Employees at SAS Institute enjoy the company’s recently built “meditation garden,” which was created to serve as a place where
they can decompress from everyday work pressures.
How Are You?
stress on the rise,
guidance from their
employees to find
better ways of
helping them cope.
BY MICHAEL O’BRIEN
Gigi Louden knows stress. With the weighty job title of multidisciplinary systems engineer, she confronts it daily at the intersection of advanced technology and national security. Her job is to bring clients of MITRE
Corp.—a manager of federally funded
research-and-development centers with
campuses in McLean, Va., and Bedford,
Mass.—together with its technical
staff on a number of deadline-driven,
high-value projects involving homeland
security, defense and intelligence.
“The job itself, the very nature of it,
is stressful,” says Louden. “[But] the
company does an amazing amount in
order to help employees manage it and
have a healthy work/life balance.”
Like many other organizations,
MITRE provides its workers with
access to state-of-the-art on-campus
fitness centers, as well as an array
of other programs and initiatives—
including online instructions on
breathing and stretching exercises
that can be done at your desk—to help
employees manage work-related stress.
MITRE’s Albright says the
company began ratcheting up its
stress-management efforts about 12
years ago, when the HR function was
revamped and the division he now
oversees was created.
“Prior to that, we’ve always had
[subsidized] fitness centers and
programs,” he says, “but back then,