95 : Sleeping at Work (w/ Khaliah Guillory)
Zach sits down with Nap Bar founder Khaliah Guillory to discuss the concept of being well-rested at work. They also talk about the genesis of the Nap Bar and the workforce of the future. Additionally, Khaliah shares a few interesting statistics relating to the topic.
Read the WSJ article mentioned on the show!
Zach: What's up, y'all? It's Zach with Living Corporate. Now, look, check it out. Y'all know how we do, okay? We have real talk in a corporate world. We try to center the experiences of black and brown voices and identities in the workplace, and we do that by talking about evergreen topics, but we just want to make sure that we're talking about them from a non-white point of view. So that's where you got me, you got Ade, and of course you have our guests, and who would we be if we didn't have a great guest today like we always do? Khaliah Guillory. Khaliah, welcome to the show. How are you doing?
Khaliah: Yo. What's going on, Zach? Thank you so much for having me on. I'm absolutely honored to be here with the Living Corporate crew. Thank you for the invite.
Zach: Oh, no, no, no. Thank you. Thank you very much. Now, look, for those of us who don't know you, would you mind telling us a little bit about yourself?
Khaliah: Sure. So I am a lover of humanity. Love me some people. I love to connect with people. I love '80s music. I have it on rotation, in the catalog, on a regular basis. I am absolutely obsessed with sunglasses, watches, and socks. If I could get away with just wearing that all day, especially in Houston in the middle of summer, I would.
Zach: Wait a minute. Hold up now. [sound effect]
Khaliah: Oh, we're gonna have so much fun. And I--you know, that's what I do, and I always like to lead with who I am from a personality standpoint. And the meaning of my name means Chosen One, because that ties into what I do. I think sometimes and often times we get caught up into what we do and we think that's who we are, but if we don't lead with who we are, then how can we really be able to connect the dots to understand what we do? So, like, I mentioned my name is Khaliah Oni Guillory, and that means "The Chosen One," and I have chosen to transition from a C-level executive position at a Fortune 500 company as of November 18th of 2018 to really solve the 411 billion--yeah, I said a b--billion dollar U.S. economic loss that the U.S. suffered due to sleep deprivation. Zach, just guess how many days that was. If you equated--I know you've got a consultant brain, so if you can quantify how many days--working days that is--how many would you guess it was?
Zach: You said 400 billion?
Khaliah: Uh-huh, with a b.
Khaliah: How many days?
Zach: I don't know. Like, maybe 7--500. 700. 700's my final answer.
Khaliah: Try 1.2 million. 1.2 million days Americans called off because they were tired and they were sleep deprived
Zach: Now, look here, y'all, I don't want y'all judging me for that terrible math, okay? I'm a change management consultant. I have Excel and other tools to help do the math for me, and--
Khaliah: You've gotta use your tools. You've gotta use your tools.
Zach: You know, 'cause you asked me on the spot. I kind of halfway understood the question. I'm excited. You know, I've got all the energy around me. Y'all don't be judging me. Sound Man, keep this in. Don't this edit either. I want y'all to see me in my--you know what I'm saying, my vulnerability, okay?
Khaliah: Listen, that's what it's about, man. That's what it's about, but look, you jumped out there. You were close.
Zach: I was not at all close. I said 700, and I didn't understand the question. You looking at me talking about [sound effect]. I'm like--you said 1.3 milly.
Zach: Oh, my goodness. And see, I'm wrong again. But anyway--
Khaliah: It was probably 700 in a small town like Sugarland. Boom. See? See how we just changed the narrative? You've just gotta change that narrative.
Zach: Okay. So okay, look, all the jokes aside, give us the stat again. Give us the stat again.
Khaliah: $411 billion is the total amount the U.S. suffered due to sleep deprivation for economic loss. So from an economic loss, the U.S. lost $411 billion due to sleep deprivation, and that equated to 1.2 million working days that Americans called off because they were tired.
Khaliah: So we can peel the onion back a little bit more. I'm doing the air quotes. Remember when it was "on trend" to take mental health days? And it probably still is. I was one of those people that took--I said, "Man, this is smart. Once a month [?], and it's a mental health day, and I'ma do whatever I want to do, and basically what that meant is that I slept all day because I was exhausted. I was working 80 hours a week, and that was the one day of the month that I gave myself permission to actually rest, which is the craziest thing in the world because we should be able to rest every single day.
