If you want to be really thrifty, recycled lumber and shipping containers can be used as building materials, forming cubicles and meeting rooms with an industrial theme. Can’t find a good receptionist? Do away with the whole idea and set up paths for clients and visitors to follow when they arrive. LUX Design, a Toronto-based firm, helped one client create color-coded trails on its floor featuring the company logo that led to different departments.
Above all, let the company’s personality, and the personalities of its people—quirks and all—shine. Onnit, a fast-rising, Austin-based fitness, and lifestyle brand has a “creative cave” that houses its marketing department. Wallpapered in a Star Wars theme, an image of the Death Star looms over the creative director while the shelving units are adorned with action figures. A drum kit and amplifiers that employees are welcome to play (after hours) sit in the corner.
But having cool things to do or see on site isn’t as important as simply making the company a place where people want to be. In the UK study, some of the top factors in making employees feel that work was a fun environment were dress-down Fridays, office parties (or nights out on the company tab), charity fund-raisers, and having an office pet.