The From Day One Newsletter is a monthly roundup of articles, features, and editorials on innovative ways for companies to forge stronger relationships with their employees, customers, and communities.
Why Sleep Care Is an Employer Matter
At the acme of hustle culture, sleep deprivation was worn like a medal. Heidi Riney, MD, and chief medical officer at sleep healthcare provider Nox Health, is happy to see the bad habit fall out of fashion. “People would brag about not getting enough sleep, that they were able to achieve so much on just four hours’ sleep.’ Other times, the boast was, ‘I got eight hours, and I can’t believe I spoiled myself.’”Burnt out and hungry for work-life balance, workers have replaced “hustle” with wellness, and though it’s less common to boast about getting little sleep, people are still doing it, and their wellbeing, inside and outside of work, is suffering.From Day One hosted Riney and her colleague, Shannon Cyr, a behavioral scientist and SVP of Nox’s sleep care telehealth services, for a recent webinar on the benefit of sleep healthcare—and why it’s a workplace matter. They discussed the connection between a lack of sleep and worsening chronic conditions, emphasizing just how important sleep hygiene is.What Happens to the Sleep-DeprivedWe cheat ourselves and our health when we don’t get enough sleep, Riney explained. Our ability to concentrate suffers, so does muscle repair and recovery, and our immune system. Short-term, lack of sleep inhibits our memory, the ability to pay attention, our appetite, and the way we metabolize food. “Sleep is a very active process where a lot of incredibly important functions happen when we sleep, a lot of restorative functions,” she said.Dr. Heidi Riney, pictured, led the webinar alongside Nox Health colleague Shannon Cyr (company photo)Sleepiness and fatigue—or that feeling of moving through mud—show up after just one night of poor sleep, “and if you have a safety-sensitive job, that can be very challenging,” Riney said.If we’re sleep deprived for long periods of time, cognition, the ability to problem-solve, and the ability to make decisions can be impaired. Riney called sleep deprivation the silent partner to chronic diseases, often increasing the risk of “type-two diabetes, chronic systemic inflammation—which has been linked to things like cancer, heart disease, hyperlipidemia, or high cholesterol—increased risk of anxiety and depression, increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.” Sleep is so important to systemic health that in 2022, the American Heart Association added sleep to its cardiovascular health checklist.“When sleep is treated adequately,” Cyr explained, “then those chronic conditions that may be present in our patient, it seems to slow the progression of that chronic disease. In some cases, it also reverses some of the symptoms of those chronic diseases.”Generally, sleep-related costs constitute just a small portion of total healthcare spend for employers, but, according to Riney and Cyr, members who have sleep disorders often cost twice as much as those without, and constitute a substantial share of total healthcare spend.“Sleep disorders represent a hidden, overlooked, but remedial gap in care,” said Riney. “They represent a significant safety, health, and productivity issue for every employer.”Changing Sleep BehaviorCyr noted that improving sleep is often a matter of behavioral change—Nox tends to use behavior modification as its first-line therapy—and the results are not only quality and quantity of sleep, she said, but also quality of life.Nox Health’s model of proactively contacting members about their quality of sleep—Are you feeling more productive? Less fatigued?—makes it easier for members to track over time changes in sleep quality.That’s especially important for patients who work in transportation, Cyr said. “We want to make sure that they’re not accident-prone, they’re not working while sleepy and while they are driving heavy machinery.”Riney noted that a patient pushing their primary care provider to talk about sleep can prompt the doctor to start asking other patients too. “You can bring it up and say ‘I don’t feel like I am sleeping at my best,’ then list two or three symptoms that you’re experiencing.” It’s not a typical topic of conversation at the annual health check-up, they said, but you can make it one.Editor’s note: From Day One thanks our partner, Nox Health, for sponsoring this webinar. Emily McCrary-Ruiz-Esparza is a freelance journalist and From Day One contributing editor who writes about work, the job market, and women’s experiences in the workplace. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, Quartz at Work, Fast Company, and Digiday’s Worklife, among others.
