There are many different factors that contribute to employee productivity and happiness.
Aside from the obvious attributes like great pay and benefits, excellent leadership, and the opportunity to advance, employees also want a good work/life balance and flexibility in how and where they work.
In fact, research shows 88 percent of highly engaged employees feel they have control over their work experience. (Only 14 percent of disengaged employees felt the same.)
We can learn a lot by studying other workplaces, whether they’re in our neighborhood or around the world. Here are 10 worth a closer look.
The 10 Best Workplaces in the UK
Google has three headquarters in the UK, specifically in London. Its employees boast on Glassdoor that the company offers a great environment and pay, free food and drinks, as well as a gym and sauna. They also have a lot of fun team activities and a well-thought out workplace design. The London headquarters has a swimming pool with underwater treadmills, soft-play and ball pit zones where staff are encouraged to get creative, and gourmet dishes like lobster and steak. A-list speakers like Lady Gaga and Queen Elizabeth II have even been known to stop by on occasion.
Another tech giant, Facebook, makes waves in the UK with its three London offices. Employees rave about the company’s free food, drinks, and perks, stellar company activities, which include weekly Q&As with CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the ability to work from home, and flexibility to move to different teams within the company. Facebook also has some office design street cred: Legendary architect Frank Gehry designed one of the London offices.
BrewDog, a craft beer pub with locations across the world, is highly rated on Glassdoor and known for its generous pet policy. Employees are permitted to take one week off to care for new puppies or recently adopted rescue dogs. On Glassdoor, employees also boast about the opportunities–since the business is constantly growing–and highlight the on-site gym and beer allowance.
The online clothing retailer ASOS was rated the most desirable place to work in the UK, according to a recent LinkedIn survey. An ASOS spokesperson said their employees are "immersed in the creative worlds, live on their mobiles, and have a truly entrepreneurial attitude.” According to Glassdoor, ASOS offers great employee development, a day off for your birthday, a good location, and fun holiday and summer parties.
Tech giant Apple is another excellent place to work in the UK. Apple’s UK headquarters, located in South West London, are impossible to miss at 500,000 square feet. The company is known for its generous salaries and employee discounts, and fun beer bashes every few weeks. Glassdoor reviews of Apple mention the great atmosphere, amazing technology to work with, and the astounding company culture.
The BBC has childcare vouchers, flexible work options, a warm and friendly environment, and a nice work/life balance, according to its employees. The BBC is also known for being dedicated to the women who work there. They aim to not only have women in half of their on-air and senior management roles by 2020, but also see how they can make it easier for women on maternity leave to return and look at what is holding back women from succeeding.
7. Anglian Water
Anglian Water, which is based in Cambridgeshire, won the Responsible Business of the Year award in 2017. It also has a graduate management program that offers graduates a $34,500 salary per year and trains them on how to become managers. Reviews boast about the company’s private healthcare options, their dedication to their employees inside and outside of the office, a good work/life balance, and cutting-edge technology.
The travel company Expedia was the top place to work in the UK two years in a row on Glassdoor. Employees receive a generous travel allowance between $8,515 to $14,192 dollars, there is a huge roof terrace where they hold parties, and employees can relax in the office’s “chill out zones.” Employees who need a little break can play Formula One simulators or hop onto the Playstation or Xbox consoles in the office.
Home assistance company HomeServe was named one of the top four workplaces in the UK for its work/life balance. Glassdoor reviews from employees also highlight the business’ flexible working options, the leaders’ open-door policies, and good benefits. Employees say that there is also fair pay and that self-motivated workers can go far in the company.
In 2018, Salesforce was ranked the third best workplace in the UK. Why? For one thing, employees have the opportunity to give back through the company’s Apps for Good program, a charity that delivers tech excellence to schools. On Glassdoor, employees also report the company gives paid time off for volunteering. They also bragged about free food and fun team-building activities, as well as great pay and benefits.
What the Best Workplaces in the UK Have in Common
Whether they rank among the top workplaces in the UK, the best workplaces for millennials or another list, there are some clear themes.
Pay and benefits are important, but they’re not what employees mention most often in Glassdoor reviews. In general, employees who work at top-rated workplaces talk about how their employers encourage flexibility in their environment and their policies.
They talk about interesting workplace designs and modern workplace technology that is easy to use. They talk about unique on-site amenities and fun activities. But above all, the best workplaces seem to invest in their employees’ professional and personal development.
Employees may have different ideas about what a great workplace looks like depending on where they are and what they’ve experienced before, but some things are universal.