by Hollie Wegman ・ Office Hacks

Office Hack #40— The LinkedIn Band Hack

Envoy is all about making things easier and more fun in the office. In that spirit, we are proud to bring you our Envoy Office Hacks podcast series. Every week, we deliver the coolest, most ingenious, and just plain fun fixes people have invented to improve efficiency and productivity in their workplace.

The modern workplace has many perks, but this one might call for a standing ovation. Professional social network giant, LinkedIn, not only has a dedicated space for employees to connect musically, it even has its own house band. And they’re good!

It all started back in 2010 when a few employees decided to get together and jam. Over time, more musically inclined employees expressed interest in the group and eventually they needed a space for all the gear.

“The company actually put us in a shipping and receiving room near a loading dock. There was toilet paper, random desks, a bunch of crap around us. [The music room] became popular enough they ended up giving us a [proper] room, buying equipment, state-of-the-art incredible equipment. It’s been pretty amazing to have the space to practice in.” Caitlin, singer & LinkedIn employee

Everyone in this photo also performed in the episode recording of “Patience”.

In the photo above you can see Caitlin (& her silver shoes!) on vocals, Tyron on bass, Kyle on drums, Neil on keyboard and Andre on guitar. This group, minus the podcast producer, makes up the LinkedIn band in Sunnyvale, California. Caitlin is a founding member. But now that LinkedIn has grown from 500 employees in 2010 to 10,000 today, there are other LinkedIn bands.

“It just keeps growing as the music program grows, which is cool.” Kyle, drummer & LinkedIn employee

The music program Kyle is referring to is another perk. Even if you’re not particularly musical but would like to be, you can arrange to take lessons in the various LinkedIn music rooms.

“We actually have a lot of programs. We’re constantly expanding. We also have rooms across different campuses in the Bay Area. One of the services we offer is lessons in guitar, piano, bass, drums. Those are instructors from outside LinkedIn, who come on-site to make it easier for employees to take lessons during work hours or after work hours.” Kyle, drummer & LinkedIn employee

The music program is one way employees can take a break from their work or jumpstart creative thinking.

“It’s amazing. It’s probably my favorite part about working at LinkedIn, actually.” Neil, keyboard player & LinkedIn employee

The LinkedIn band featured in this episode of Envoy Office Hacks is named “Next Play”, a familiar catch phrase by CEO Jeff Weiner.

“Whenever we have a big event at the company, the focus is on the event, but also the next play.” Caitlin, singer & LinkedIn employee

The band plays at company events and even engages in friendly competition with other tech company bands, like the Facebook band (!) at charity events.

So why is LinkedIn so invested in music?

“A lot of studies show a correlation between quantitative capability and music. That if you’re good at math and science, you’re probably also good at music and can play an instrument. So at tech companies, we have a lot of people who are musically inclined. The company recognized that once they built this small space for some musicians, more and more people wanted in. [LinkedIn] knows a happy employee is somebody who is not only going to stay but they’re going to be more productive in their work. They’re going to be happy when they come to work. They’re going to get more creative with their projects because they have an outlet to be creative themselves.” Caitlin, singer & LinkedIn employee ### How to hack it


How to hack it

Want to hack together your own workplace music room? Start small. Find a musician or two on staff who can help find second-hand instruments and work up from there. Here are some suggestions:

  • Drum kit
  • Guitar
  • Bass guitar
  • Keyboard
  • Mixer
  • Microphones
  • Amplifiers
  • Headphones