Bridge is a relatively young company, but over time, a distinct culture has already emerged. Parts of it are developed on purpose through lots of discipline, just to ensure that we keep our mission in mind and serve our clients the best way we can. Other parts of it have grown out of fun, casual little moments that have become a welcome part of our work lives.
Hit the ground running — at 7 am
You read that right: we start work bright and early at 7 in the morning. It isn't a leisurely start, either — we dive right into our daily team huddle. At each meeting, the team leads report their departments' numbers based on their assigned metrics, as well as any roadblocks that their teams are experiencing.
You might be wondering why we willingly subject ourselves to an earlier-than-normal start time (and rightfully so). First of all, this practice builds discipline. We can't afford to be even a minute late when the huddle starts at 7 on the dot. We've learned to make adjustments — sleeping earlier, factoring unexpected traffic into our commute times — to make sure we respect our teammates' time.
Second, we want to give our clients the best work-life experience possible, so we maximize every single minute of the day. The extra hour we have every day allows for more time spent on ensuring that the work we do is excellent. And third, the huddle enables us to set aside a small chunk of the morning to get together, reset, and realign. As I mentioned earlier, the team leads report their respective numbers, so everyone is constantly reminded of individual contributions, as well as the bigger picture. Everything we should lead to the company's goal, and we don't lose sight of that.
Work hard + Play hard
If what you just read makes you feel like we're dangerously obsessed with work, don't fret; we know how to have fun, too! Sometimes it's an activity that's completely out of the ordinary, like a hike to Tinipak River in Rizal (my persistent adventure-averse objections fell on deaf ears; they just dragged me along).
Other times, it's something seasonal — an office-wide Easter egg hunt that unleashed our competitive streaks, spurred us to crawl under tables and dig through personal belongings, and ended in having packs of candy tossed at our faces as we scrambled to collect as much as we could. We've also stayed late to put up and decorate a very dusty Christmas tree and racked our brains to come up with perfect gifts for our Secret Santa babies.
Learning never stops
As a team, we firmly believe that we stop growing when we stop learning. We're always willing to push ourselves a little further, widen our boundaries a little more. At our daily huddles, one person is randomly selected to share something they learned from a book they're reading — and it has to be a book, not a magazine article, not a blog post. And yes, you can get called twice in a row, so there's no escaping the randomizer; everyone has to be on their toes.
We also have what we call learning lunches: we set aside a couple of hours around midday on a Friday, order in lunch for the whole team, and have a guest speaker discuss their topic of choice. The themes range far and wide; in the past we've learned about eating right for our health, the ABCs of professionalism, and an introduction to investing in stocks. Free food, free learning — what's not to love?
Even departments take the initiative to foster a learning culture of their own. For example, our Client Success team has started a monthly Beer and Book Club. The entire department reads the same book (past choices include Getting Things Done, 1+1 = 3, Work Rules!), draws lots to pick a chapter, and creates appropriate 15-minute activities to discuss each assigned chapter. They then discuss how the principles from each book can be assigned to Client Success.