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Steve Jobs helped design Pixar offices

I’m not sure how many times I’ve written the words ‘employee engagement’ and ‘employee communication’ in the past week, but with my new obsession to find decent blogging websites about such topics, I stumbled across the interesting subject of Pixar.

“Steve Jobs believed that unplanned collaborations were vitally important to the company culture, this atrium space was to act as a melting pot of meeting space.” (Stephen Searer)

  Having more than a few leading box office classics behind their name such as ‘Toy Story’ and ‘Wall-E’, you have to wonder how Pixar employees constantly draw upon their imagination to create whole new animated worlds regularly. With the late Steve Jobs contributing to the overall design of their headquarters however, its no wonder they are one of the most successful companies next to rivals Dreamworks in the industry today.

“Steve Jobs believed that unplanned collaborations were vitally important to the company culture, this atrium space was to act as a melting pot of meeting space.” (Stephen Searer)

With his unique design, Jobs enabled frequent communication and collaboration, Ken Ashley quotes designer and director Brad Bird:

“The reason he did it was that everybody goes off and works in their individual areas… Steve put the mailboxes, the meetings rooms, the cafeteria, and, most insidiously and brilliantly, the bathrooms in the center—which initially drove us crazy—so that you run into everybody during the course of a day.”

An employee may have a great idea, but they can hold back in approaching a manager/colleague about it for the fear of being talked down. However through constant interactions, a sense of belonging can be generated and a workplace becomes much more engaged and motivated.

“[Jobs] realized that when people run into each other, when they make eye contact, things happen. So he made it impossible for you not to run into the rest of the company.” (Brad Bird)

Teamwork and creativity are central to modern management approaches, but not every office can be designed and backed by a billionaire entrepreneur. Utilising technology such as WooBoard’s employee recognition platform helps create a sociable and engaged working environment.

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Align values, engage and motivate with WooBoard; an employee recognition platform that encourages happier, more productive workplaces.

photo credit: acaben via photopin cc

One thought on “Workplace communication and employee engagement at Pixar

  1. workvibrant says:

    What an interesting idea and innovative as well. I’ve noticed in the past how important those informal conversations are in creating the building blocks for bigger conversations and I guess this facilitates that. Thanks for sharing.

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