When it comes to running a business, the people you surround yourself with will ultimately come to define your company. Through customer engagement and the lifecycle of your particular product or service, the individuals on your side of the table will determine the productivity of the business. If you can be successful in obtaining and retaining the right personnel you can increase productivity exponentially.

Getting the best in the business doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. There are endless ways to keep your employees happy, healthy, and hungry for business. Companies across the world have entered into the new era of dynamic office environments, transforming the workplace into work-plays.

For centuries the workplace has been portrayed as just that, the place you work. Other than a corner office or a nice view, there wasn’t much difference in corporate workspaces. Since the turn of the century, businesses have slowly changed the concept of the traditional company culture. But in the 1990s, a rather large shift in thinking about workspaces and employee satisfaction began to take root. In the past two decades, changes in culture have snowballed, mostly thanks to the tech boom that ushered in these changes in thinking.

Here are a few examples of salary substitutes that companies offer that won’t break the bank, but will boost the business.

Netflix– The only “remote” employees at Netflix are concerned with is where they work as opposed to the clicker that controls what they watch. At Netflix, employees are allowed to work remotely from anywhere with no mandatory office hours. They believe in tracking an employee’s performance over attendance.

Patagonia– This outdoor clothing company has really put an emphasis on the work-play balance. As an employee as Patagonia you have access to bikes, volleyball courts, and on site yoga. If you fancy yourself a surfer, feel free to catch some waves during lunch, the receptionist posts daily surf reports from local beaches.

Salesforce– This colossal CRM company has made a point of making their offices not only fun for employees, but also their pets. One of the perks of working for the San Francisco based tech company is the opportunity to reserve a special workroom that is outfitted with everything your dog would need during a hard day’s work–toys, water bowls, cages, etc. Salesforce doesn’t want to exclude Fido from benefits either; employees are offered pet insurance discounts, dog walking, as well as vet house calls.

It’s hard to imagine Don Draper of Mad Men bringing his dog to work, or catching some waves during lunch. But that doesn’t mean these amenities aren’t making for a more productive work environment. Some of the most successful companies in the world have adopted this new work-play culture, and it seems that these dynamic work environments will only continue to evolve. Business owners who continue to blur the lines between work and play will ultimately win the battle for employee retention.


Connor Galvin is an East Coast transplant to San Diego that is starting his career in finance.  When he’s not at Dealstruck you can find him on the beach or playing golf.