From Day One Celebrates Its Fifth Anniversary
Half a decade ago, the news was erupting daily in an avalanche of headlines about Corporate America. A lot of those headlines were about scandals. About mistakes and injustice. These were not just mainstream media headlines, but also major stories emerging from digital media and social media. In fact, it seemed like for the first time everyone suddenly had a voice, and many of these voices were shouting. Many people within these companies were already committed to making positive change. But corporate values issues are often complex. They are typically interwoven with other business priorities, history, or plain old inertia. “Companies were being held accountable for their behavior in new and important ways, and it seemed like there was real, and possibly permanent change happening,” recalls From Day One CEO Nick Baily. “But then what? Even once you agree on a new set of values, there’s a lot of work to do in making them real.” This was the historical turning point the three founders of From Day One were contemplating when they launched, exactly five years ago this month, the organization’s very first event, a one-day conference of hundreds of business leaders at BRIC House in Brooklyn, a place not previously known for business conferences. From the start, it was designed to be something different.The idea was that the country needed a “forum on corporate values,” a gathering of professionals to talk about the relationship between companies and their employees and communities. In other words, their stakeholders, rather than just their stockholders. The founders–Baily, Erin Sauter, and me–felt certain that we didn’t know the answer to these pivotal questions, but we felt equally certain that there were many people with inspiring, practical insight on these topics, and that bringing them together into the same room would be a positive first step.The first event was a hit. Speakers from companies including IBM, NBCUniversal and Condé Nast offered fresh ideas on “building a more purposeful team” and “setting your values and following them.” Sponsors ranged from AT&T to Con Edison to Eileen Fisher. Attendees, for their part, asked: What will you be doing for an encore?The three founders decided to bring the Brooklyn-bred idea to Chicago, Boston, and beyond. Five years later, From Day One has hosted 45 one-day conferences from Seattle to Miami. The pandemic produced an existential moment of doubt for the company, but necessity proved inspirational. From Day One has hosted more than 60 virtual conferences and 220 webinars. All told, more than 72,000 professionals in HR and related fields have attended From Day One’s events. This year, Inc. magazine recognized From Day One as one of America’s 5,000 fastest-growing companies. The audience at a From Day One conference in Atlanta; featured photo: a panel onstage in Seattle (Photos by From Day One)Since the company has taken a journalistic approach to its conversations, it has never lacked for topics. History-making events of the past five years provided fuel for conversations that From Day One’s founders never could have expected. To start with, the pandemic brought the remote-work revolution. As Harvard professor Tsedal Neeley told our virtual audience: “I am 100% convinced that, if we do this hybrid right and with courage, and we set our policies based on need and not fear, we’re preparing for the digital revolution that’s right around the corner.” She was prophetic about the challenge of getting it right.The murder of George Floyd inspired a push for racial justice in Corporate America that would prove to be fitful, but the conversation was groundbreaking. “All of a sudden, I was talking about this, and our employees’ eyes were opened. We’ve never really talked openly about racism before at work,” Hoai Scott of NBCUniversal told our audience in Los Angeles. As the pandemic eased, the pent-up demand for more rewarding and meaningful work triggered the Great Resignation that sent companies into a frantic search for talent, which has only somewhat eased. “Comparing where we are now to where we were pre-Covid, I think the employee is going to retain a lot of power,” AT&T executive Ben Jackson told our Dallas audience last year. In turn, the need to retain workers inspired a major push among companies for better learning-and-development programs. “Our vision is–and it’s very lofty–we want to redefine what education means in this country, full stop,” Walmart’s head of L&D said in a From Day One fireside chat.What may be the most consequential development of From Day One’s short life is a debate about not only the future of work, but the meaning of work in our lives. To be sure, our colleagues at Harvard Business Review, which celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, have been at this awhile. But recent years have turned this philosophical question into a competitive news beat for business reporters and thinkers like Anne Helen Petersen, who has spoken to From Day One’s audience about both of her recent work-focused books. She was early in raising the prospect that a flexible approach to work arrangements “could actually help us decenter work, just slightly, from its place of prominence in our world.”To offer such a vigorous schedule of events to talk about these issues, From Day One now has a team of 18 full- and part-time employees who’ve developed diverse areas of expertise in finding inspiring speakers, developing an engaged audience, staging well-run events, and helping sponsors grow their businesses.What’s next? From Day One is planning a rich assortment of live and virtual events for the rest of 2023 and all through 2024, including a conference next week in our neighbor borough of Manhattan. We hope you’ll join us for the next chapters of our story.Steve Koepp is From Day One’s chief content officer.