Zach: Absolutely. And so--so then let's talk about that. So that's your passion, right, and I think it's a really--just a really good segue into our topic for the day, right? Our topic is wellness, and specifically this time the topic is around the concept of being well-rested. And considering your passion and the research that you've done around the lack of restfulness that we have in American culture, you know, what have you been doing with that passion? I know you haven't just been crunching numbers. Like, what have you done? Like, what's the--what's been the output of you doing this research? And, like, what are you--you talked about the fact that you're passionate about solving this problem. What are you doing to solve it?
Khaliah: Yeah, man. So it's this thing called Nap Bar. It's the first white-glove napping experience in Texas that offers on-site and in-suite napping services for communities that we serve. And so this really came about April of last year. The wife and I were both--she's still in corporate, but I was in corporate at the time, and we both had and still have side hustles. I changed my side hustle to my main hustle. She still has a side hustle, but if we can, we would carpool into the city, and this particular day we had about an hour and a half to kill between our meetings, and I looked at her and I was like, "Man, this is my nap time," because I'm an avid napper. I nap in my car on a regular basis, and my nap was kind of--it was gonna be a little strange. So she looked at me and was like, "Why don't you Google "naps in Houston?" It's Houston. There's got to be a place where you can pop in and take a nap." I was like, "You know what? You're right. That's dope. I'm sure there's a place." A two-minute-later search? Zero. Zilch. Nada. And I looked at her, like, in disbelief, like, "How is it this is the fourth-largest country in the world, and we're the most innovative--one of the most innovative cities--" I said countries. "The fourth-largest city in the country, and we're one of the most innovative cities, hence we've got this Innovation Corridor that's being curated, but yeah, we don't have a place for people to rest? Wow." And she looked at me and was like, "Well, why don't you create it?" And I was like, "Yeah, okay." So the next day I go to Facebook, 'cause that's what you do. You go to Facebook and you ask your friends. I created a poll and I was like, "Yo, how many people out there napping during the day? Like, in your car or in an unused conference room or, heck, in, like, the--just wherever you can find some peace and quiet," and 99% of my friends, who are a hodgepodge of professionals, entrepreneurs, stay-at-home parents, these cats admitted to napping at work.
Zach: Oh, yeah. At work?
Khaliah: At work, and I was like, "Boy, they're savages." The savagery is real. So then I was like, "Okay, that's just my scope," right? "That's my lens." So then I started doing more research, and I tell you, Zach, I just kept going and going and going, and I found [?] sleep. There's a sleep foundation that does a ton of research of sleep, and 52% of Americans surveyed--like, 10,000 cats were surveyed last year, and they admitted--52% of them admitted to napping at work. Now, imagine how many people who were napping, but they just was like--
Zach: Oh, yeah. You know they're lying.
Khaliah: "Yeah, I'm not admitting this. They're gonna find out and they're gonna come get me and fire me." Like, imagine. So then I just continued to do my research, and then I stumbled upon--the CDC had a stat out there talking about, you know, driving drowsy is equivalent to driving under the influence. So I just kept going and going and going. I was like, "Okay, clearly I'm not just solving a problem. I'm solving the root of a problem with Nap Bar."
Zach: You are, and you know what? You know, it's wild because, like you said, there's a stigma against, like, even talking about the fact that you might be sleepy, right? You know, you're over here thinking like--you know what I'm saying? You don't want them--you know, you turn around, [and] you slip out in a moment of weakness that you--you know, you might take a nap from time to time, and then you've got the [sound effect]. You know, they're coming for you. And it's just--it's wild though, because I also think really honestly--like, shout-out to you, because really believe it or not--and I'm sure you already know this--like, you're actually pushing against, like, the capitalistic, like, culture and, like, foundation that we work on, because part of just this work-centric culture that we have is just pushing your body until you break, right? Like--
Khaliah: Yeah. And you know what's odd about that? Like, this is Living Corporate, so I'm sure people will get this line I'm about to say, but it combats everything--the fabric of people's culture, corporations' culture that they say that they do, and I'll give you an example. Corporate social responsibilities. How many--if you Google that word, and you Google--or you do a Ctrl+F and find how many times they put "people-centric approach" and how their employees mean the world to them, but if they really adopted a people-centric approach, well, then why are people being criticized for taking PTO? And why are people getting down to the last week of the year and they have a whole month of vacation that's unused and they're gonna end up losing it because they can't roll over but 10 days to the next year? Like, if we really, truly took a step back in our culture as a whole, as a society, then why aren't we pushing the envelope back on that? And that's exactly what I'm out to do. I'm out to be that little voice that's gonna be loud and obnoxious and ferocious so that we can pivot and transition into a true, true-true-true holistic approach to the meaning of living. There shouldn't be a reason why I don't enjoy going into work, and there shouldn't be a reason why studies show that the first four hours of Mondays are the most unproductive, because people have the Sunday blues. They think about what they have to do on Monday and then they check out, [then?] they end up staying out too much late on Sunday Funday.
