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Posted on: 11/04/2020

Tarin Calmeyer on Remote Team Wellness and it's virtual corporate wellness solution

Kruze Consulting's Founders and Friends Podcast · Tarin Calmeyer on Remote Team Wellness and it's virtual corporate wellness solution

Tarin Calmeyer

Tarin Calmeyer

Chief Wellness Officer - Remote Team Wellness


Tarin Calmeyer of Remote Team Wellness - Podcast Summary

Tarin Calmeyer shares how she founded Remote Team Wellness which has become the world’s first live virtual corporate wellness solution designed to bring health and balance to companies and their employees through group sessions.

Tarin Calmeyer of Remote Team Wellness - Podcast Transcript

Scott: Hey, it’s Scott Orn at Kruze Consulting and welcome to another episode of Founders & Friends. Before we start the podcast, let’s give a quick shout out to Rippling. Rippling is the new cool payroll tool that we see a lot of startups using. Rippling is great for your traditional HR and payroll, they integrate very nicely. But guess what? They did another thing. They integrate into your IT infrastructure. They make it really easy for when you hire someone to spin up all the web services in their computer. Which sounds kind of like not a huge deal. But actually, we did the study at Kruze. We spent $420 on average, just getting a new employee’s computer up and running and their web servers up and running. It’s actually a really big deal. It saves a lot of money. The dogs are eating the dog food. We see a lot of startups coming in the Kruze now using Rippling. So please check out Rippling, great service. We love it. I think we have a podcast from Parker Conrad, you can hear it from his own words. But we’re seeing them take market share, so shout out to Rippling. Now to another awesome podcast at Kruze Consulting’s Founders & Friends. Thanks.
Singer: (singing). Founders & Friends with your host, Scotty Orn.
Scott: Welcome to Founders & Friends podcast with Scott Orn at Kruze Consulting. Today my very special guest Tarin Calmeyer of Remote Wellness. Welcome, Tarin.
Tarin: Hey, thank you so much for having me Scott.
Scott: So, we were talking before we turned the mics on, you have the most timely service ever. Business must be blowing up. But really that’s why I wanted to have you on the podcast, because I really believe in thinking about wellness, and company culture, and making sure that everyone at the company is happy and doing well. Your company does that for people. So maybe you can just kind of retrace your career a little bit and then tell us how you had the idea for Remote Team Wellness.
Tarin: Yeah, absolutely. It’s my favorite subject. So basically, I’ve been a yoga meditation and mindfulness coach for the last 10 years. I’ve been working with mostly people who are stressed, burnt out, and in a stage of their lives where they’re really needing to realign with their purpose, realign with their passion, and kind of reclaim their wellbeing intentionally. So that’s always been the space that I’ve worked in and worked with clients in. I started working with hotels and corporates to set up guests’ wellness programs, and then setting up corporate wellness programs in person. Then COVID hit in March and all of my hotel contracts disappeared. I had to kind of pivot my whole business, figure out how I was going to start to serve… Instead of traveling around the world and physically being with people and being able to implement things practically and in person, how I was going to be able to serve more people digitally and virtually. I actually was one of-
Scott: That must’ve been sort of scary when all the hotel contracts… I mean, that’s must have been terrifying for you?
Tarin: Yeah, no, it definitely wasn’t a fun moment because it was just realizing that everything I planned for the year was gone.
Scott: Oh my gosh-
Tarin: [crosstalk] Yeah. Being in that space is always a huge opportunity, where you just kind of lose everything and you have to start from scratch. You have to build from the base. So, you can really see it as an opportunity or as a catastrophe and thankfully as a very resourceful and resilient hustler, [crosstalk] I had my moment to wallow. I had my moments, be sad about what was gone, and then I picked it up. I basically just had to figure out a new way, pivot and figure out how to serve clients again on a more virtual level. So, I have been in a more B2C space and this was a complete shift into just fully B2B and virtual. That was very new for me. So, there’s been so much of a learning curve to have to kind of move into that space where I’m only speaking to businesses. I’m not speaking to the individual that’s actually receiving service. I’m speaking to the overarching authority. So that was also quite an interesting shift to have to make. So, the idea for the whole company came from my partner who is a marketer, a Silicon Valley marketer, very stereotypical, very hustle, very go, go, go. Then all of this happened with COVID and he was just super stressed out. I saw so many of my other clients and friends getting really stressed out by everything that was happening, and not really having the tools to be able to actually handle what was going on. Emotionally and mentally, and all of the other things that came with the crazy relegation of being sent to our homes, being sent to our rooms for the months that we were.
Scott: Everyone’s anxiety level is so much higher still. I think, I feel like it’s even maybe getting worse because there’s not as much of a resolution as people would want so it’s like… Yeah, good for you for recognizing that in some of your friends and then seeing the opportunity there. I’m sure it’s probably pretty interesting for you because I’m sure working through the hotels was a pretty good channel, but you must be touching way more people now going through businesses. Does your sense of satisfaction and your reach feel like it’s just exploding?
