A couple of weeks ago, I read an article about insurance group Aetna paying their staff to get a good night’s sleep. The initiative encourages employees to sleep for seven hours or more a night and was launched following a number of studies showing how not getting enough sleep can significantly affect our ability to do our job.
As part of Edelman’s HR team, the story got me thinking about the importance of a good night’s sleep and what tools and knowledge we can equip our staff with to ensure they feel refreshed and re-energised throughout the day.
Studies show that sleep is essential in helping to maintain mood, memory and cognitive performance. In other words, it’s pretty vital for our day jobs! But on the flipside, lack of sleep can affect productivity, the ability to remember and process new information, make us more prone to getting ill and even cause us to become irritable.
Yet even so, feeling refreshed and at the top of our game isn’t just about making sure we’re tucked up in bed long enough. We need to consider what we are doing during the day too. Everything from nutrition and exercise, to how many breaks we are taking and how we ‘wind down’ – all can affect energy levels and our ability to rest and sleep.
At Edelman, we recognise the value of having fully energised, well-rested employees. That’s why our annual wellbeing programme, including weekly ‘Wellbeing Wednesdays’ offers everything from healthy eating advice to subsidised massages.
In fact, physical wellbeing is a key focus of this year’s Wellbeing programme, which we launched on 6th July. There will be a full range of activities, including onsite health checks, workshops on living with technology and advice on how to curb sugar cravings. Sleep expert Dr Nerina Ramlakhan will also be re-joining us to host her session on ‘Creating Optimum Sleep’.
In other words, Edelman understands that if our staff feel as refreshed and recuperated as possible, they will be happier, enjoy work more and achieve even greater things for our clients. I must admit, I can’t envisage a situation where we ever pay people to sleep but, with a bit of luck, our Wellbeing programme means they still arrive at the office with a spring in their step!