sleeping areas and beds for workers to rest during late nights. REUTERS/Jason Lee
Yu Xiaojian (L) and Li Yan, employees at Goopal Group, take a nap during a break at work around midnight, in Beijing, China, April 19, 2016. Office workers sleeping on the job is a common sight in China, where a surplus of cheap labour can lead to downtime at work. But in China's technology sector, where business is growing faster than many start-up firms can hire new staff, workers burn the midnight oil to meet deadlines and compete with their rivals. Some companies provide sleeping areas and beds for workers to rest during late nights. REUTERS/Jason Lee SEARCH "JASON SLEEP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Cui Meng, a co-founder of Goopal Group, covers employee Li Yan with a blanket as Li takes a nap on a sofa during a break at work around midnight, in Beijing, China, April 19, 2016. Office workers sleeping on the job is a common sight in China, where a surplus of cheap labour can lead to downtime at work. But in China's technology sector, where business is growing faster than many start-up firms can hire new staff, workers burn the midnight oil to meet deadlines and compete with their rivals. Some companies provide sleeping areas and beds for workers to rest during late nights. REUTERS/Jason Lee SEARCH "JASON SLEEP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Cui Meng, a Co-founder of Goopal Group, takes a nap in his seat after lunch, in Beijing, China, April 21, 2016. Office workers sleeping on the job is a common sight in China, where a surplus of cheap labour can lead to downtime at work. But in China's technology sector, where business is growing faster than many start-up firms can hire new staff, workers burn the midnight oil to meet deadlines and compete with their rivals. Some companies provide sleeping areas and beds for workers to rest during late nights. REUTERS/Jason Lee SEARCH "JASON SLEEP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Ma Zhenguo, a system engineer at RenRen Credit Management Co., sleeps on a camp bed at the office after finishing work early morning, in Beijing, China, April 27, 2016. Office workers sleeping on the job is a common sight in China, where a surplus of cheap labour can lead to downtime at work. But in China's technology sector, where business is growing faster than many start-up firms can hire new staff, workers burn the midnight oil to meet deadlines and compete with their rivals. Some companies provide sleeping areas and beds for workers to rest during late nights. REUTERS/Jason Lee
Zhang Shuangjie, an IT engineer at BaishanCloud, drops the curtain as he prepares to sleep around midnight in an individual sleeping quarter, in the office, in Beijing, China, April 26, 2016. Office workers sleeping on the job is a common sight in China, where a surplus of cheap labour can lead to downtime at work. But in China's technology sector, where business is growing faster than many start-up firms can hire new staff, workers burn the midnight oil to meet deadlines and compete with their rivals. Some companies provide sleeping areas and beds for workers to rest during late nights. REUTERS/Jason Lee SEARCH "JASON SLEEP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Employees at Goopal Group take a nap in their seats after lunch, in Beijing, China, April 21, 2016. Office workers sleeping on the job is a common sight in China, where a surplus of cheap labour can lead to downtime at work. But in China's technology sector, where business is growing faster than many start-up firms can hire new staff, workers burn the midnight oil to meet deadlines and compete with their rivals. Some companies provide sleeping areas and beds for workers to rest during late nights. REUTERS/Jason Lee SEARCH "JASON SLEEP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Yu Xiaojian, an employee at Goopal Group, eats with his colleagues during a break at work around midnight, in Beijing, China, April 19, 2016. Office workers sleeping on the job is a common sight in China, where a surplus of cheap labour can lead to downtime at work. But in China's technology sector, where business is growing faster than many start-up firms can hire new staff, workers burn the midnight oil to meet deadlines and compete with their rivals. Some companies provide sleeping areas and beds for workers to rest during late nights. REUTERS/Jason Lee SEARCH "JASON SLEEP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Yang Juan, an employee at Goopal Group, takes a nap in her seat after lunch, in Beijing, China, April 21, 2016. Office workers sleeping on the job is a common sight in China, where a surplus of cheap labour can lead to downtime at work. But in China's technology sector, where business is growing faster than many start-up firms can hire new staff, workers burn the midnight oil to meet deadlines and compete with their rivals. Some companies provide sleeping areas and beds for workers to rest during late nights. REUTERS/Jason Lee SEARCH "JASON SLEEP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Liu Zhanyu, a client manager at DouMiYouPin, washes his feet at the office's bathroom before going to sleep after finishing work at midnight, in Beijing, China, April 20, 2016. Office workers sleeping on the job is a common sight in China, where a surplus of cheap labour can lead to downtime at work. But in China's technology sector, where business is growing