Zach: There was an article that just released on The Wall Street Journal about that that said, like, Sundays are the new Mondays, right? It's, like, basically the anxiety of--we'll make sure to put that in the show notes too, but, like, the anxiety of your work week, it, like, bleeds over into your Sunday to the point where you can't even enjoy Sunday anymore. And I'll just be transparent that, like, typically for me Sundays are like--are really like a mini-work day, 'cause I'm prepping for the week, right?
Khaliah: Yeah, right, and that shouldn't be the case. You should be able to--you should be able to prep for your work week while you're at work. And I get it, we gotta get ahead and we have to do what we need to do, but it would be so much sweeter if you were prepping on a Sunday for your work week but if you knew on Monday you would be able to get that time back because your employee, or your employer I should say, included in your employees benefit package a health and wellness that includes a nap every single day for 26 minutes, and it's up to you to decide if you want it or not.
Zach: Straight up. You're absolutely right, and it's so funny, right? Because, you know, companies are--companies right now, like, if you notice, like, in the conversation of work-life balance--and this has been--like, this discussion has been happening for, I don't know, like, the past six or seven years, but it's, like, transitioning from work-life balance to, like, work-life blend or work-life optimization or work-life harmony, and, like, really what they're trying to do is, like, just have your life be more and more just about work, right? Like, you're having a good time, but you're working. Like, "Hey, we want you to have a good time as you--you know, as you work." [both laugh] You know, "We want you to take care of your family and, you know, shoot, go on vacation, you know? [?]"
Khaliah: Yeah, but, like--but even think about that too, Zach. Like, I remember going on vacation, and going on vacation for a week was, like, death the next week when you got back to work because you had--you're in email jail. You can't even send any emails because your mailbox is full, and then you don't even want to consider checking your voicemail because you're already getting those stomach-aches thinking about all that you are so behind on. Now you're regretting taking your vacation, which you earned. Like, we've got to reposition and reverse engineer our thought process around how we work. Like, there's a thing called intentional work, and there's some innovative companies that are doing it just right now. You know, you've got the Googles of the world that have napping pods. You've got Ariana Huffington, who nearly died because she passed out and hit her--like, passed out and hit her head on her desk due to sleep deprivation. So you have these advocates, but then we're still so far behind the 8-ball on how do we really truly pivot. And then, you know, it's funny because I had a call, a conference call, with a Fortune 5 company before this call, and I was telling them like, "Hey, we've got to get Nap Bar on site." I've got this calculation I walked them through, and it showed that annualized nationwide, based on 3,300 employees, they are losing $16.5 million of unproductive loss of work per employee. So that's the total roll-up per employee. That's how I got that number. And they're sitting here saying, "Well, I don't know how we can afford to get the nap [zone?]." I'm like, "Did you not just hear me?"
Zach: Nah, you can't afford not to have these nap [zones?]. And wait a minute. And you said--hold on, now, 'cause you're not gonna just slide past that. You said you were on a phone call before this interview with a Fortune 500 company?
Khaliah: I mean, listen, I'm out here taking my shots, man. I'm out here taking my shots.
Zach: I see you.
Khaliah: I'm out here taking my shots. 'Cause, you know, you get this. It's just--it's just basic math. I just need one person to say yes, you know, and then my demand is gonna outpace my supply, and then I can add another zero, and then another zero, and then another zero.
