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Caveday virtual spaces guide workers to boost 'monotasking,' co-founder says

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Caveday Co-Founder Jake Kahana joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss the company's virtual guided experiences, worker burnout, and promoting productivity.

Video Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING]

DAVE BRIGGS: Are you struggling to stay focused, working from home, dozing off on occasion during those endless Zoom sessions? Well, there is a solution, but it will cost you. For 40 bucks a month, you can have people from all over the world watch you work and keep you on task. Joining us now is the co-founder of Caveday, Jake Kahana. Jake, good to see you. So tell me, what is a Caveday session, and how does it all work?

JAKE KAHANA: Yeah, thanks so much for having me, Dave. It's really good to be here. Basically, a Caveday session is a one-hour or a three-hour guided focus session. So it starts with a guide in setting your intention, inviting you to check in with people from around the world. What are you working on? Then we do some work, and then we check out. And the whole methodology is designed with research and science-backed information to help guide the experience.

JARED BLIKRE: And I got to ask you here, is there any conversation at all? Is it something where you can turn the sound on? Because in this business, I guess two years ago, the phrase became, "you're on mute." Are you on unmute ever at this new venture?

JAKE KAHANA: Yeah, so at the top and at the end of each of the sessions, you're unmuted. We believe that social connection and physical activity are really missing from today's workspace and our workday. And so the beginning of every session, the beginning of every cave, you unmute. You get to talk to a couple of people from around the world, like I said, for three minutes. Then you work. We're all on mute.

And then, again, at the checkout, where you share your wins and what you get accomplished. And we do that because it feels good to celebrate our wins. We don't really do that when we just sit and work. So the beginning and the end, you are unmuted because that social connection is so important to energize our work.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: And I'm seeing some people there jogging in that video there. I'm not sure if there's some sort of, like, group, like, meditation or, like, jogging sessions during that. That, I might sign up for. But I want to ask you about your mission. And you say it's less about productivity, getting things done, and hustle, and more about the relationship to work. Break that down for us.

JAKE KAHANA: Yeah, so we don't think of ourselves as a productivity company. To us, productivity is sort of entangled with the problem with work, which is that we need to work harder. We need to keep working through the nights, through the weekends. And that is not a healthy way of working. It's kind of why we're all burned out.

And so this idea of improving your relationship to work is like a relationship with another person. You're hoping that I'm going to give some time and energy and skills and hopefully get some things back, like time off and part of my identity and some of that thing-- the things that help us feel connected to our work. And as long as the boundaries are clear, that relationship gets better. And so that's what we're working to help people improve.

DAVE BRIGGS: You know, I'm one of those that really does struggle to stay on task and stay motivated working from home. So I totally get it. What are most people doing wrong when working from home? And I understand each of these sessions include what's called a work sprint. Is that literally a sprint that we just saw in the video earlier?

JAKE KAHANA: So two parts. The first is that we started as an in-person experience. So what you're seeing in the video was an in-person cave, where we would take breaks, you know, jogging, doing some physical activity. Online, we're taking breaks where there's a guide telling you, it's time to take a break. Let's stand up. Let's stretch. Let's go to a breakout room and talk to a friend.

Look, Dave, I have problems, too. I check my emails probably too many times. I check my phone about 100 times a day. And I think most of us do. I have two kids that I'm trying to balance downstairs as well. And so I need someone to tell me, hey, it's time to start working. It's time to take a break, and here's how. And it's time to put away our phone. And I think that the sprints you're talking about is about a guided experience where somebody sort of sets that intention, and then we just work on one thing at a time.

So, to answer your question a little bit more in detail, you know, what are we doing wrong at home? What are we doing wrong working? Multitasking. You know, I think we split our attention. We fragment our focus among a bunch of different things. And if we can learn to practice mono tasking, which, as Rachelle said, is sort of like meditation at work, it can help improve that relationship to work.

JARED BLIKRE: Silence as a service, the new SaaS play. I like it. Let me ask you, what's it like operating a private company, a rather new private company, in this market environment? I know capital raising has been difficult for some, especially some of the older growth companies. But the VC space is still pretty active, I believe.

JAKE KAHANA: Yeah, well, first of all, we're a bootstrap company. We started six years ago as a little side project in person. And through the pandemic, we've grown 2,000% in terms of our membership. And what's amazing to me is that our members continually report that they get about 2 and 1/2 times more done in a single hour in the cave than they do working by themselves, which basically boils down to coming into a cave with eight hours of work and getting it done in three. And when we think about time being money, I think there's a strong argument for continuing to build something like this, regardless of what the future of work holds.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: I like that, the work from cave movement. I'll be keeping an eye on that. A big thank you there to Jake Kahana there from Caveday. Thank you so much.