Author: Ashley Boynes-Shuck
Columbus, Ohio: it’s the home of the first Wendy’s fast food restaurant, and the birthplace of author R.L. Stine and TV chef Guy Fieri.
Oh, and 48% of all Americans live within 600 miles of the city.
Most notably though, Columbus, OH was the most recent stop on “Tour de Noom”, connecting Noom’s “Columbus Hub”, home base for 106 Noom health coaches who reside within a 4-hour drive.
What is Tour de Noom, you ask? Let’s break it down.
Meet Tour de Noom
Tour de Noom is an initiative that started 5 months ago to bring Noom’s 1350 remote health coaches together within the 13 coaching hubs (or centers) we have across the country.
Each stop on the Tour de Noom is a delightful 3-day meetup where a group of Noom coaches (40, at the Columbus stop!) gather to enjoy food, drinks, and conversation, networking opportunities, workshops, clinical supervisions, and, most importantly, fun!
Last weekend was the perfect time of year for the Noomily’s Columbus Hub to gather in beautiful fall weather for team-building, casual conversation, and all kinds of camaraderie.
You see, many of Noom’s employees (particularly us health coaches) work remotely and are scattered not only all over the country, but across the globe. The idea of coaching “hubs” was created by the morale-and-happiness wizards at HQ, to connect coaches in a remote culture, by making it easy to meet up and work with colleagues within a few hours from you. That’s how I, a bleeding-black-and-gold Pittsburgher, ended up in Columbus, Ohio for a few days last week.
Working from a home office (or my couch!) in a virtual environment is beyond awesome — but it can, at times, get to be lonely or isolating. (Some days, I tend to talk to my 3 dogs and 2 cats more than human beings..). The change of scenery and the beautiful fall foliage in downtown Columbus was a nice break from the daily routine, and a great way to bond with my coworkers.
Here’s what went down…
On Tuesday night, we met up for a casual happy hour and low-key dinner, complete with delish food trucks at Land Grant Brewing Company. The atmosphere was simultaneously rustic, industrial, and laid-back, which provided the perfect ambiance for everyone to make introductions, chat, laugh, and connect. It was so exciting to meet with coworkers who I’ve known for months through my Macbook screen, but had yet to meet in real life. Yes, there were lots of hugs!
The next morning, we took an awesome all-levels yoga class at Yoga on High. It was a fun, unique, and active bonding opportunity, that was challenging for novice and seasoned yogis alike. Our yoga practice was followed by a coffee chat-and-stroll, visiting various local coffee shops nearby (pro tip: it’s a great way to get those steps in ;)). We split up into small groups, walking around the hip Short North area, trying out coffee and tea at artisan cafes and coffee spots, and mingling with other members of the Noomily.
Next up, we enjoyed lunch at a cool spot called Bodega, where we got to socialize more and eat yummy tacos.
Afterwards, we also learned a lot about the (fascinating!) history of Noom during a great presentation from the coach leaders based at Noom’s HQ in NYC, which was followed by an open Q&A session. To finish off the afternoon, we honed our coaching skills, discussing clinical topics with one another in smaller groups.
We wrapped up the days’ events with a nice wood-fired pizza dinner at Paulie Gee’s, complete with great conversation and lots of fun photos in a cozy, upscale environment. It was yet another awesome chance to mingle with our colleagues-turned-friends, and talk with the leaders from HQ who many coaches don’t get to interact with on a daily basis.
Thursday was a travel day for most of us. After an early breakfast and crisp walk in Columbus’ Weiland Park, we said “see you later” and headed our separate ways, feeling fulfilled and connected.
Post-meet up reflections
What struck me most was the thought and care that Noom put into organizing this event and past events like it. From the annual summer offsites, to the Tour de Noom gatherings at different hubs, to the always memorable holiday parties, Noom makes it known to its employees that we are valued, and that we’re each a member of one big happy Noomily.
I really felt heard when I got to talk to people at the event, and as always, continue to feel valued, supported, encouraged, and respected as a health coach and soon-to-be manager at Noom.
Events like the Columbus Tour de Noom make it even more evident that Noom truly cares about every single employee. And then, as Noom employees, we’re able to take the same care, empathy, support, and empowerment that is extended to us, and “pay it forward” to the Noomers we coach every day. It starts from the top, and it feels wonderful to be able to pass that value, kindness, and respect along in the work that we do every day.
I look forward to other events with the Columbus Hub and encourage everyone who works for Noom to take part in a local “Tour de Noom” if you have the opportunity to do so.
The TL;DR here? It was awesome. It was impactful. It was Noomy.