By Marga Salvador on March 28, 2016
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be excited to go to work every single morning? In the heart of BGC, there is a company whose talents will probably answer that question with a bright-eyed, “yes.”
That company is called Migo. It partners with small businesses in order to give customers access to entertainment anytime, anywhere. They curate digital content, such as TV shows, movies, documentaries, and make their wide portfolio of media available to users for an affordable price.
What people don’t know however, is that Migo provides its talents, all called Imagineers, a smart workspace that keeps them productive and entertained all at the same time. How do they do that? Their office is a creative nut’s haven. Nicknamed Station Bravo (the headquarters in Taiwan is named Station Alpha), their open approach to the office structure allows the Imagineers to collaborate on projects, create ideas and efficiently get everyone’s two cents in.
You can read about how cool the Migo office is and with features like “office-less” spaces, no door policies, family dining tables, a Library of Kaizen, and Bikini Bottom, you can bet that it really is an awesome space. We talked to some Imagineers about what it’s like to work in such an amazing and thought-provoking workspace and here’s what they had to say.
“When you see the lobby, it’s so cozy and laid back but when you get inside, you’ll be surprised how it’s very work-centric -- there’s a good balance,” says Dexter from Marketing. “We’re in BGC so it’s very modern outside but inside the office, we have traditional influences. We incorporate the vision of Migo into the space,” says Pam who works in Migo’s product design team.
“Bringing the barangay to the Fort”
For some of us, it’s second nature to pick up our devices and watch downloaded or streamed movies and TV series. For most Filipinos however, luxuries like that aren’t so easy to come by. Migo’s target market are the underprivileged masa whom they consistently humanize as Juans when they discuss projects. The office incorporates design elements like yero walls and kapis shell windows to remind the Imagineers who they’re really working for. “Everything we do is Juan-centric – allowing us to fit our product to actual needs outside this office,” says Imagineer Chelsea.
The Flat Organization
The company office goes hand-in-hand with the company culture. The entire Migo team consists solely of Imagineers, no titles or special positions. The Imagineers then work as functional teams or squads with different responsibilities thus creating a seamless workflow much like their office-less spaces. The glass walls of the space represent the transparency between Imagineers. More than anything, the space promotes the work they do at Migo by reflecting company values and culture.
Pam says that “the open space helps a lot. You look at the boards and you see what everyone’s working on.” The walls are covered with whiteboards where the magic happens and ideas are born. Imagineers also work on long winding tables where everyone, including the CEO, sit side by side. “Before Migo, I worked at a conglomerate for 5 years and I never saw the CEO. On my first day at Migo, I had a welcome message from Barrett himself. When he came to visit, he even looked for me to personally say hello,” recalled Janson who works in supply chain.
On growing personally and professionally
Migo is big on learning. They impart opportunities and avenues for Imagineers to takeaway lessons in every corner. Dexter explains, “It’s about resources. I can reach out to anyone here and ask for help or input. Working here trained me to maximize what I have to learn and more.” Chelsea says that they don’t believe that soft skills and hard skills are different entities. “They work together to amplify each other.”
The Imagineers seemed to mesh multiple insights together which says a lot about how they are trained. “The learning that you get is holistic. You learn from the past and look to the future. We do this every day so it becomes habit,” says Janson. Lui, who works in Marketing, summed it up pretty well, “There is no work-life balance because it’s one thing. The space helps because it bonds us like a family.” There are ‘siblings’ to collaborate with, ‘parents’ to look up to, and friends to help you along the way.
When I asked the Imagineers if there was a certain part of the office that motivated them to work, they all replied with the same thing: the Welcome Wall. They don’t actually read it every single day but because it embodies the Migo vision, the wall reminds them that they aren’t there for themselves but for the Juans. “It points you back to your North Star,” Janson recollects.
A great mix of things
When the Imagineers described the company culture, words like challenging, fun, unexpected, purpose, and passion came up. When you love what you do, that’s not hard to believe. What surprised me, was that they brought up the concepts of Kaizen, Disney, and the Marines. Kaizen is the Japanese practice of continuous improvement. The Marines are all about camaraderie, discipline, and accountability. Stir the pot by adding some good old Disney creativity to the mix.
The Imagineers have what is undoubtedly one of the coolest offices in the country. But the office isn’t what makes working at Migo great. The company has managed to train and impart in the Imagineers a kind of work ethic and outlook on work (and life) that is unique and hard to come by this day and age. The space, the vision, and the family that is Migo have created an unfenced and synergetic culture that comes together to bring its customers--and Imagineers--an entertainment and office experience like no other.
All photos were taken by Kalibrr's Chris Cadag.
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