Recent studies have shown that most employees in America are overwhelmed, overworked and underslept. Short term, this trifecta manifests as an inability to focus, an uptick in anxiety and an increase in difficulty sleeping, thus adding to an existing sleep debt. Chronic sleep deprivation has become an epidemic among American adults, and a costly problem for U.S. companies. Studies show that 1 in 3 Americans are sleep deprived, meaning they function on fewer than the recommended 7 hours per night, resulting in an estimated annual cost of 411 billion dollars to the US economy.
Over a long period of time, these issues lead to full-fledged burnout. As a result, serious physical health problems develop, including clinical depression, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Every year, employee burnout costs employers huge sums of money, not only in sick time, health care costs, job turnover and disability claims, but also in lost productivity and lack of engagement. Besides loss of revenue, this also diminishes workplace morale, leading to significant social and emotional costs.
Thought leaders at many companies are beginning to recognize that employee burnout is not inevitable. It can be easily prevented by changing the culture of the workplace and making it easy for employees to prioritize and access health and wellness services. Innovative companies are starting to shift the dialogue on workplace wellness, normalizing meditation and nap pods in the office.
It’s so exciting that meditation is becoming more mainstream in the corporate environment, but for many exhausted beginners, it can be frustrating, boring or intimidating. For employees who already have a personal meditation practice, providing an opportunity for them to do their practice at work is incredibly well-received. But for employees facing burnout, struggling to get through the day, overwhelmed by emails, deadlines and lost sleep, sitting at a conference table in a meditation class often turns into an opportunity to cycle through a mental to-do list…over and over and over again. As this is rarely relaxing, meditation then turns into something that ‘doesn’t work for them.’ Here in Los Angeles, I offer a more pragmatic meditation solution for the office that allows employees to actually let go of their mental tensions and experience true deep relaxation.