How Vital Proteins Brings Its Company Culture to the Home Office

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December 2020

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Vital Proteins is no ordinary supplement company, so founder Kurt Seidensticker didn’t want it to feel ordinary, either. He is a former NASA engineer who started his collagen protein business in 2013. It went on to define its category and get acquired by Nestlé, and it projects $250 million in revenues this year. Back in pre-COVID-19 days, Seidensticker designed the Chicago headquarters to feel like a buzzy wellness club, dotted with lockers for running shoes, meditation rooms, and plants, and infused it with the brand — literally, thanks to an on-site café making collagen-spiked coffee. Now that most of his 400 employees are working remotely, he is focusing hard on “maintaining that connection.” That means plenty of online meetings, Zoom workouts and a virtual running group, and healthy snacks sent to staffers’ homes. As for reopening? Seidensticker laughs and says, “We’re kind of rolling with it.” In the meantime, here’s how his team is bringing the brand home. 

Related: 4 Ways 2020 Has Changed Company Culture Forever

Image credit:
Courtesy of Morgan Lopez

Morgan Lopez / Senior retail marketing manager

“My fiancé and I used the app Havenly to work with an interior designer virtually and turn our third bedroom into a work-from-home office. It has a full desk, a couch, and a lounge chair so I can change out where I sit based on the types of calls I am on. The room is cute, comfortable, and quiet, so it makes going to work feel more permanent and less temporary.”

Image credit:
Courtesy of Mariah Muhlbradt

Mariah Muhlbradt / National sales manager

“I’m working from home with my husband and twin toddlers, so the key to our productivity, honestly, is our nanny! But our home gym has also been crucial because I can sweat out stress and create endorphins in the morning before sitting at a desk in a room alone all day.”

Related: 4 Ways to Build a Culture That Supports a Future-Proof Business

Image credit:
Courtesy of Sophia Sesto

Sophia Sesto / Social media and influencer manager

“It’s truly the little things: letting in the natural light and fresh air, setting up a dreamy collagen coffee station, finally getting a laptop stand — my neck has never been happier! I practice gratitude for being able to continue doing what I love. It’s my role to inform and spark joy within our Vital community beyond what we were doing within HQ’s walls. The team is constantly brainstorming, strategizing, shooting over ideas via Slack, email, Zoom, even Instagram DMs. We’re in touch now more than ever.”

Image credit:
Courtesy of Koren Hairston

Koren Hairston / Regional marketing manager

“Podcasts, audio books, and music are my go-tos for work inspiration, like listening to a good murder mystery while working on spreadsheets or jamming to Jhené Aiko while prepping for presentations. My home is showered with Vital things — from the products to my mouse pad — which motivates me to live the culture. I think I might be the queen of swag!”

Related: Survey Reveals 4 Transformational Remote Work Trends

Image credit:
Courtesy of Melvin Williams

Melvin Williams / Desktop support engineer

“Sitting for prolonged hours can lead to poor circulation throughout the body, so I created a productive workspace by wearing a 12-pound weighted vest and jumping in place for a couple of minutes every hour. Staying connected to the Vital Proteins culture is a way of life. I consume the products, work out regularly, and have been going the distance to make my meals as nutritious as possible.”

Image credit:
Courtesy of Frank Vincent Auriemma III

Frank Vincent Auriemma III / Order pro

“I’ve always got to have music playing to keep me focused and tuned in — classical, rock, EDM, everyone from Mozart to Deadmau5. When I was in the office, I had to wear headphones, so being at home is even better for me. As far as feeling connected? Consuming the product and devoting myself to the lifestyle is the best way to keep up with the culture.”

Related: Should Remote Work Become the New Normal Post-Covid?

Image credit:
Courtesy of Anthony Tsai

Anthony Tsai / EVP, international

“We are in Zooms all day, and I actually feel connected to more parts of the organization, including Nestlé, than before the pandemic. I’ve made VP collagen peptides and vitamins a daily routine now, along with walking each night with neighbors I never knew before. After 30 years in an office? I love this. My wife, Susan, calls it our second honeymoon!” 

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