Silicon Valley Sleep Secrets
The San Francisco Bay Area is known for its pioneering attitude, hippies, and lots of crazy hills. In the past few decades, it has also become a hub of incredible technology, social media, and adventurous start ups. It’s become an energetic spot that many are flocking to in order to be a part of that business magic that seems to happen overnight. Innovative leaders on all fronts, tech tycoons are beginning recognize that start up burnout is a real thing. All nighters and sleeping in your office is no longer a glamourous thing to brag about. Our culture seems to be making a real shift towards aspects of health, wellness, and living a balanced life, which is reflected in the industry aims of some of the latest Silicon Valley techies. Melding innovation and wellness, we can take tips from some of the Valley’s newest, best, and brightest leaders.
The Hard-Working American Redefined
American culture seems to be irrevocably woven to a hard-working identity. The more you work, the greater your personal sense of morality and ethics. “Bootstrapping” has become the norm, and often it comes at the expense of almost every other value, especially health. It doesn’t matter if you are eating well or sleeping as long as you are getting your work done and you’re doing it well. Though this hard-working, “pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps” value has undoubtedly led to some incredible achievements, outstanding company growth, and undeniable monetary gains, companies are now beginning to understand that hard work without equal time for rest is devastating for increasing or even maintaining productivity and quality of work in the long term.
Sleep Has Become a Status Symbol
Sleep has become somewhat of a status symbol among techie crowds and corporations in recent years. We all know intuitively that when we are healthy and feeling our best, our work tends to feel easier, and we seem to find that elusive “flow” state much more often. Companies and tech leaders have begun to take this idea more seriously, investing in programs like Sleepio, an online sleep coach, and sleep fairs “like the one hosted last month in Manhattan by Nancy H Rothstein, director of Circadian Corporate Sleep Programs and otherwise known as the Sleep Ambassador, for LinkedIn” (Independent magazine). Nancy has been designing sleep education and training programs over the last few years for multiple Fortune 500 companies. She teaches classes things from how to properly make a bed and why you should use analog alarm clocks. Investing in these programs show how companies are beginning to understand how a good sleep life positively impacts the employee and, in turn, the health of the company as well.
Tech Giants in the Valley That Know the Value of Sleep (And Those Who Don’t)
Not only do Google employees have free access to gourmet food, they also are able to utilize EnergyPods, specially-designed chairs meant for napping. These pods use NASA technology to induce a blissful nap meant to energize you for the rest of your work day, and put you in prime position for optimal napping blood flow, opening your respiratory system in order to relax and rejuvenate. With built-in Bose speakers and a light-blocking dome, company’s who wish to provide these pods for their employees must spend a pretty penny. One of these pods will set you back $8,000, making it a true status symbol for successful startups.
Essentially the founder of modern day social media, Facebook is the epitome of successful Silicon Valley startups. COO Sheryl Sandberg is absolutely insistent on getting a full night of rest, and she wants this for her employees as well. This is why Facebook offers employees flexible start times and nap areas that also include the aforementioned sleep pods. Slowly but surely sleep is gaining some significance in work culture and it’s about time.
Though it’s seen as a world-changing business that is sure to revolutionize human’s oil reliance, a recent article from Business Insider mentions reports of “grueling work pressure” due to CEO, Elon Musk’s, “aggressive production goals, and sometimes life-changing injuries”. The article explains that since 2014, ambulances have been called over 100 times for workers experiences of fainting spells, dizziness, seizures, abnormal breathing, and chest pains. Musk explains that he care deeply about the health and wellbeing of his employees, but Musk himself has been sleeping at the factory in order to get back on track with the production of the latest model of the electric Tesla car.
The difference between company’s that invest in their employees health and sleep life and those who don’t is immeasurable. It’s evident that investing in sleep has innumerable positive effects on the life of employees, and in turn, the quality of work they produce. Healthy workers equals healthy work productivity, which benefits a company in the long run.
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