The Exhaustion Economy: Business’s Sleeper Hit

Exhaustion Economy: Capitalizing on the general population’s exhaustion is the next business sleeper hit, according to The FT. Sleep coaches and apps, nap pods, calming sprays and special pillows are just a few parts of the $30-$40B industry, which only continues to grow.

To combat the sleepiness of America, companies like Google, Apple and others are offering employees in-office places to rest and incentives to do so outside the office. However, it’s a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The reason why people are so tired is because they are completely burnt out from exhaustive work environments–something we explored among Millennials in particular in last week’s edition.

So how effective, really, is a nap pod for these sleep-starved start-uppers? “Even if a company buys a nap pod, there is no certainty it will be used,” writes Emma Jacobs of The FT. “One human resources executive at a UK company which bought a couple of pods admits they are under-used. ‘It feels naughty . . . people resist stepping away.’’” It seems the change must be a cultural one, instead. “Why We Sleep,” by Matthew Walker, a neuroscience professor at the University of California, Berkeley, looks at the recent increase in sleeplessness and the link between sleep (or lack thereof) and depression, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s; and warns that its importance is about more than just work productivity but imperative to our health.

Britain Post-Brexit: The fate of Britain post-Brexit (assuming it happens) is still wildly uncertain. Although no one is able to say, exactly, what the geopolitical realignment means for the job market, economy, or legal structure, The FT surveyed eight foreign secretaries on their opinions. David Owen, Malcolm Rifkind, Jack Straw, and others offer varying yet equally compelling trajectories for Britain’s place in the world for 2019 and beyond.

Money Talks: Discussions around money are important, but the conversation depends on gender according to an article from Fast Company. The publication outlines how parents talk to their sons versus their daughters about money, finding that upon entering high school, 61 percent of boys were taught about credit scores by their parents, compared to 46 percent of girls. Similarly, boys were also “9 percent more likely to be taught how to pay taxes, 5 percent more likely to be taught about bank accounts, 3 percent more likely to be taught about credit cards, and 2 percent more likely to receive an education on investing.”

What’s more is the overarching perception of money instilled in us by our parents, and how that translates to our financial habits. “It’s impossible to train a child how to grow up financially fit if you’re a financial wreck,” Suze Orman, an author, television host, and financial adviser tells Fast Company. “Kids do not listen to what you say; they do what you do.” By talking about and demonstrating good money habits, kids–regardless of gender–are more likely to replicate them.

The Shut-Down Continues: We’ve officially reached the threshold for the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. The anti-accolade has had a plethora of negative effects on Americans–including the 800,000 federal workers who aren’t being paid–but has specifically squeezed government contractors in the midst of research and engineering projects. Moreover, The New York Times digs into the long-term effects it could have on the workforce.

“Contractors may be more tepid about expanding their businesses and bidding for more government work. The political animosity that produced the current stalemate may result in another government shutdown in the near future. There were three shutdowns in 2018, including this one. Some contract workers, particularly highly skilled engineers and scientists, may leave for other jobs, outside government work. New college graduates may steer clear altogether.”

Learnings from Apple: After Apple said China’s slowing economy adversely impacted its sales at the end of 2018, other major U.S. companies braced for the worst. Now, as these same companies prepare their quarterly earnings, China’s impact will become clear. However, it’s not a one-size-fits-all effect for many of these organizations; impact will likely depend on the company’s consumers and their competition within China, writes The Wall Street Journal.

Of the 500 companies part of the S&P, 25 of them indicated China-specific sales for the September quarter. Eight of those 25 said the country contributed about 20 percent in total revenues–approximately the same as Apple’s total sales from China. The bad news: these companies can likely expect the same outcome as Apple. The good news? They know what to expect.

Millennials: Making Moves or All Talk?: Although we see the positive outputs from Millennials on a daily basis, the generation’s efforts to change corporate culture are seemingly ineffective. Our Chief Economist Milton Ezrati looks at the statistics behind whether Millennials’ known feelings about cubicles and flexible workspaces have actually impacted how companies operate, on the blog.

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