Work Pirates was founded in 2020 by James Eves and Michelle Minnikin, smack bang in the middle of the pandemic. Work, which had been toxic long before then, seemed particularly broken at that point in history, with too many people overworked, under-appreciated and absolutely miserable.
James and Michelle saw an opportunity to unfuck work once and for all for everyone, so Work Pirates was born. Taking inspiration from the bold buccaneers of the past, Work Pirates is on a mission to dismantle outdated workplace processes and attitudes, making way for a new era of happy work for everyone.
Work Pirates works with a range of people and organisations to help them toss their old ways overboard and set off on a brand new voyage.
Rewrite the rules
Empower the rebels
Equality and equity
"I'd rather be a pirate than join the navy."
When Work Pirates co-founder Michelle Minnikin first read Be More Pirate, she knew she had to Do Something.
The book, by Sam Conniff Allende, explains how the Golden Age pirates who sailed the high seas between 1690 and 1725 were actually powerful agents of change and social justice.
Yes they were rebels, they were also innovative thinkers with progressive ideas that are still relevant today.
Pirates were highly-skilled, well coordinated collaborators united around a common goal. A diverse crew committed to a democratic and progressive system, where pay was fair and healthcare provided.
The Pirate Code
Despite being known for their rebellion and resistance to rules, pirates had their own Pirate Code or Pirate Articles about how to behave and work with others - strengthening them as a crew.
Our Pirate Code works just the same, helping us to navigate tricky situations and stormy seas as a team.
These Pirate Articles were appropriated (with love!) and adapted from our favourite book - Be More Pirate by Sam Conniff Allende.
Article 1: Make Work Better
We want our work to make us better people.
We share what we know so you too can create change - we never hoard knowledge.
We want to feel safe, protected and like we belong; we want a voice, and to be able to participate in the decisions that affect us.
When things go wrong, we address it head-on - we don’t let problems fester and blow up later.
Co-founder & Captain of Strategy
Work Pirates’ Captain of Strategy James brings over 20 years of experience working across three continents in various sectors.
As a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach with an MBA, James has particular expertise in helping aspiring Work Pirates to identify and use their unique strengths to unfuck work for themselves and others.
James loves to get into the nitty-gritty of what makes people tick, and enjoys exploring opportunities to enable people to flourish within work.
Fluent in three languages, James loves to travel and is particularly fond of France, where he loves to take in the scent of the patisseries and the taste of Fleur de Sel salt (if you know, you know!).
Co-founder & Captain of Culture (AKA Quartermaster)
Work Pirates’ Culture Captain (AKA Quartermaster) Michelle has over 20 years of experience in organisational psychology, recruitment, coaching and personal development across various companies.
A Chartered Psychologist and Coach, Michelle is passionate about helping people to find the courage to unfuck work. She helps leaders, employees, and organisations eliminate toxic practices and meaningless company value rhetoric, clearing the way to create authentic principles - a Pirate Code - that allows everyone to thrive.
Bookworm Michelle loves to read everything, from sci-fi and dystopian literature to historical fiction as well as books on personal development, and she's currently writing her first book, Good Girl Deprogramming, which will blast open the toxic truths of patriarchy in the workplace.