[Built in NYC] How 3 NYC tech companies use organized clubs to bring employees together

Call9 is a service that provides emergency care to nursing home patients. When they’re not using technology to save lives and eliminate unnecessary trips to the emergency room, employees have each other’s backs — literally. Software engineer Lilly Shen told us all about the rock climbing group that’s building bonds within the company.


What are some groups or clubs employees participate in?

When I came to Call9, many of the engineers were already rock climbing at a local gym. They brought me to Brooklyn Boulders, and I immediately fell back in love with climbing. I wanted to make it easier for everyone to be looped in when people are headed to the gym, so I started a Slack channel called #ascent. The channel also allows newcomers to schedule a time to go climbing with everyone else.

How does this group help you succeed at work?

Rock climbing helps build problem-solving skills and mutual trust. We literally put our lives in each other’s hands when we belay one another. Sometimes we work on bouldering problems as a group. We share strategies and give each other pointers, which is great because most of us don’t have any formal training. It’s both competitive and collaborative. We look after each other when climbing, which transfers over to work in that we've always got each others' backs.

What’s one group or club you wish you could start at your company?

I wish we had a tea club because sometimes I feel like Mariah Carey at New Year’s.