DIY Office Space

JPL Productions gave its employees $500,000 to design their own digs. The ROI? Better morale and a way to show off their skills to clients.

By Monica Heger, Business 2.0 Magazine

(Business 2.0) -- If the world is our playground, why can't the office be one too? At communications firm JPL Productions, employees were given $500,000 to design their new digs. Among their handiwork: the Sushi Lounge, a meeting room with an Asian flair; the Majestic, a conference room modeled after an old movie theater; Gallery 471, which exhibits employee artwork; and e-Learning Island, a beach-themed room for midday lounging.

Michael Horgan, the company's executive chairman, says letting employees create their workspace boosts morale while showcasing their skills to prospective clients. Jason Menicheschi, director of meetings and events, says he's gotten to know co-workers in ways he wouldn't have otherwise--and vice versa.

On the lunchroom wall near one employee's framed reprimand from grade school and another's 1977 self-portrait is a photo from Menicheschi's college soccer-playing days. "People see me and are shocked that I once had long hair," Menicheschi says with a laugh. Top of page

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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.