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How are tech employers different from other Best Places to Work?

Flexibility, independence among benefits valued by tech employees

(Rawpixel /

(Rawpixel /

When you think of technology companies and their employees, what comes to mind first? Maybe it’s brightly colored accent walls, beer on tap, or bean bag chairs and walking desks. What the heck is a walking desk, you ask? Just think: treadmill meets IKEA office. Though this particular industry is known for its funky décor and nontraditional perks, there’s more to the employee engagement story than meets the eye.

We were curious to learn about this growing industry, and specifically, what motivates its employees to perform at their best. What are technology employers doing that’s different from other employer groups, and what do their employees really want and need? Competition for talent, especially in this booming sector, is extremely high. Employers want to know how to attract and then retain top talent in an environment where recruiters waiting in the wings are offering bigger, better, and wilder perks than ever before.

Best places to work program data

As the research firm behind more than 70 Best Places to Work programs worldwide, we measure engagement and what drives it all day, every day. To be identified as one of the Best Places to Work, an employer must undergo a rigorous process of employee feedback collection as well as a review of their human resources practices and policies.

Using data we’ve collected from some of the country’s leading organizations, particularly those that have earned the sought-after designation of being Best Places to Work, we took a closer look at employee attitudes and employer practices and policies. We compared two data sets in our analysis: all U.S. employers designated as Best Places to Work in 2018; and all technology companies designated as Best Places to Work in 2018. We wanted to answer this question: what, if anything, is really so different about the most competitive employers in the tech industry?

Flexibility and control of time spent

Employees in the technology industry crave more independence and flexibility than those in other categories. The ability to work remotely tops the list of benefits, with nine out of ten (85%) Best Places to Work in the technology industry offering remote employment options as a standard practice. This, as compared to only 68% of all Best Places to Work, shows that the option to work outside of the office is practically a requirement for this group.

Employees of tech companies are also more likely to control how they use their time off, instead of designating “sick” and “vacation” days, 71% of these employers offer general paid time off. That’s compared to only 59% of other Best Places to Work.

Creature comforts and work/life blend

Gone are the days of the lone snack machine in the hallway. Technology employees today enjoy fully-equipped cafeterias, beverages (remember the beer on tap?), and free snacks galore. The more the office space can transform into a comfortable and homey environment, the better. Offering these creature comforts within the office space means tech employees can spend more time doing what they came to do: work. An impressive 93% of Best Places to Work in the technology industry state that they provide cafeteria or meal subsidies, free daily snacks or beverages. Another marked difference in this employer group is that they are more likely to offer fully- or partially-paid parental leave for the birth or adoption of a child. Blending the separation of work and home life into a more seamless and holistic experience seems to be a goal of technology employers.

Incentivizing workforce growth

Because they operate in a very competitive employment market, technology employers are more likely to incentivize their employees to refer new hires. Nearly nine in ten (86%) technology Best Places to Work offer monetary incentives and bonuses to their employees for referring new hires, as compared to all Best Places to Work at 78%.

A deeper understanding of employee engagement among technology companies

There are lots of reasons managers come looking for ways to increase employee engagement. They want to reduce high turnover, hire the right people the first time, prioritize the customer experience, and be more profitable. Dive deeper into employee engagement data collected from technology employers and their employees when you download our Spotlight Report.



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