Sleep your way to the top: How sports companies help their employees rest

Activity and exercise are known to be two factors to be more successful in your sports job and your life in general. The other side of the medal though centers on the complete opposite: It’s about a good night’s sleep or your rest throughout the day. 
Unfortunately, in the 21st century sleep is put on the sideline as a consequence of bigger work loads, greater focus on careers and actually, the digital media. In the last 60 years, our society reduced their sleeping amount per night from 8 hours to 6 and a half, ignoring the importance of a rested mind. What follows is sleep deprivation in big parts of our society, resulting in mental and physical health problems. Even the minor effects of insufficient sleep already effect our daily tasks negatively, leaving us unconcentrated and unproductive at work. Logically concluded, being well rested is important for your job - something more and more sports companies understand.

What happens when we sleep?

Even nowadays, neuroscientists still didn’t discover completely what happens in our brain when we are asleep. There are several theories though which seem very likely and fit the results you might notice yourself. It seems that during your sleeping phase, your brain processes all impressions you made during the day, be it aware or subconscious. When you sleep, these things that you learned, will be committed to your memory. Something else you probably noticed is how your brain activities will tire you - how at the end of a stressful day you can’t concentrate that well and have problems memorizing things. So at night, or even during a power nap, your mind is able to power up again, to restore its resources so to speak. In consequence, if you manage to rest well during the night, your concentration and awareness improve. You’ll be more creative, social, productive, better in problem solving, just to name a few. On the other hand, your stress level is reduced, resulting in a more balanced mood and this way, in an improved ability to make (good) decisions. Overall, your mind and body are healthier.

How sports companies support the rest of their employees

Modern sports companies nowadays focus a lot on the well being of their employees. It doesn’t come as a surprise that most sports companies contain fitness and workout areas, yoga studios or even special sports facilities like a boulder wall (adidas) or a skatepark (Quiksilver). Furthermore, a lot of companies over flexible hours so the working times are timed around your own schedule, depending on whether you are a morning or an evening person. But there are some who take the well-being of their employee’s on a next level, knowing about the importance of rest and sleep to increase producitivy, creativity and overall the employee’s happiness. The trend of napping areas or boozes that we find at Google, Uber and Co. have also been adapted by the sports business, but there are three sports companies who bring a nap break from work to the next level.

Adidas

adidas in Herzogenauch more or less „killed“ the regular working space when they developed their „MyArena“ concept in 2015. Instead of working in your office, adidas employees in the „Pitch“-building have a free desk choice every day, a game room, 360 degree brain storming rooms and all the other fun stuff that creates an inspiring working atmosphere. Apart from the possibility to work in a free environment, they also realized the importance of resting in between working hours: „Using short breaks to revitalize actively helps to stay focussed and creative“. That’s why their recreation area has a room equipped with massage chairs to take a quick nap and recover in between a busy working day.
 

Nike

Where there’s adidas, Nike’s never far away. According to Forbes, Nike is the number one employer of the sports industry in the US. Their employees are satisfied with the working atmosphere and the benefits. A big part of it sure is their attitude towards well rested employees: In their headquarters in Oregon, they provide cozy resting areas for their staff. In quiet rooms with comfortable couches and chill music, it is allowed to nap and rest to gain new energy for ongoing projects.

Puma

Puma structured their benefits into 4 main piles to guarantee their team’s satisfaction. „We cannot perform well unless we feel comfortable in our work environment, and companies wishing to retain their employees over the long term must be aware of this fact.“ Apart from social and structural benefits, Puma focuses a lot on the mental and physical health, offering sport and leisure activities as well as massages and physiotherapy to reduce stress. Their „mental wellbeing“ pile, however, uses an extraordinary approach to relax the mind’s of their team even away from the job: By offering special trainings on how to manage stress or achieve a better work-life balance, they actively support the ability to rest after work and sleep better at night.

How to spend your lunch break: Time out from your desk

Get out of the office and enjoy your break
Let’s be honest: Most of us don’t make it out of the office or not even away from the desk in our lunch break. We chew on our sandwich while checking the 35 mails we didn’t answer yet or make a quick visit to the cafeteria so we’ll be back to work asap! Our society seems to be obsessed with work, feeling the pressure to push our limits every day.
We spend most of our time per day for our jobs, so it’s especially important to use your break exactly what it’s meant for: For taking a break. (Pretty obvious.) 
Not only will it increase your well-being, but also your creativity and productivity in the following hours by refreshing your concentration. As a result, you’ll be able to accomplish so much more with a decreased stress level. Just to make it clear: What we’re talking about is getting out, not scrolling through your favorite memes, get stuck on your Facebook news feed or dream away of what you could be doing instead.  Leave your computer behind and…

Let’s get out of the office

Seriously. That’s the biggest step. No matter what you do, just change your surroundings, even if it will be only for half an hour. Take a walk or make a bike tour - fresh air and a little wind will free your mind from work. 
When your job happens to be in a big town like paris or munich, find a little green: A park or the suburbs. Imagine seeing a different color than grey - isn’t it nice? The best of your little adventure will be the benefits for your mental and physical health. People keep talking about desk yoga when actually a walk in the lunch break keeps you fit and healthy easily.

Learn some new skills

You know how long it takes to learn a new language? Only five minutes per day. After a hard day of work you might not have the power to do so in the evening. 
Take the time in your lunch break instead - there are great apps for learning spanish, french and even business english. Or oldschool: Grab a book and take a seat in your favorite café or visit the library. If you’re not in the mood for theory - especially when sitting on a desk all day - what about cooking, fitness, photography classes? There’s plenty of options! Not only will it be a lot of fun, but will bring you to your next level - and maybe even your job when your skills come in handy. Also, they will give you more self confidence for the next talk about raise!

Work out, do sports, improve your health

A walk or a bike tour is one way to stay fit in your lunchbreak. But seriously, you can push this even more! Take an hour to improve your fitness. Sports increase your health - physically and mentally. If there’s a gym around the corner, work out. Not your thing? Many cities offer great yoga and meditation classes at lunch time - so employees can take part. Also, they focus on concentration and your back which is stressed by sitting so much. If you are happy enough to work near the ocean, go swimming or surfing - a wipe out clears your head much better than any meditation ever could.

Meet with friends & strangers

Grab a coffee with friends or even people you don’t know that well yet instead of your office colleagues. It will keep your head away from work during your lunch time. It might even inspire your for later tasks, no matter if you catch up with old friends or new ones. Your personal life is a big factor of happiness. We are social, even if we only need one or two people in our lifes, so socialise. You see - use your time wisely. It will help you to re-energize.