Free beer, generous vacation leave, and a say in company decisions - see how 7 innovative companies are inspiring workers and boosting the bottom line.
Software vendor Daxko's casual but driven office environment resembles Silicon Valley more than the Deep South.
No one -- including management -- has a private office, and all are encouraged to utilize the company's alternative spaces, including a work/play lounge complete with a Nintendo Wii and a 52-inch plasma TV. All new employees get 15 paid vacation days, a free YMCA membership and six weeks' paid parental leave.
Employee happiness is paramount: Every year workers receive $1,500 each to spend on any kind of professional enrichment that strikes their fancy. They're also entitled to a four-week sabbatical after every seven years of service.
For product manager Saranda West, 26, the best reason to work at Daxko is the weekly free lunch, when employees get to socialize on company time. "It's pretty intense here," she says. "Expectations for what I need to accomplish are clearly set. And if I can play the Wii while doing it, that's even better."