These terrifying sleeping pods mean you never have to leave work

Image: Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign.

How about next time you get up to go home from work you just, well, don't bother? This is the faintly horrifying idea behind a new living option at a University of Utah "business incubator" (that's basically a posh name for a place where a load of start-ups are based).

Entrepreneurs working at the incubator's start-up companies now have the option to spend the night – or every night! – in a "sleeping pod", seven feet tall, wide and deep. According to Fast Company magazine, these pods include the bare minimum: a bed, a cupboard and bookshelves. They're grouped together in clusters of 18 to 30 around a common lounge, kitchen, bathrooms, and a "maker space" (sorry, more start-up jargon – this means a sort of workshop, we think). 

Each pod also has its own desk right outside, because what's the point of sleeping in the office if you're not just feet from your desk. As Mehrdad Yazdani, Yazdani Studio's design director, told Fast Company, the concept is based around the idea that if you live at work, you can work at any time:

As an entrepreneur, your ideas may come to you at 3 am in the morning. You want to be able to roll out of the bed, grab your partners, and develop the idea.

(Call us crazy, but we wouldn't be hugely happy if our business partner woke us up at 3am after a sleepy flash of inspiration.)

As another designer at the firm told the publication, however, the space is "for a very specific type of student" who chooses to live at work.  

Image: Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign.

Some law firms and other high-octane workplaces already provide pods where employees can sleep, and start-up houses where tech employees live together are also common. At Google, the record for an employee living at the office is apparently two years. 

But the disturbing thing about this new, dorm-like model is that it offers more amenities than other workplace sleeping pods, and has the potential to be a more comfortable living environment. The attempts to foster a collegiate atmosphere amongst a community of 24-hour work vampires lays bare a culture where ambitious entrepreneurs employees, or even students, need to work as much as possible at all hours to get ahead.

After all, in a company where half the workforce actually lives at work, it'd be hard to argue that you're just as conscientious if you prefer going home to, y'know, see your family. 


CityMetric is now City Monitor! Come see us at our new home

City Monitor is now live in beta at

CityMetric is now City Monitor, a name that reflects both a ramping up of our ambitions as well as our membership in a network of like-minded publications from New Statesman Media Group. Our new site is now live in beta, so please visit us there going forward. Here’s what CityMetric readers should know about this exciting transition.  

Regular CityMetric readers may have already noticed a few changes around here since the spring. CityMetric’s beloved founding editor, Jonn Elledge, has moved on to some new adventures, and a new team has formed to take the site into the future. It’s led by yours truly – I’m Sommer Mathis, the editor-in-chief of City Monitor. Hello!

My background includes having served as the founding editor of CityLab, editor-in-chief of Atlas Obscura, and editor-in-chief of DCist, a local news publication in the District of Columbia. I’ve been reporting on and writing about cities in one way or another for the past 15 years. To me, there is no more important story in the world right now than how cities are changing and adapting to an increasingly challenging global landscape. The majority of the world’s population lives in cities, and if we’re ever going to be able to tackle the most pressing issues currently facing our planet – the climate emergency, rising inequality, the Covid-19 pandemic ­­­– cities are going to have to lead the way.

That’s why City Monitor is now a global publication dedicated to the future of cities everywhere – not just in the UK (nor for that matter just in the US, where I live). Our mission is to help our readers, many of whom are in leadership positions around the globe, navigate how cities are changing and discover what’s next in the world of urban policy. We’ll do that through original reporting, expert opinion and most crucially, a data-driven approach that emphasises evidence and rigorous analysis. We want to arm local decision-makers and those they work in concert with – whether that’s elected officials, bureaucratic leaders, policy advocates, neighbourhood activists, academics and researchers, entrepreneurs, or plain-old engaged citizens – with real insights and potential answers to tough problems. Subjects we cover include transportation, infrastructure, housing, urban design, public safety, the environment, the economy, and much more.

The City Monitor team is made up of some of the most experienced urban policy journalists in the world. Our managing editor is Adam Sneed, also a CityLab alum where he served as a senior associate editor. Before that he was a technology reporter at Politico. Allison Arieff is City Monitor’s senior editor. She was previously editorial director of the urban planning and policy think tank SPUR, as well as a contributing columnist for The New York Times. Staff writer Jake Blumgart most recently covered development, housing and politics for WHYY, the local public radio station in Philadelphia. And our data reporter is Alexandra Kanik, whose previous roles include data reporting for Louisville Public Media in Kentucky and PublicSource in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Our team will continue to grow in the coming weeks, and we’ll also be collaborating closely with our editorial colleagues across New Statesman Media Group. In fact, we’re launching a whole network of new publications, covering topics such as the clean energy transition, foreign direct investment, technology, banks and more. Many of these sectors will frequently overlap with our cities coverage, and a key part of our plan is make the most of the expertise that all of these newsrooms combined will bring to bear on our journalism.

Please visit going forward, where you can also sign up for our free email newsletter.

As for CityMetric, some of its archives have already been moved over to the new website, and the rest will follow not long after. If you’re looking for a favourite piece from CityMetric’s past, for a time you’ll still be able to find it here, but before long the whole archive will move over to City Monitor.

On behalf of the City Monitor team, I’m thrilled to invite you to come along for the ride at our new digs. You can follow City Monitor on LinkedIn and on Twitter. If you’re interested in learning more about the potential for a commercial partnership with City Monitor, please get in touch with our director of partnerships, Joe Maughan.

I want to thank and congratulate Jonn Elledge on a brilliant run. Everything we do from here on out will be building on the legacy of his work, and the community that he built here at CityMetric. Cheers, Jonn!

To our readers, on behalf of the City Monitor team, thank you from all of us for being such loyal CityMetric fans. We couldn’t have done any of this without you.

Sommer Mathis is editor-in-chief of City Monitor.