faster than many start-up firms can hire new staff, workers burn the midnight oil to meet deadlines and compete with their rivals. Some companies provide sleeping areas and beds for workers to rest during late nights. REUTERS/Jason Lee SEARCH "JASON SLEEP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Chen Huiyang, an employee at BaishanCloud, climbs up a ladder as he goes to bed at the company's individual sleeping quarter in the office after finishing work, at midnight, in Beijing, China, April 27, 2016. Office workers sleeping on the job is a common sight in China, where a surplus of cheap labour can lead to downtime at work. But in China's technology sector, where business is growing faster than many start-up firms can hire new staff, workers burn the midnight oil to meet deadlines and compete with their rivals. Some companies provide sleeping areas and beds for workers to rest during late nights. REUTERS/Jason Lee
Xu Letian, a programmer at Goopal Group, works at the office at night, in Beijing, China, April 19, 2016. Office workers sleeping on the job is a common sight in China, where a surplus of cheap labour can lead to downtime at work. But in China's technology sector, where business is growing faster than many start-up firms can hire new staff, workers burn the midnight oil to meet deadlines and compete with their rivals. Some companies provide sleeping areas and beds for workers to rest during late nights. REUTERS/Jason Lee
Du Xianchang, a R&D engineer at BaishanCloud, climbs up a ladder as he goes to bed in an individual sleeping quarter in the office after finishing work at midnight, in Beijing, China, April 27, 2016. Office workers sleeping on the job is a common sight in China, where a surplus of cheap labour can lead to downtime at work. But in China's technology sector, where business is growing faster than many start-up firms can hire new staff, workers burn the midnight oil to meet deadlines and compete with their rivals. Some companies provide sleeping areas and beds for workers to rest during late nights. REUTERS/Jason Lee SEARCH "JASON SLEEP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Liu Zhanyu, a client manager at DouMiYouPin, watches a video at a dormitory in the office after finishing work at midnight, in Beijing, China, April 21, 2016. Office workers sleeping on the job is a common sight in China, where a surplus of cheap labour can lead to downtime at work. But in China's technology sector, where business is growing faster than many start-up firms can hire new staff, workers burn the midnight oil to meet deadlines and compete with their rivals. Some companies provide sleeping areas and beds for workers to rest during late nights. The writing on the wall reads: "God rewards the diligent." REUTERS/Jason Lee SEARCH "JASON SLEEP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Zhang Kun, an employee at BaishanCloud, practices Yoga before lunch at the office in Beijing, China, April 26, 2016. Office workers sleeping on the job is a common sight in China, where a surplus of cheap labour can lead to downtime at work. But in China's technology sector, where business is growing faster than many start-up firms can hire new staff, workers burn the midnight oil to meet deadlines and compete with their rivals. Some companies provide sleeping areas and beds for workers to rest during late nights. REUTERS/Jason Lee SEARCH "JASON SLEEP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Wu Binbin (bottom) and Chen Huiyang, employees at BaishanCloud, take a nap after lunch in individual sleeping quarters, in the office, in Beijing, China, April 26, 2016. Office workers sleeping on the job is a common sight in China, where a surplus of cheap labour can lead to downtime at work. But in China's technology sector, where business is growing faster than many start-up firms can hire new staff, workers burn the midnight oil to meet deadlines and compete with their rivals. Some companies provide sleeping areas and beds for workers to rest during late nights. REUTERS/Jason Lee SEARCH "JASON SLEEP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
An employee stands outside an office of an online sales company at night at Galaxy Soho, in Beijing, China, April 18, 2016. Office workers sleeping on the job is a common sight in China, where a surplus of cheap labour can lead to downtime at work. But in China's technology sector, where business is growing faster than many start-up firms can hire new staff, workers burn the midnight oil to meet deadlines and compete with their rivals. Some companies provide sleeping areas and beds for workers to rest during late nights. REUTERS/Jason Lee SEARCH "JASON SLEEP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Kou Meng, product manager of RenRen Credit Management Co., sleeps on a camp bed at the office early morning, in Beijing, China, April 27, 2016. Office workers sleeping on the job is a common sight in China, where a surplus of cheap labour can lead to downtime at work. But in China's technology sector, where business is growing faster than many start-up firms can hire new staff, workers burn the midnight oil to meet deadlines and compete with their rivals. Some companies provide sleeping areas and beds for workers to rest during late nights. REUTERS/Jason Lee SEARCH "JASON SLEEP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Ma Zhenguo, a system engineer at RenRen Credit Management Co., sleeps