Tarin: Absolutely.
Scott: In a good way?
Tarin: Yeah, no, absolutely. Because again, as you say I’m helping people who actually need the help now. Not just people who are on a vacation just wanting to do a quick yoga class, or unwind with the meditation by the pool. These are people who actually really need services, it is really fulfilling to be able to share the service with the people who need it.
Scott: So, it sounds like you kind of spun up the business from being a good business to zero overnight, and now you’ve spun it back up to where you have a bunch of clients.
Tarin: Yeah, absolutely. It’s been a very interesting curve. As I said, it’s been a learning curve because we didn’t necessarily know what people would want, or what people would need. We kind of just had to build as we went and build based on feedback. We’re really, really appreciative of the clients that we’ve gotten that have given us so much feedback. There’s been such an incredible ROI for those clients, even in these last five months of just seeing how much more engaged their employees are, how much more present they are. Also, how they’re managing now that they actually have something… A check in point, that natural check in points is so important. I think it’s something that companies very often neglect and overlook. They don’t really think that they have the responsibility to take care of their people. But in all honesty, people are the foundation of most businesses. So, it showed the short-sightedness in a lot of companies when all of this happened because managers realized that they didn’t have those processes and programs in place to be able to actually support their people.
Scott: You’re totally right. If you don’t support your team, there can be a really negative ripple effect. It can just start with one person who’s having a really hard time and then kind of spread. So I think it’s super smart. It’s actually just a really good financial investment to invest in your people and help them cope. This is a once, hopefully a once in a generation type of thing. So no one really knows what to do or how to handle it. I know at Kruze, we have a lot of people who have young families. One five-year-old, one to 10-year-old kids. So, I know it’s been especially tough on people who have young families. I see some of our team members working really kind of staggered hours. Maybe they work for two or three hours in the morning and then they don’t get back on until 4:00 at night. It’s become overwhelming for a lot of people. So, kudos to you for doing this. I know it’s a business, but I think you’re also helping a lot of people, which is really nice.
Tarin: Thank you. I appreciate that.
Scott: Yeah,
Tarin: That is the purpose is to serve, to serve in a way that will be not only practical, but also will help to build a sustainable long-term remote working force, because I really do see this as the future. A lot of companies are realizing that remote work is just a better way. Before all of this happened, I think there was an argument that remote work wouldn’t be as productive as being in an office, or being in a physical space together. Now that has been proven to be incorrect and people are still managing to get their work done. People are still to be productive. I think that shift and that realization has also opened a lot of companies minds up to the fact that there could be another way to do things and another procedure for how they implement wellness, and how they take care of their people. Because now they can’t do the same gimmicky things like taking their clients offered drinks, or taking their employees out for drinks, or doing a little lunch at the office. It’s now all just virtual. If that’s going to be something that we can sustain and that we can actually move forward into a longer-term kind of solution, then it’s really going to need legs and it’s going to need more structure.
Scott: I totally agree. We’re remote. We’ve been remote for two years now. For us it was about opening up and finding a greater talent pool. Just being a little bit more efficient and finding great people no matter where they lived. But I think you’re right, we still had a presence in the San Francisco Bay Area, but when COVID hit every person that works for Kruze moved out of the Bay Area except for Vanessa and I. So, what you’re talking about of the ability to kind of work with people, all these little perks or these little things that need to happen… Everyone’s pivoting, “How do you interact with your customers better? How do you prepare your team to interact with our customers over remote?” I think you just hit such a great point, so I’m super excited. Well, maybe you can kind of walk us through the core services that Remote Team Wellness provides.
Tarin: Yeah, absolutely. So, we basically look at wellness as a full spectrum. So, I’ll say that the one thing that I usually get faced with is that people think that wellness is just physical fitness and just moving your body. But wellness is a multi-dimensional way to actually keep yourself wholly well, and it’s a more holistic approach. So, we have taken a very holistic approach to how we structure our packages. We have three different monthly subscription packages that we offer to companies based on how much they want to engage with the service. Whether they want, bi-monthly, or weekly classes, or just once a month class. We’ve also broken it down into the real important tenants of wellness. Which for our company are movement mindset, emotional intelligence, nutrition, and purpose? So that’s really-
