Four years ago, Dr. Kathrin Hamm was among the 68% of Americans who say they have difficulty sleeping. Hamm was working as an economist with the World Bank, and, due to an increasingly demanding travel schedule, she suffered from chronic insomnia. She was burning out fast, and decided to matters into her own hands. After reviewing medical journals, Hamm learned about how weighted blankets were frequently used to bring comfort to children with sensory disorders and autism. She ordered one from a medical specialty store and it worked wonders to improve her sleep, but it was far from perfect. So in 2018, she took an entrepreneurial leap and launched Bearaby, determined to make weighted blankets that were cozy, beautiful and breathable.
The company’s innovative open-weave knit design quickly gained traction among consumers. And in 2020, as the entire world struggled with the stress and anxiety of the pandemic, the young startup’s revenue spiked to over $21 million. Today, Bearaby has more than 20 full-time employees stretched across the globe.
Operations are headquartered in Brooklyn with another office in Dubai, and additional team members work remotely from Los Angeles to Sri Lanka. But no matter the time zone Hamm has created one steadfast rule for her workers: your schedule can and should revolve around your sleep needs. The company’s practice of “flexi hours” – between 10:30 and 2:30 – is when everyone makes themselves available for meetings.
The system is designed to help team members lean into their natural circadian rhythms, as well as find the time when they’re most productive. Aside from the flexi hours, employees are also encouraged to nap throughout the day as needed, whether that means curling up in one of the many cozy spots at the Bearaby offices or taking a quick midday break to catch a cat nap at home. Putting sleep at the forefront of company culture works for the early birds and night owls alike.
Kudos to Bearaby for prioritizing individual health and championing self-care. To learn more about the company culture, click here.