If you've ever been to a live gig, chances are you've come into contact with Ticketmaster. The company runs an event somewhere in the world every 20 minutes. It lives and breathes live music.

It is more than just a ticketing firm. It is also a tech company, providing ticketing software that is used by Manchester United and Arsenal football clubs, to name but a few.

ticketmaster
© Ticketmaster

Ticketmaster, which launched in 1976, has over 6,000 employees worldwide and some enviable staff happiness ratings. Some 83 percent of employees rate it as a "great" place to work, while 90 percent say they are proud to say they work there.

Techworld interviewed a number of Ticketmaster employees, in fields from engineering to HR to UX, to find out what makes them so satisfied with where they work.

"It is great to be part of a company where you can physically witness the output. We get to go to free gigs and festivals as part of the job. It's different to other places. It's big, but not so big you get forgotten," says UX design intern Shameel Batavia.

The 250-strong UK tech team works in small units encompassing everything from product to UX to engineering.

"This allows us to devolve as much responsibility as possible to local teams," says Simon Tarry, director of engineering strategy.

"We solve complex problems, and we do that with a relaxed, calm working environment," he adds.

In a world where tech companies compete to offer the cushiest perks, Ticketmaster still has some thoroughly enviable policies: unlimited holiday entitlement and 10am-4pm core working hours for example.

The company seems to genuinely care about the well-being of the people there. The sorts of things on offer range from mental health awareness, therapy, fitness classes, massages and healthy food, to all types of health insurance, and parental benefits such as a baby bonus.

The company hopes these sorts of policies help to give it an edge. "We're in a world where we're trying to compete with Google and Amazon. We're trying and struggling to find more backend engineers for example," Tarry says.

There is also a focus on delivery rather than presenteeism, with working from home actively encouraged.

One of the reasons why this approach works is because it is based on mutual trust and a focus on output, not hours worked.

"It comes down to the culture. You are measured on output and given freedom to take whatever journey to delivery you want. It's up to you how you want to work," Batavia says.

"We have reporting cycles to the executive team every quarter and a show and tell to the whole tech organisation every Friday, but otherwise we let people get on with it," Tarry adds.

Ticketmaster's office in Angel has a slide taking you from the reception to a basement bar, an indoor picnic area and arcade games.

"It feels more like a boutique hotel than an office," Tarry says.

It may seem a bit gimmicky, but it was named one of the UK's top ten productivity-boosting offices by Red Bull, and it's hard to deny the features help to break the ice and bring some fun to the working environment.

"I've been at my most comfortable, professionally, when working at Ticketmaster. There's a relaxed culture here for a business which is so ambitious and fast-moving. There's a fantastic respect for all staff," says Christine Lanoy, vice president of international design.

At a time when tech companies are coming under increased scrutiny over their commitment to diversity and inclusion, Ticketmaster - which is 42 percent female - has some lessons to offer.

It has had a diversity and inclusion department with a designated lead for two years and provides unconscious bias training to staff.

"We look carefully at the language in job descriptions, ensuring it isn’t overly masculine, and is exciting to read and easy to apply," says Christine Cummings, tech talent acquisition specialist.

"It feels diverse and inclusive here. It's easier for managers to think about the value of different opinions and perspectives than just 'diversity'. It’s beneficial to think broad," Batavia adds.

The company is looking at hiring people earlier on in the 'pipeline', before they have even graduated from university, as part of measures to boost diversity.

"We've gone from two to five to seven to 15 internships in the tech team. There's huge value in a fresh pair of eyes, when someone is just learning a specialism. People can mould into different roles," Cummings says.

"We have got to move away from just hiring people who are work-ready now to people who can develop into the role," she adds.