Live 2023: PhiladelphiaOctober 03, 2023
UPCOMING EVENTSFrom Day One explores how companies can build well-grounded values into their business—diversity, responsibility, transparency—and stick with them in an economy driven by disruption.
How HR Technology Can Connect, Motivate, and Recognize the Hybrid Workforce
What Our Attendees are Saying
“From Day One did an amazing job of providing an exceptional experience for both the attendees and vendors. I mean, we had whale sharks and giant manta rays gracefully swimming by on the other side of the hall from our booth!”– Joel Stupka, SkillCycle
“Last week I had the honor of moderating a panel on healthy work environments at the From Day One conference in Atlanta. I was so inspired by what these experts had to say about the timely and important topics of mental health in the workplace and the value of nurturing a culture of psychological safety.”– Alexis Hauk, Emory University
“Thank you, From Day One, for such an important conversation on diversity and inclusion, employee engagement and social impact.”– Desiree Booker, ColorVizion Lab
“De-stigmatizing mental health illnesses, engaging stakeholders, arriving at mutually defined definitions for equity, and preventing burnout—these are important topics that I’m delighted are being discussed at the From Day One conference.”– Cory Hewett, Gimme Vending Inc.
“Inspiring speakers and powerful conversations. Loved meeting so many talented people driving change in their organizations. Thank you From Day One! I look forward to next year’s event!”– Sarah J. Rodehorst, ePerkz
“The panels were phenomenal. The breakout sessions were incredibly insightful. I got the opportunity to speak with countless HR leaders who are dedicated to improving people’s lives. I walked away feeling excited about my own future in the business world, knowing that many of today’s people leaders are striving for a more diverse, engaged, and inclusive workforce.”– Jordan Baker, Emplify
“Thank you for bringing speakers and influencers into one space so we can all continue our work scaling up the impact we make in our organizations and in the world!”– Trisha Stezzi, Significance LLC
“From Day One provided a full day of phenomenal learning opportunities and best practices in creating & nurturing corporate values while building purposeful relationships with employees, clients, & communities.”– Vivian Greentree, Fiserv
“I had the distinct pleasure of attending From Day One Seattle. The Getting Bias Out of Our Systems discussion was inspirational and eye-opening.”– Angela Prater, Confluence Health
“We always enjoy and are impressed by your events, and this was no exception.”– Chip Maxwell, Emplify
“We really enjoyed the event yesterday— such an engaged group of attendees and the content was excellent. I'm feeling great about our decision to partner with FD1 this year.”– Katy Romero, One Medical
“The From Day One Conference in Seattle was filled with people who want to make a positive impact in their company, and build an inclusive culture around diversity and inclusion. Thank you to all the panelists and speakers for sharing their expertise and insights. I'm looking forward to next year's event!”– Kayleen Perkins, Seattle Children's
“Timely and much needed convo about the importance of removing the stigma and providing accessible mental health resources for all employees.”– Kim Vu, Remitly
“Great discussion about leadership, accountability, transparency and equity. Thanks for having me, From Day One.”– Florangela Davila, KNKX 88.5 FM
“I had the pleasure of attending From Day One. My favorite session, Getting Bias Out of Our Systems, was such a powerful conversation between local thought leaders.”– Michaela Ayers, Nourish Events