Scott: I love it.
Tarin: Yeah, yeah. So that’s a really how we like to look at the full spectrum of what it means to be well. All of our services feed into one another because they work on that same spectrum of taking care of yourself from the base to the top.
Scott: I think you rattled off kind of five or six segments, which I believe in all of those. If you’re a company, do you sign up for one segment per week? Or one segment per month? Or how does all that interact?
Tarin: Yeah. So, if a company is interested in working with us generally, we would do an organizational wellness assessment. So, we have a call and we just talk about what their wellness culture has been like in the past, if they’ve done anything to actually take care of their employees before. What they expect and kind of where they’re at in their company as in general. Then we take it into if they want a monthly subscription, then we can either engage them with a weekly service. That means that all of the employees just get a link that’s sent out to them the day before the class, they can sign into the link and they literally just show up to a meeting on their calendar.
Scott: Oh wow.
Tarin: Yeah, it’s pretty great. Again, it just depends on the frequency, if they wanted a little bit less frequent or more frequent than we’d work things out based on the company. But usually it is just very plug and play. We make sure that we have as much control over the companies showing up as possible. Because we want to make it as easy and as accessible for people as possible so that the company doesn’t have to do anything. They don’t have to go out and find the teachers. They don’t have to go and schedule the meetings. They don’t have to any of the ground admin to actually implement the program.
Scott: I love it. I love it. How do you deliver or show the company that you’re delivering value? I’m just kind of taking for granted that the people, the employees that are going through the program love it and are participating. But are there ROI benchmarks or scorecards? You can probably tell I’m kind of an analytical person.
Tarin: Yeah.
Scott: So how do you kind of have that positive feedback loop to the company and show them this is a valuable program?
Tarin: Analytical people are great for me because I am the opposite. So, I usually need the analytics to just keep me grounded. Usually we rate each class. We’ll send a rating score to each employee after the class has been finished and they can send their feedback if they would like. They don’t have to send their feedback for every single class but we do like to take feedback just so we know where people are at with the teachers that we’re giving.
Scott: Yeah.
Tarin: Where people at with the actual classes, and if they’re enjoying the actual classes. So, then we also do a survey at the end of each month, just so that the company knows how many people attended, how many people were actually engaging. Then also we have something to compile and give them to what the return on investment has been.
Scott: The reason why I focus on that was if you do have that positive return on investment, you can really kind of justify spending more and more on it. It’s not one of those things that gets canceled at a whim, but it’s like being able to show there’s real quantitative benefit is really helpful. I’m kind of assuming that you can kind of tell on people’s… In their aura, and how they’re communicating, and how happy they are that is working on the employee level. We’re in this special time with COVID and so this is so timely, but are there any stories or good examples for the audience if they’re thinking about, “Hey, should my company do this?” Anything that you can kind of share with them that kind of justifies it? Or the kind of the before and after? An organization in real trouble, or real anxiety pervasive throughout the whole organization, and all of a sudden, they’re working with Remote Team Wellness and they’re just feeling so much better?
Tarin: Yes, actually. So, I worked with a company in the travel industry last year, in my own personal consulting, my own personal consulting capacity. We had actually done just a group mindfulness session for one of their events, their company events. It was great, it was fantastic. Everyone really enjoyed it. So, when I came to talk to them about maybe continuing the engagement, and continuing to do classes for their company, they were like, “It was a really fun session. Thank you so much, but we really don’t need it. We’re really well. We’re all good. Everyone’s happy. Everyone’s healthy. Everything’s fine.” COVID, come COVID [crosstalk 00:16:06]. I received quite a few desperate emails from a few members of the team really needing the service. So, I ended up having to just kind of create a balance for them to be able to join the sessions because their company went under. Because I really had to find ways to balance where to put people, and how to accommodate people. Because sometimes people really don’t know what they need until they desperately need it until it’s too late.
Scott: Yeah.
Tarin: So, it was one of those situations where, I mean, a lot of people who had thought, “Everything is okay and we’re actually doing really well in terms of wellness. We’re all good with our staff and with our engagement.”, now are seeing that they’ve had their staff in the situation where their anxiety levels are completely off the charts and it’s now the time to actually have to think about those kinds of things. It’s unfortunate that it takes a global pandemic for us to really pay attention to our health and wellness, but this is the situation that we’re in. I really feel as though this is going to help to propel us forward and shift us away from this miscue culture that we’ve had in the past. Just thinking about finding a solution, once something has happened, maybe [crosstalk] toward a more prevention and sustainable way of looking at things.
