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Please Do Not Disturb

Sleeping on the job.

You'd have to be asleep not to notice: As more work becomes project work, and more project teams are working longer hours, more people are desperate for a little rest. Gould Evans Goodman Associates, a design firm based in Kansas City, Missouri, tackles lots of high-profile projects. Recently the firm tackled the problem of sleep deprivation by creating Spent Tents. * "A bunch of us were putting in an all-nighter," says Karen Gould, 53, a senior associate, "when I looked around and saw people falling asleep at their desks. The idea just clicked that we needed a place in the office to sleep." * The firm invested in a lightweight-nylon Patagonia tent, set it up in a dark corner of the office, and waited. The employees loved it. The next step? Add more tents — and more amenities. Today the office boasts three nylon tents, each equipped with a pillow, a mat, a sleeping bag, an alarm clock, an eye shade, and a portable tape machine (to play relaxation music). * Gould uses the tents herself: "Rather than just sit at my desk in a stupor all afternoon, I can go in for a quick nap and come out feeling great."

You can reach Gould Evans Goodman Associates via the web (

A version of this article appeared in the April 1999 issue of Fast Company magazine.