on a camp bed at the office after finishing work early morning, in Beijing, China, April 27, 2016. Office workers sleeping on the job is a common sight in China, where a surplus of cheap labour can lead to downtime at work. But in China's technology sector, where business is growing faster than many start-up firms can hire new staff, workers burn the midnight oil to meet deadlines and compete with their rivals. Some companies provide sleeping areas and beds for workers to rest during late nights. REUTERS/Jason Lee SEARCH "JASON SLEEP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Wu Yaxiong (R), CEO of N-Wei (Beijing) Technology Company Limited, fetches water at a kitchen at an apartment that he rents as an office and employees' dormitory, in Beijing, China, April 22, 2016. Office workers sleeping on the job is a common sight in China, where a surplus of cheap labour can lead to downtime at work. But in China's technology sector, where business is growing faster than many start-up firms can hire new staff, workers burn the midnight oil to meet deadlines and compete with their rivals. Some companies provide sleeping areas and beds for workers to rest during late nights. REUTERS/Jason Lee SEARCH "JASON SLEEP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Wu Yaxiong (2nd L), CEO of N-Wei (Beijing) Technology Company Limited, stands with his programmers in an apartment which he rents as office and employees' dormitory, in Beijing, China, April 22, 2016. Office workers sleeping on the job is a common sight in China, where a surplus of cheap labour can lead to downtime at work. But in China's technology sector, where business is growing faster than many start-up firms can hire new staff, workers burn the midnight oil to meet deadlines and compete with their rivals. Some companies provide sleeping areas and beds for workers to rest during late nights. REUTERS/Jason Lee SEARCH "JASON SLEEP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Han Liqun, a HR manager of RenRen Credit Management Co., leaves office for home after finishing work at midnight, in Beijing, China, April 19, 2016. Office workers sleeping on the job is a common sight in China, where a surplus of cheap labour can lead to downtime at work. But in China's technology sector, where business is growing faster than many start-up firms can hire new staff, workers burn the midnight oil to meet deadlines and compete with their rivals. Some companies provide sleeping areas and beds for workers to rest during late nights. REUTERS/Jason Lee SEARCH "JASON SLEEP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Liu Zhanyu, a client manager at DouMiYouPin, works around midnight in Beijing, China, April 20, 2016. Office workers sleeping on the job is a common sight in China, where a surplus of cheap labour can lead to downtime at work. But in China's technology sector, where business is growing faster than many start-up firms can hire new staff, workers burn the midnight oil to meet deadlines and compete with their rivals. Some companies provide sleeping areas and beds for workers to rest during late nights. Slogans read: "Swear to beat the 100 million sales target and fight the bloody battle till the end" and "Smiling, proud wanderer" (2nd R). REUTERS/Jason Lee SEARCH "JASON SLEEP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Zhang Huichao, a programmer at N-Wei (Beijing) Technology Company Limited, chats with his colleague Yan Xiaolong before he goes to sleep, in the living room of an apartment which their company rents as office and employees' dormitory, in Beijing, China, April 22, 2016. Office workers sleeping on the job is a common sight in China, where a surplus of cheap labour can lead to downtime at work. But in China's technology sector, where business is growing faster than many start-up firms can hire new staff, workers burn the midnight oil to meet deadlines and compete with their rivals. Some companies provide sleeping areas and beds for workers to rest during late nights. REUTERS/Jason Lee SEARCH "JASON SLEEP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Han Liqun, a HR manager of RenRen Credit Management Co., carries beer and food for his colleagues as he walks to the office after midnight, in Beijing, China, April 27, 2016. Office workers sleeping on the job is a common sight in China, where a surplus of cheap labour can lead to downtime at work. But in China's technology sector, where business is growing faster than many start-up firms can hire new staff, workers burn the midnight oil to meet deadlines and compete with their rivals. Some companies provide sleeping areas and beds for workers to rest during late nights. REUTERS/Jason Lee SEARCH "JASON SLEEP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Han Liqun (C), a HR manager of RenRen Credit Management Co., drinks with his colleagues Kou Meng (L) and Ma Zhenguo after finishing work, after midnight, in Beijing, China, April 27, 2016. Office workers sleeping on the job is a common sight in China, where a surplus of cheap labour can lead to downtime at work. But in China's technology sector, where business is growing faster than many start-up firms can hire new staff, workers burn the midnight oil to meet deadlines and compete with their rivals. Some companies provide sleeping areas and beds for workers to rest during late nights. REUTERS/Jason Lee SEARCH "JASON SLEEP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