Scott: I think you’re totally right. I share with you, we kind of had the same… We were doing really well before COVID, but then it got pretty quiet the first month of COVID. Then we have like one of our biggest months of all time. So, I think especially startups, and startup founders, and start managing teams, they tend to be reactive in a lot of the stuff outside product. Because they’re working so hard on their product and building their company. So they kind of have to feel the pain a little bit. Frankly, that’s how I was within just running Kruze Consulting. So that’s okay. But it’s great that you’re there for them when they do realize that they need it, and they need your service. So, I think there’s something noble about that. Being able to kind of nicely, not even like, “Hey, I told you so.” It’s like, “Okay, I’m ready for you.”
Tarin: Yeah.
Scott: It’s okay. I was here the whole time and now we’re ready for you.
Tarin: When the student is ready the teacher will appear.
Scott: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. So, when you break down the service so, if one of our clients were to come to you how would the signup flow, and how would the kind of onboarding go? Then how would they be interacting with you?
Tarin: Yeah. So, as I said, we like to start all of our clients out with an organizational wellness assessment, just so that we know where they’re coming from, what their history has been, and what they’re working toward. Then from there we take it to a wellness recommendation where we would actually say, “These are the services that we think that would work really well for your company.” Just depending on where they are, with what their demographics are as well. Then from that point, it’s basically just a plug and play. So, we facilitate all of the teachers to plug into different slots. So, we find all of the incredible vetted experts to fill those slots, and to provide services for them. So, we have a nutritionist who’s absolutely incredible as she goes through… She has a whole eight-week program that she almost takes companies through in a very comprehensive and digestible way. So that there’s like they’re little bits of homework and things to actually be implementing into your life in a practical way. We have incredible movement specialists who are also thinking about how to implement practical and implementable tips. So, the people don’t just have a session and then it’s like, “Go away and you’re done.” There are things to be working on and to build a sustainable and consistent habit. Rather than it just being like, “Oh, well, this is just something that my company does.” If that’s something that that people want to do, and they just want to engage with the session, that’s great. If we can just put a little bit more consciousness and wellness into a person’s day, I think that’s our job done very well.
Scott: Yeah. But you’re right. Building the habit is like the home run because I know for me, if I can get into a habit of doing something, I’ll stick with it. But it takes that two or three weeks of actually changing my behavior, which is really difficult. So that’s great that you can kind of reinforce that. You said something pretty interesting, which was you look at the demographics of the company and then make recommendations. What are some of the levers like? Is it depending on are people remote or not, or age of the employee? Or what-
Tarin: Yeah.
Scott: What are the things you’re looking for?
Tarin: Yeah. So, we’re, we’re looking at age of the employees, we’re looking at distribution of the employees. That’s basically just to say if people are kind of more in need of more intense and vigorous movement, or a little bit slower, more chilled and controlled movement. Or just the energy of the company, if the company is quite fast moving, fast paced, really forward go-getting kind of company, then we’ll probably not pair them with, slow services. Services that wouldn’t gel well with their company culture. So that’s kind of what we want to look at. We want to make sure that there’s something for everyone, instead of it just being just one type of service. Just yoga, just personal training, just Pilates, just nutrition.
Scott: That makes so much sense. You’ve mentioned movement a couple of times and that’s near dear to my heart, because I’m sure you’ve probably heard this story so many times. But when I started working from home because of COVID, I had like the worst desk set up in our bedroom, it was a disaster. I ended up tweaking my back. So, I mean, are you seeing that, and how do you help people break some of those habits or reset up their desk configuration? Or what are you seeing?
Tarin: Yeah, absolutely. So, there are so many people who are just working wherever, or not really thinking about their setup. Not really thinking about again, “I have to sit in this chair, or this couch.” The people who are working from the couch are really, really struggling, but from what I’ve-
Scott: We had someone working from their mattress for many months.
Tarin: Oh that’s… Yeah.
Scott: It’s tough though, because there wasn’t furniture delivery and things like that in some places. [crosstalk] So yeah, so they were kind of like me they’re going to the chiropractor these days.
Tarin: I was going to say-
Scott: [crosstalk] But yeah. You make the point of they’re working kind of wherever they can instead of optimizing it. Maybe even if you’re working in a bad situation, like a couch, or mattress, or kitchen table, maybe there’s some movements or things you can do to kind of counteract that.