Zach: I'm saying. Listen, I'm right there with you, okay? You're preaching to the choir. I just wanted to make sure that the people heard what you said, 'cause I heard you, okay? [both laugh] Okay, okay, okay. So check this out. We've been talking around this a bit, right, but, like, workplace pressure, like, it's real for everybody, and it's even more real for people in America and of course abroad who are in an ethnic minority and may be battling impostor syndrome, even harder than those who feel the need to prove themselves. And to be clear, like, I'm them. I'm people. But the reality is if you're not getting rest, you won't be good to anybody. So even if--so let's just say this, right? So, like, even if taking a nap is not immediately possible for some of the folks who are listening to this podcast episode right now, what advice would you give to professionals of color to practice restfulness in those 10- or 11-hour work days?
Khaliah: You know, I think the biggest piece is we have to be the change that we want to see in the workplace. So it's vocalizing, being an advocate for rest in the workplace. There is a ton of research. People can hit me up. They can email me. I will gladly send over what I've collected. I'm in the middle of a business case with another company here in Houston that's gonna really result some telling data. It's almost gonna slap people in the face if they say "No, we don't want to give our people naps at work." I mean, this business case is gonna be--it's constructed in such a way to where it's gonna be hard for people to say no, but I would say how I got to this business case and a collaboration with this particular organization is because an employee, who had only been there for 3 months, a minority man--he was in his 1-on-1 with his manager and his manager said, "Hey, how has the past three months going?" And he said, "Man, it's been quite an adjustment, coming from college to the corporate world, and I'm working 60, 70 hours a week, and, you know, it's been quite an adjustment. I wish there was a time I could just, you know, take a nap." And his manager said--well, I'll say he wasn't a manager, because this was a leader comment. You know, managers manage people. Leaders lead. And this leader said to him--after he said that he said, "Hm. Well, why don't we discuss that on your next 1-on-1? Do some research, and let's talk about it next week." And so he did, and I had a meeting with him two days ago. What's today. Today's Tuesday? I had a meeting with him yesterday to button up the business case and the pilot. So I think the biggest advice I could give is just real life experience that I just experienced just as early as yesterday is we have to be vocal about what we want. And of course we have to be professional in the way that we deliver it, and I always--when I worked in corporate I always prided myself--when I presented a problem, it's to have the solution in my back pocket. So when my leader said, "Hey, okay, well, how are you gonna solve it? Boom, here it is, and here's all the research," right? And, you know, that's why I can say I have 10,000+ hours of research. Malcolm Gladwell says if you--if you want to call yourself a subject matter expert, you have to have at minimum 10,000 hours of research in your respective field. So when I said--as I mentioned, like, I can rattle off stats from here between here and Tokyo, where they do have napping pods, but I don't have to because I think we are as a society, when people hear the word "rest" and "nap at work" they'd initially be like, "Oh, my God. That would be awesome," but then they'd immediately think, "Well, is that gonna hold me back? Am I not gonna get up for a promotion because I'm taking a nap at work?" No. That's a shift that me and my team will come in, because it's more than just a nap. It's an experience. But on the flip side of it, we educate on why--what are the indicators for sleep deprivation. So going back to your original question, Zach, we just have to be more vocal about what we want. We need to present a--not just a problem, but also a solution, and not be afraid to get creative with it.
Zach: Okay. Now, listen here, y'all. Y'all heard it straight here from Khaliah, A.K.A. KG Speaks, A.K.A. [?], A.K.A. Your Favorite Sock Wearer, okay? I'm gonna give you that Flex bomb right here. You know what I'm saying? Okay, no, you're absolutely right. In that story though--it's interesting. So you said a black man. Did he have a--was the boss a white dude?
Khaliah: I don't know the ethnicity of the leader, but no, the employee, he wasn't black. He was a minority. He was an Asian-Pacific Islander.
Zach: Yo. Shout-out to the--man, listen here, shout-out to the Asian-Pacific Islander, the person of color raising his voice, and just to keep a bean with you, I need to go ahead and have that leader on this--on Living Corporate too, 'cause I'm kind of shocked that he turned around and said, "Well, do some research," 'cause, I mean, that's not--I don't feel like that's a common experience. That's dope that he did that, and I absolutely believe that we should be speaking up and using your voice. I think that's an incredible story.
