For most of us in the working world, plans to travel the world or even to hit the gym more often are relegated to the daydream land of someday, where deadlines, errands and excuses are all-consuming.
At Lose It! that’s not the case. The company knows its employees have desires outside of work, and their goal is to help them fulfill them. Last year, they paid for every employee and their family to live in Paris for a five-week retreat — this year, they’re going to Barcelona. Meanwhile, employees are encouraged to go back to school, duck out early to see their daughter’s gymnastics meet or take a break for the gym.
We spoke with three team members about how Lose It supports them in embracing the here and now, and what it was like to sip wine along the Seine.
WHAT THEY DO: Lose It! provides a mobile app designed to help members mobilize and achieve a healthy weight.
WHERE THEY DO IT: Boston
PARIS, JE T’AIME: Lose It! paid for every employee and their family to go to Paris for a five-week retreat. This year, employees voted to go to Barcelona.
NO SWEAT: The Lose It! app has helped its members collectively lose more than 75 million pounds.
Will E. Lowe, Director of Data Science
Will injects machine learning and predictive modeling into the company's data infrastructure, helping Lose It gather more data to improve the customer experience and determine what projects to develop next.
BEYOND WORK: Not many people know what it’s like to lift 500 pounds off the ground, but Will does — he’s an avid powerlifter. So, what’s it like to lift the weight of a grizzly bear? “There’s something very satisfying about [it],” he says.
What’s your favorite part about working at Lose It?
It’s the belief that we should be living life now and not waiting for “someday.” This is best illustrated by our company trip to Paris in 2018 and our upcoming trip to Barcelona. We believe that we should be able to work hard and efficiently while enjoying these amazing life experiences. How many companies provide once-in-a-lifetime trips for your entire family every year?
What was the company trip to Paris like?
Lose It provided airfare, room and board, travel expenses and meal reimbursements for all employees and their immediate families to travel to and live in Paris for up to five weeks. My family of three enjoyed living there for three weeks one street over from the Eiffel Tower — my daughter used the Eiffel Tower as her nightlight. It was great to experience a different culture, to work from cafes and to stay long enough to live like a local.
How many companies provide once-in-a-lifetime trips for your entire family every year?”
We also heard Lose It invests a lot in work-life balance support. How do they help employees maintain a balance?
We have a very flexible vacation policy — take it when you need it. We don’t track vacation days. We also have a liberal remote work policy: If you need to work from home, then work from home. We’re a results-driven company, so as long as you’re completing your projects successfully and on time, it’s laid back. That flexibility to take off early to attend my daughter’s orchestra concert or gymnastics meets means everything to me.
Sarah Molhan, Product Manager
In Sarah’s six years with Lose It, she’s enjoyed doing a little bit of everything, never holding the same job for more than two years. She’s currently settled in the product manager role, where she works closely with developers to plan, build, test and improve the mobile app’s food logging features.
BEYOND WORK: Sarah tends to her vegetable garden, where she nurtures seeds into cucumbers, zucchinis and other healthy veggies.
We understand you’ve been able to work in a variety of roles since joining Lose It. How does the company support you in trying on new positions?
I’ve been here for nearly six years and have never had the same job for two consecutive years. I started as an intern doing food database work, blog writing and customer support. Since day one, I’ve been encouraged to lean into whatever work is most interesting to me.
After a few years of trying out an assortment of roles, the leadership team saw what I was most enthusiastic about and best at and gave me the title of product manager. I was able to learn the role on the job and figure out what exactly a product manager does. I’ve grown into the role just as Lose It has grown into the company it currently is.
What was your favorite part about Lose It’s retreat to Paris?
I loved getting to know my colleagues better. Normally after work, I go home, cook dinner with my husband and watch TV. In Paris, we met coworkers for dinner, drank wine by the river and spent hours talking in cafes. When you’re not at work with someone, you talk about different stuff. I got to know people better, and more importantly, realized that I should put in more effort to break up my after work routine and spend more time with my coworkers. I’m lucky to have colleagues I genuinely want to spend time with.
Lose It supports my work-life balance better than I do.”
How does Lose It support your work-life balance?
Lose It supports my work-life balance better than I do. When I’m caught up in a project, it’s hard for me to truly leave it at work and focus my brain on solving non-work problems.
But I know that I can go to the gym every afternoon. It’s often during these gym breaks that I get great ideas or figure out potential solutions to problems I’m working on. That change of environment and task helps me regain focus for work, and I’m grateful to work at a place that embraces each of our unique working styles.
Asha McManus, Customer Care Specialist
Asha works on Lose It’s customer care team as an iOS specialist, solving any problems or questions a user has with their iOS application.
BEYOND WORK: Asha enjoys visiting museums and coding for apps and websites, but that all may be put on hold for the “Game of Thrones” series finale. After all, winter is here.
What initially attracted you to Lose It?
I previously worked for both Microsoft and Apple. At Microsoft, it was my job to learn about new products as a visuals floor lead, and at Apple, I troubleshot devices as a technical specialist. I’ve always been interested in technology, science and art — I learned how to code as a kid using Neopets and Myspace. What attracted me to Lose It was the change of pace, the welcoming environment and the opportunities to be yourself and grow.
We understand you’re currently getting an associate’s degree in computer science. How does Lose It support you in that endeavor?
Working for a company that supports my computer science degree and having a team that I can go to for help not only makes me a better student, but also a better teammate.”
You’re also going to Barcelona later this year for the company retreat. What are you looking forward to most about that experience?
I’m so excited about our trip to Barcelona this summer. I look forward to exploring the country with my coworkers and experiencing a different culture and work environment. This will be my first time living abroad for an extended period of time. I can’t wait for the retreat activities, because we get together and explore the city. There aren’t many places that offer a retreat as big as traveling abroad. Employees were able to vote to help decide where we are going. This a big thank you from the company, and I’m glad we can use this time to get closer to our coworkers and their families.