Tarin: Yeah, absolutely. There are so many different movements. One of the things that I recommend is actually just movement in general because there are a lot of people that do just get themselves locked into a position and sit there for eight, nine, 10 hours and not move around. Not actually get up and move their bodies other than to go to the toilet, which is not enough movement. To actually take a break, to give your body some time to relieve itself from the sitting position. Because the sitting position, it’s really not optimized for humans. It’s not for us.
Scott: Yeah.
Tarin: We need to be doing it way less than we are. Again, if we’re going to be moving into a remote working environment, or remote working world then it’s important for us to actually think about that. To think about the long-term effects of, yeah, you’re just sitting on your bed today, but then you’re also going to do it tomorrow. Then what happens if your company decides to do this for the rest of the year? Or the rest of the company’s lifespan?
Scott: Yeah.
Tarin: So, yeah it’s important to start to actually think about how we’re setting up our workspaces and how we are separating our workspaces from our home spaces as well, to make ourselves distraction-free and give ourselves that separation and conscious arrival in your actual work rather than, ““Oh, I’m at home working.”
Scott: I totally agree. One of the things I’ve noticed is that when you’re working at home you’re a little more comfortable. Notwithstanding the bad desk set up or things like that. So, one of the things I’ve noticed is that I kind of tend to go longer without movement or without breaks, because I think it’s just subconsciously I’m more comfortable I’m in a friendly place. So, I’ve actually started setting like reminders for myself and things like that just to get up and move. I started putting like walks on my calendar so that I would get out for half an hour and just walk around the neighborhood.
Tarin: Great.
Scott: Are you seeing some interesting behavior like that, people doing that kind thing?
Tarin: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. It’s so important because again you can’t just sit behind a screen and staring at a screen for hours on end. It’s so important to give yourself a break away also from your inside environment. Especially for the people who live in apartment buildings and aren’t really getting that much exposure to the elements. It’s so vital to actually remove yourself from the AC, from the indoor, from the artificial light and give yourself some time outside. Because that a way to build your immunity. To actually give yourself a boost, to be able to fight or prevent any illness that could come towards you. It’s the consciousness around all of these practices, and the consciousness around these habits, which is what we are trying to build. Because a lot of people don’t have that same consciousness about, “Well, I need to stand up every half an hour and take a little walk around, just a little five-minute stretch.” Or, “I need to look away from my screen every 20 minutes and refocus my eyes.” Because you don’t realize how strained your eyes are from just staring into your screen. So, if you’re not conscious of it, then you won’t do it. When you don’t do it then things start to happen. You’re like, “How did this happen?”
Scott: I laugh but I’ve been the person that has to start wearing glasses-
Tarin: Right. Hello?
Scott: … And things like that. Yeah. So, you’re making a bunch of amazing points. Well, this has been really amazing. So, can you just let everyone know how they can reach out to you? How they can reach out to Remote Team Wellness? How to kind of kickstart that process if they want to bring this to their company?
Tarin: So, yeah, I’m Tarin. I am the founder of Remote Team Wellness. You can find us on all of the social medias at Remote Team Wellness. You could also engage our services by going onto our website, remoteteamwellness.com, and clicking, “Get started”, because then we will organize an organizational wellness assessment. You can find out a little bit more about your company and how to get you well.
Scott: I love it. I love it. I just want to say I have a ton of respect for you for dealing with kind of the crash in your hotel contracts and relationships. You could have probably thrown in the towel, but I give you a ton of credit for figuring it out. It sounds like you’re actually doing even better. I know you’re probably touching a lot more people, so kudos to you for having that resiliency. My grandma always says she has a pity party for a couple of days when something bad happens to her, and then she picks herself up. It sounds like you did the exact same thing here. Thanks so much, Tarin, you were an amazing guest, really appreciate it. I really encourage everyone to check out remoteteamwellness.com. Amazing service, something we could all probably use. Even if your company doesn’t have the resources, I think what Tarin’s message is just really powerful for all of us. We all have heightened anxiety right now, so just take care of yourself and find little ways to improve your habits. Thanks for joining us on Founder & Friends. Bye.
Singer: (singing). Founders & Friends with your host Scotty Orn.

Kruze Consulting is regularly reviewed as one of the preeminent providers of finance, accounting, tax and HR services to high-growth companies. For our offices in San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Monica, New York and now Austin, TX, our experienced team serves venture and seed backed companies in diverse industries from SaaS to biotech to hardware to eCommerce.

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