The Perks: A Homey Cubicle Helps a Little

Peggy Hunt learned to fly-fish on company time. The human-resources manager works at Orvis, a mail-order firm in Manchester, Vt., that offers employee classes on the outdoorsy lifestyle espoused in its catalogs. S.D. Deacon, a construction company based in Portland, Ore., gives new hires $100 to decorate their cubicles, "just to make it feel homey," says an administrator, "since we're here so much." In today's labor market, in which simply getting a paycheck can qualify as a morale booster, some firms are providing inexpensive stress reducers that have the added benefit of squeezing more work out of their staff.

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