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7 Things That Make Working at Bresslergroup Awesome

You know when people are really cool and they all get together in the same spot to do cool stuff? That’s life at Bresslergroup.

We’re all a little weird, we’re all a little unique, and we love to come up with solutions to problems. As Human Resources Coordinator I help with recruiting, so I’m especially grateful for all the coolness because it makes my job that much easier.

We’re all a little weird, we’re all a little unique, and we love to come up with solutions to problems.

After working here for nine months — long enough to soak up the culture and come to understand why our staff is so excited to come into the office every day — I’ve decided to help get the word out by sharing a few of the many things that make working at Bresslergroup awesome. These are the ones that really make us gush:

1. We’re all obsessed with making things better.

Part of the reason we’ve been around for 45 years is because we’re always aching to improve. Our mission statement — that we “discover elegant solutions to complex product development problems” — is not branding mumbo jumbo. It grew out of what we actually believe in and do every day as a company.

We brainstorm, draw, wrestle, and test as much as we can until we’re sure we’ve found the best possible solution. This is true for client work and for our own internal projects – like when Jason Kelly, our Model Maker, spent an entire weekend refinishing and planing the shuffleboard table, or when our BG Brewery team perfected a system to brew our own beer.

Another example: Our directors make three company-wide “state of the union” presentations throughout the year, and afterward they’ll send a survey around to gather feedback that will improve the experience next time. See what I mean? Obsessed. With. Iteration. This is what sets us apart from other design firms — it’s not just a professional expectation, it’s in the DNA of every person here!

2. We’re always learning.

We’re a research-driven product development firm. That’s our bread and butter. So, it’s important to stay ahead of industry trends, technology breakthroughs, and new practices. We encourage professional development and promote continuous learning through a number of in-house opportunities (which sometimes include building and racing drones and almost always include food). The photo, below, is from a Philly IoT Meetup about smart cities.

Bresslergroup also takes on the culture of learning by doing — new employees dive into their first project on their first day. Have no fear — we always provide the tools and guidance needed to grow your knowledge and skills with each task. Our strategists, researchers, engineers and designers routinely work together on interdisciplinary project teams, which allows everyone to learn from each other and develop outside of their own expertise.

There is always room to learn and grow at Bresslergroup. Stay curious, my friends.

3. We enjoy “professional Hygge.”

Taking a page from the Danish philosophy of making daily activities more meaningful through “coziness,” we’ve adopted a professional spin at the Arch Street location. Think modern coffee shop meets science lab.

The moment you walk out of the historic, factory elevators, you are welcomed by a modern industrial space with natural light pouring in through tall windows. Turn your gaze to take in the low, funky blue couches and open meeting rooms. You’ll probably hear the hum of chatter and power tools.

Walk a little farther back where the walls are lined with floor-to-ceiling whiteboards covered with sketches, ideas, and notes. These are complemented by the warm contrast of exposed brick and about a million plants (well, maybe not that many). Since I sit up front I can see the expressions of people when they first walk off the elevator. They all have that same look I did, and some of them vocalize it, “Is this really an office?”

They all have that same look I did when I first walked off the elevator, and some of them vocalize it, “Is this really an office?”

Going back into the workspace, there are buckets of LEGOs scattered around to encourage play. Some of our interaction designers created the LEGO village and LEGO phone cradles pictured below. The style of each person’s desk area is clean and minimalistic to encourage clear thinking, but some of us do enjoy our layers of personal swag.

Of course, the office vibe is important to note. The open space; multiple working labs for prototyping, testing and research; and plethora of different casual and more formal meeting areas allow for needed collaboration and team discussions. Many of our directors sit with their teams for on-the-spot mentoring and ideation.

Everyone works with dedicated precision, but they also make sure to have a good time. It’s rare not to hear laughter through the halls or see odd experiments happening around a corner!

4. We all pitch in.

We expect our employees to be self-starters — and they rise to the occasion. If a project is winding down, they’ll look for a project to do that will improve our company, like work on creating templates for future department use, jump into one of the ongoing facility improvement initiatives, or volunteer for some rigorous Reading Terminal Market research. Whatever it is, we’re always eager to find ways to make Bresslergroup better.

What’s also amazing is that everyone is approachable and helpful. If there is a problem, five people will step up to fix it. If you have a question, everyone within earshot is willing to help answer it. The staff makes it feel like a team, and to a certain degree, an extended family — including sharing vacation videos and homemade food.

Everyone is approachable and helpful. If there is a problem, five people will step up to fix it.

Knowing you’re surrounded by people who love what they do and have all contributed to make the company as successful as it is right now is inspiring. And our staff is small enough — around 60 people — to make it feel like each one of us is directly contributing to the company’s growth and success. No one has the sense of being an anonymous cog in a machine.

5. We play together.

At Bresslergroup, we need everyone to be able to work well together, even and especially if they’re in different disciplines. And thankfully, we not only love working together, we love hanging out together.

There are always several fun, organized group activities happening, both during and after office hours. Everything from drone racing, Skee-Ball, and broomball leagues to paintball outings on the weekends to monthly happy hours — there are even rumors about starting a “Pickle of the Month” Club (more to come on that).

Whatever your interests, there’s always a way to incorporate it into our culture. This friendly environment makes the days entertaining and our projects that much more successful. Since you spend a third of your time at work, why not make sure it’s fun — perhaps with a pint (did I mention we have beer on tap?) and a quick game of shuffleboard at the end of the day?

6. We prioritize food.

If there’s one thing that’s equally as important as our work, it’s food. We’re serious about it — and we even apply some of our research methods to finding the best dumplings in Chinatown and the best Spicy Chicken food truck. It’s probably no coincidence that when our office moved in the summer of 2015, we chose a building located less than a block away from Reading Terminal Market.

We like to start our week focused on food with breakfast provided at our company-wide Monday staff meeting.  And there’s never a week that goes by without people bringing in baked goods, treats from their travels, or starting new food-sharing groups. In the office during a snow day? We’ll bring in pizza. Like coffee? The “baristas” here know about a half dozen ways to prepare it.

If one thing is for sure about life at Bresslergroup, it’s knowing you’ll never be hungry!

7. We’re part of a larger story.

We’re part of Philly’s rich heritage of making and industry — and we’re excited to be part of our city’s new chapter. And we’re not just making cool products — we’re making products that will improve peoples’ everyday lives and make their lives easier and more delightful. We keep this goal at the forefront of every project we work on and every decision we make — how can we make this product more efficient, more useful, and more life-enhancing?

From the outside looking in, we’re a quirky 60-person family that somehow works — and works well.  We’re a young-spirited staff that likes to have fun, encourage each other, and collaborate inside and outside of work. We are curious about our differences, and we revel in our similarities.

Looking back at the seven things listed above, they all have one thing in common: They start with “we.” I guess if you think about it, there are really 60 things (er, people) that make Bresslergroup such a fun and inspiring place to work!