By CHARLOTTE EMSLIE
BOSTON—Sleepbox is revolutionizing the way the city’s work force gets its beauty rest.
“We’re focusing on that work-life integration,” explains co-founder Peter Chambers. “This new millennial wave of workers really love what they do. They define themselves by that. But that can sometimes lead to overextension. That’s why we’ve loved working with startups: They have a growing number of employees, people that are really passionate and throwing themselves into the work. They respect their jobs, and they expect to get that respect back.”
Shifting the emphasis to balanced, healthy living is key. That’s where Sleepbox, the Russian-designed tiny cabin allowing total privacy, comes in. Enclosed, soundproof, 45-square-foot spaces, they are available in either single (one bed) or double (two bed) compositions. They can be installed in numerous public spaces—offices, hotels, airports, etc. Beyond nap accommodations, there are easy plug-and-play installations, speakers and different colored lighting, enabling the user to tailor the experience to fit their needs. The boxes even come in 20 different colors.
“It’s completely private and modular,” Chambers says. “It’s really a place to relax, meditate, sleep, and refocus yourself during your day. You can go in there and just separate yourself from everything else going on. Recharge.”
Check out Sleepbox’s features HERE.
The Sleepbox founders came up with the idea of sleep cabins in public places during a business trip from hell. “We were stuck in a Paris airport overnight,” says Chambers, a Worcester Polytechnic Institute graduate with a degree in robotics engineering. “People were sleeping on benches. That’s when we realized there was a better way to do it.
Once the idea was launched, Sleepbox’s development took on a strong international focus. CEO Mikhail Krylov and co-founder and chief designer Alexey Goryainov were architects in Russia, with deep backgrounds in design and commercial architecture. Krylov completed a fellowship in architecture at MIT.
“After they came up with the design, we installed a unit at a Moscow hotel a few years ago. We got really good user feedback, so we put a few more in cities like Stockholm.”
The boxes are essentially a melding of the best of both worlds: Home and office. “It’s bringing the benefits of working from home to work,” Chambers says. “I commute from Framingham to Boston. That’s a long drive, and I would get frustrated having to get to the office really early in the morning to avoid traffic. Now, though, I can go into the Sleepbox and rest up for my day. I don’t have to immediately get in front of my computer.”
Sleepbox’s user demographic is wide ranging, targeting millennials but also their older counterparts. “Younger workers can utilize it in both mornings and evenings—they can take a nap before they go out with their friends,” Chambers says. “Parents can rest after their day and before they go home to their kids.”
The creation of the boxes coincided, as Chambers explains, with the increased attention to employee wellness around the world, including a movement led by Huffington Post co-founder and editor in chief Arianna Huffington’s 2016 book, The Sleep Revolution. “There was a real trend developing,” he says. “We were working with a number of companies that were offering wellness programs for their employees, focusing on things like sleep and self-care. More companies were following the Google model of in-office perks.”
The boxes are currently produced in Massachusetts and distributed around the state. “We’re proud of our manufacturing partnership here at home, bringing units to Boston from a local spot,” Chambers says.
“Looking ahead, we’re thinking of rolling out smaller units, ones specifically for office use. We’ve been happy with the feedback so far.”