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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