Khaliah: We need more of that, and that's why I shared it, because we need more of that on both sides of the table. We need more of that from a leadership standpoint and more of that empowerment from an employee standpoint, because--you're right, and not only that, he sent me an email--the employee said, "Hey, it's a go, and my actual--my leader wants to come and check it out too," and I was like, "Please. Let's go. Tell me when and where. Tell me what time." I know where, just tell me when. [laughs]
Zach: Boy, 'cause let me tell you--let me tell you just my experience. Khaliah, let me walk up in somewhere and tell my often-times-not-minority boss that I want to take a nap at work. Boy, they'd look at me like [sfx]. It's like, "What?"
Khaliah: You are killing it with these sound effects. Like, I want to come over and see, like, what software you're using, 'cause you are killing it.
Zach: Man, I be looking--I'm serious though. You just looking at them like [sfx], you know what I'm saying?
Khaliah: But you know what's interesting too is that, you know, from a leader standpoint, for the leaders who are listening on the phone and who can even--you know, who can low-key share this with the leaders who perhaps might need to hear this, but here's a stat that perhaps will change people's minds. Millennials will be occupying, by 2025, 75% of the workplace. 75% of the workplace in five years and some change will be occupied by millennials. And what do we know about millennials? Well, out of the survey that I saw, 53% of them stated that they value health and wellness above work, spirituality, and even their friendships. Health and wellness #1 over work, spirituality, and their friends. So if I'm an executive at a corporation, and I know in the next five and a half years that folks I have on my bench right now, that I'm grooming, they don't--they value work, but it's not more than their health and wellness. I need to put in place Nap Bar today so that when they're in the C-Suite in five years we're already advanced into VR. We've got virtual reality going in Nap Bar. I mean, there's so many different things that companies can do today to set them up to win in 2025 when 75% of their workforce will be millennials.
Zach: No, you're absolutely right, and, you know--and that's the thing--so as you know, I'm a consultant, and one of the things I've really been passionate about at my job is the workforce of the future, and we're talking about, like, dealing with the workforce of the future. First of all, the workforce of the future is happening--is today, but the idea of the fact that, like, folks will leave--this generation of people, and not even thinking about Gen Z's gonna be doing. I don't know what they--
Zach: Listen. Ayo. My siblings in Gen Z. I be looking at them like I don't know--I'm scared. I'm scared of y'all. Like, y'all--ooh. But, you know, we will leave--
Khaliah: They're reckless, but they're courageous with it.
Zach: Oh, no. I love it. No, it's not a knock. It's just, like, a "Wow." Like, I'm really--I'm not prepared. [both laugh] But, like, you know, millennials though--and I would venture to say it's gonna be even more so with Gen Z--like, we will quit a job, you know what I'm saying?
Khaliah: In a heartbeat. In a heartbeat.
Zach: They'd be like, "Hey, Bobby, if you don't stop taking these naps, we're gonna have to let you go." He'd turn around talking about some [sfx]. You know?
Khaliah: Yeah, you know why? Because they were already researching on their phone the companies that are innovative and progressive that probably already have nap pods.
Zach: Listen, they're gonna be pulling up just like that Indeed commercial that just dropped with that white lady. She got passed over for that job, and--I don't know if you've seen it yet. It's wild. It's crazy. But anyway, she gets passed over for the job, and, you know, everybody's clapping. It's clear that she got passed over for a job. She's over here smirking at her phone. Indeed app already talking about "Interview secured." I said, "Ooh." And I oop. [sfx]
Khaliah: That's funny. Now that's funny.
Zach: It's super funny, but you're right. You know, it's going to be a critical--you know, it's gonna be a pillar of human capital management, of talent management, this wellness piece, and it can't just be "Hey, you know, you can take time off, but you've got to come work--" No, like, it needs to be explicit, intentional, purposed policies that reinforce true wellness.
Zach: Okay. Now, look, this has been a dope conversation, and you know you've already been a friend of the show, and I didn't even--you know, I didn't even give you your air horns at the top for the dope piece that you wrote back in Season 1 about coming out of the proverbial closet. Man, shout-out to you. [sfx]
Khaliah: Aye. [imitating sfx]
Zach: You know what I'm saying? Like, we didn't even give you your props at the top. So, you know, again, you're a friend of the show. You're appreciated here. Before we let you go, any parting words or shout-outs?
