LA firm strengthens mental wellness of remote employees

Netflix and Meta are amongst the companies who've relied on Remote Team Wellness

LA firm strengthens mental wellness of remote employees

Who do California companies like Netflix, Meta and Cisco go to for supporting their employees’ mental health?

Tarin Calmeyer, founder and chief wellness officer of Los Angeles-based Remote Team Wellness.

Growing up as a dancer, the entrepreneur figured out how to work with her body rather than against her body. After her first significant injury, she became interested in rehabilitation through yoga. That led her to studying osteopathy, which emphasizes the treatment of medical disorders through the manipulation and massage of the bones, joints and muscles. Fully trained as an osteopath and a 500-hour yoga teacher, she decided to dedicate her career to helping others, primarily business professionals.

“I made a lot of connections by helping busy and stressed people take care of themselves,” Calmeyer told HRD.

She hosted corporate team retreats and teambuilding exercises and also worked with hotels and resorts to build guest wellness programs. But in March 2020, that came to a screeching halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Refusing to rest on her laurels and seeing an opportunity with the universal transition to work from home, Calmeyer pivoted to helping clients virtually.

Thus, Remote Team Wellness was born.

“Not a lot has been done in the corporate wellness market in the past 50 years,” Calmeyer says. “But companies now want tools and practices to help their remote employees deal with stress, burnout, long hours and their home space becoming their everything space. It used to be a costly expense to bring a wellness expert to the office, but going virtual has made it easier.”

Read more: Walmart, T-Mobile amongst firms whose employees want more mental health benefits

Although Calmeyer and more than 50 fellow expert facilitators have been in high demand over the past two years, Mental Health Awareness Month is their busy season. The company has organized mental wellbeing fairs for larger clients with sessions on mindfulness, stress and anxiety, burnout and other pressing issues. After explaining the theory behind why these things are important, the session includes practices so employees can put their newfound knowledge into action and experience the results.

“It’s a tangible takeaway that companies can give their employees to implement in their daily lives,” Calmeyer says. “If you do this breathing practice or mindfulness activity, maybe you’ll get better sleep or start your morning with more energy or become a more compassionate coworker.”

Even when May ends, mental health remains the most sought-after topic from clients. That’s why Remote Team Wellness conducts virtual monthly programs that include meditation, yoga and ergonomic desk sessions. Additionally, clients have asked for strategies to aid burnout prevention, stress reduction, improve nutritional wellbeing and boost emotional intelligence. 

“I’ve seen the conversation shift from this being a nice-to-have perk to this is an absolute necessity,” Calmeyer says. “For mental health to be a priority, this needs to be a continuous conversation and needs to reach the C-suite level.”

In some encouraging news, Calmeyer has noticed more CEOs, vice presidents and other executives joining the sessions. Even if they’re oftentimes reluctant, leaders need mental health support, too. After all, they’re trying to run a company. Remote Team Wellness has added executive and off-site retreats for leadership teams to develop wellness strategies and determine how to roll them out amongst employees.

For a company’s first step in carrying out a wellness strategy, Calmeyer recommends scheduling a mental health break in the day. “HR should send an email with a few suggestions: take a walk, stretch at your desk, drink some water, do a quick breathing exercise (with a link to instructions attached). If a company sends out notifications like this, employees will realize their employer cares about them taking care of themselves.”

Nearly seven in 10 (67%) workers say they experience stress at work at least once a week, up from 62% pre-pandemic, according to recent data from ADP Research Institute. In fact, 15% of workers feel stressed every day. Key sources of stress include length of the working day (28%), problems with technology (26%) and concerns over job security (25%).

When employees struggle with mental health, their performance in the workplace suffers. That should be enough incentive for companies to offer mental health benefits, resources and support. Of course, that responsibility falls to HR, which has certainly had its hands full navigating the transition to remote work, ever-changing laws and government regulations and the Great Resignation, in which companies across the United States have been experiencing historic turnover. In fact, more than 60 million Americans have quit their jobs over the past year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In March, more Americans than ever before – 4.54 million – left their employers. That’s an increase of 152,000 from February and higher than the former record of 4.53 million in November 2021. The professional and business services sector, as well as the construction industry, saw the most resignations.

If HR doesn’t address the mental health of employees and offer as much assistance as possible, that mass exodus will continue.

Recent articles & video

Novartis to cut over 600 jobs amid global restructuring

More than half of employees are using AI at work – but does HR know?

Nurturing global talent: RGP's strategic approach to building dynamic, cohesive teams

Disconnects between HR, C-suite evident with layoffs: survey

Most Read Articles

Over 600 Apple employees facing layoffs: reports

Ageism: Hiring managers avoiding younger, older candidates

Is your flexible work strategy sowing resentment?