BEIJING, May 11 (Reuters) - Dai Xiang has slept his way to the top.

The 40-year-old Beijinger got his start as an engineer, pulling 72-hour shifts at a machinery company while catching naps on the floor.

After a switch to the tech industry and around 15 years of catching naps on desks and other flat surfaces, Dai co-founded his own cloud computing firm, BaishanCloud, last year.

One of his first orders of business - installing 12 bunk beds in a secluded corner of the office.

"For technology, it's more of a brain activity. Workers need time to find inspiration," Dai said. "Our rest area isn't just for sleeping at night, the midday is also OK."

Office workers sleeping on the job has long been a common sight in China, where inefficiency and a surplus of cheap labor can give workers plenty of downtime in many industries.

But China's technology sector is different. Business is booming faster than many start-up firms can hire new staff, forcing workers to burn the midnight oil to meet deadlines.

"The pace of Chinese internet company growth is extremely fast. I've been to the U.S. and the competitive environment there isn't as intense as in China," said Cui Meng, general manager and co-founder of start-up data company Goopal.

The company's programmers, in particular, work overtime every day, he said. To get them through, they are allowed to sleep around lunchtime and after 9 p.m., either facedown at their desk or by commandeering the sofa or a beanbag chair.

China tech startups offer beds for workers

LIVING AT THE OFFICE

At its most extreme, some tech company employees even live at the office during the work week.

Liu Zhanyu at DouMiYouPin, a recruitment and human resources platform, bunks down in a converted conference room Monday-to-Friday to avoid the daily commute of more than an hour to his home in Beijing's far eastern suburbs.

The head of the "large clients" department usually retires to the room shared with one or two others between midnight and 3 a.m.

"We have to get up at 8:30 a.m. because all our co-workers come to work at 9:30 and we wash in the same bathroom everyone uses," said Liu.

While workers across companies said the potential pay-off of working at a start-up was worth the long hours, they aren't without a social cost.

"My kid misses me, I get home and he lunges at me like a small wolf," Liu said, speaking about his three-year-old son who he only sees on weekends. "That makes me feel a bit guilty."

Programmer Xiang Shiyang, 28, works until 3 or 4 a.m. at least twice a week at Renren Credit Management, which uses big data to help firms manage financial risk, leaving little room to socialize outside of work.

"I don't have that many opportunities or much time to find a girlfriend," he said.

The company provides cots for workers like Xiang to sleep on during late nights.

"Actually working overtime is a very casual thing," he said. "Because I've invested the whole of my being into this company."

Read Full Story

People are Reading