Khaliah: Man, shout-out to the tribe, the folks who show up, the folks who--and here's the thing. People show up. They don't have to show up, so when they do we have to ooze with gratitude for that. So I'm absolutely oozing with gratitude for my tribe for showing up, and not just for showing up, but for also holding me accountable for the likes, for the shares, for the--just the "atta girl"s, I mean, those things matter when you literally jump off the cliff and you have no idea how to open your parachute, but you can trust that your tribe, your network, will catch you before you fall. So shout-out to all of the folks who have ever liked, commented, shared, sent me an encouraging DM. I appreciate you so much, and I'm sending that vibe and that love right back out to you. And for those of you who are sitting on a billion-dollar idea that's gonna solve a trillion-dollar problem, I say "Go." Just go. You're not gonna have it all figured out, but you'll be able to figure it out along the way. And assemble yourself an advisory board team yesterday, because that's gonna be the people who will be in the trenches with you, that will roll up their sleeves with you and fight 'til the end to make sure that--that they believe in not just you, but in your vision.
Zach: Come on, now.
Khaliah: Yeah, man. That's the motto. That's the motto, man.
Zach: I don't even have anything. I just got finger snaps, you know?
Khaliah: That's the motto. Like, my legit motto is "Why duplicate mediocrity when we can borrow genius?" So why not surround yourself with genius all around who have access to the things you don't have access to or who have embarked on a journey that you're looking to embark on. Hey, it's the--it's the clear definition of working smarter and not harder.
Zach: No, absolutely. Now, of course we're gonna have all of your information in the show notes, but why don't you go ahead and let us know where we can find you, where we can connect with you, where we can learn more about you?
Khaliah: Bet. So for Nap Bar-specific, go to www.napbarnow.com. There you can also follow us on Twitter @NapBarNow, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook we're at NapBarHou, and for anything and all things KOG Speaks, which I am a certified diverse speaker, and I speak on diversity and inclusion, performance, leadership, change management. You can catch all of my work there at www.KOGpassion.com, and then my handles on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook is KOGSpeaks.
Zach: Come on, now. Now, look, this has been great, and that does it for us, y'all. So thank y'all for joining us on the Living Corporate podcast. Make sure to follow us on Instagram @LivingCorporate, Twitter @LivingCorp_Pod, and subscribe to our newsletter through living-corporate.com. Now, please say the dash. Now, look, Khaliah, it's wild because, you know, we own actually all of the Living Corporate variations. So, like, livingcorporate.tv, livingcorporate.co, livingcorporate.net. We've even got, like, livingcorporate.org. We don't have livingcorporate.com 'cause Australia still has livingcorporate.com.
Khaliah: They ain't letting it go. You're not gonna negotiate the 5,000--
Zach: I don't know how brolic the brand would need to be for us to walk up to a continent and be like, "Ayo, come off that domain." I don't know, but maybe one day. That's a go. I feel like the day that we can--we can Deebo Australia for our domain, that's the day--
Khaliah: That's when you've arrived.
Zach: That's when you've arrived.
Khaliah: That's the day you've arrived.
Zach: Right, I'm saying. Okay, okay. So look, if you have a question you'd like for us to answer and read on the show, make sure you email us at email@example.com, or you can just DM us on anything, you know what I'm saying? Our DMs are wide open. Like, we're just trying to talk to you, you know what I'm saying? Now, look, this has been Zach, and you have been talking with Khaliah Guillory, okay? Founder and CEO of the Nap Bar. Make sure you check out all of her information. It's gonna be all in the show notes. Do not forget. Listen, I'm talking to y'all right now. Sound Man, stop the music. Listen. I don't want y'all to listen to this and, like, be like, "Oh, okay, here goes Zach with the sign-off again," 'cause see, y'all see I'm flipping it up. This is not, like, an insert. I'm talking live right now, okay? I want y'all to stop, look in the show notes, okay, and click it. I ain't trying to be aggressive with y'all, okay? I'm not trying to do nothing extra, okay? I'm not dangerous, I promise. I'm just telling you, you know what I'm saying, get the information. Make sure you learn about the Nap Bar, especially if you're in Houston, and get yourself some rest. Am I tripping, Khaliah?
Khaliah: Nah, not at all, bro. Not at all.
Zach: All right. All right, well, dope. Well, look here. Until next time, talk to y'all soon. Love y'all. Peace.