Oktobor Fest

This Friday Andrew’s company threw an Oktobor Fest! Now, you may be thinking, you spelled that wrong, but alas, Andrew works at Oktobor Animation Studio.

Talk about a work party! There were sausages and sauerkraut as well as ample beer, slushies and chips. Some of Andrew’s co-workers brew their own beer and had a beer tasting competition, though, I never did find out who won. I have come to really enjoy the company of Andrew’s co-workers, through playing on their frisbee team and meeting folks at beer-o-clock on Friday. That’s right, beer on Fridays, every Friday! As a pipeline company, the morale in the office is high. There are spontaneous Nerf wars, of which I was privy to on Friday, but they wrap up quickly and I was surprised to see most people get back to their computers and back to work immediately afterwards. On Friday, late in the afternoon, people were being productive.

During my graduate studies, I spent a lot of time in my system’s analysis class learning about and discussing various companies and strategies on corporate culture. New Zealand in general, as well as animators I suppose, are known for being laid back. It was still surprising to me how productive everyone is. Andrew’s co-workers police themselves well when it comes to getting their work done, and if they do not or are not going to meet a deadline, they shuffle the work to someone who is ahead.

I wonder if a heavy focus on work-life balance and co-worker camaraderie would be as effective at motivating engineers? I hope I get the opportunity to find out! Friday morning I met with a recruiter who offered to help me out by contacting a couple of manufacturing companies on my behalf.

At a networking event last week a gentleman from KPMG was discussing the office environment here in Auckland. There is one goal for every team, up to 80 people! In the states, I had personal goals and was evaluated on them by my supervisor each year. It wasn’t a lot of pressure, it was just something I knew I had to work towards.  But not having any pressure, or any personal goals, many companies have found employees to be more creative. KPMG employees with group goals brought in significantly more money than those who still operated under the older model of individual goals and individual achievement. Additionally, they were happier as everyone celebrated the groups success more readily. Interesting, huh?


Anyways, I was talking about a laid back (and young) corporate culture. Andrew’s work party included a beer pong tournament!

And the biggest surprise of the evening? Fireworks! From the office balcony, a wonderful fireworks display lit up the night! I don’t think anyone at the office knew it was going to happen! Couldn’t be a better way to kick start the weekend.