The best workplace perks in IT

Computerworld | Jun 19, 2018

The offerings run deep at Computerworld's 2018 Best Places to Work in IT. Comprehensive health insurance is just table stakes.

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For the 25th year, Computerworld has surveyed companies around the United States and compiled its list of the 100 Best Places to Work in IT.
One thing that we’ve noticed is that it’s really not about the money.
The companies on our list do tend to pay competitive salaries, but their corporate culture, benefits and perks make them truly exceptional places to work.
Health insurance and retirement benefits are just table stakes. The best places to work offer innovative benefits that empower their employees.
They might have relatively flat corporate structures, hassle-free flextime, mentorship programs or scholarship programs.
The employees we survey highly value benefits that contribute to work-life balance, and they praise companies with accessible leaders, clear communications, a positive work environment, and extras such as community outreach programs.
Here’s a look at the top three Large, Midsize and Small organizations on Computerworld’s 2018 list of the Best Places to Work in IT, along with some of the benefits that help these companies stand out as they compete for tech talent.
First up: Quicken Loans.
Year after year, this online mortgage lender keeps topping our list of large organizations, and it’s no mystery why. It ranks high in every subcategory we break out from the survey.
Benefits and employee programs are comprehensive at Quicken Loans, which even provides health insurance to its interns.
The company’s “Total You” initiative includes health screening and awareness programs, as well as group health activities such as yoga.
Just a few of Quicken Loans’ other programs include tuition reimbursement, scholarships for employees’ children, and a long-term incentive program targeted at high-performance team members.
IT-specific benefits include Bullet Time, a weekly time block when all technology team members can work on any project or idea of their choosing. There’s also an annual hackathon, which this year focused on blockchain and A.I.
The No. 1 Midsize organization is Ultimate Software.
It also scored well across multiple categories and topped the list for benefits.
Last year, this company introduced unlimited paid time off, and it pays 100% of insurance premiums for full-time employees and their families.
49% of Ultimate’s workforce are women, and 42% of them hold leadership positions of manager or above.
And to help develop the next generation of female leaders, Ultimate's Women in Leadership group awards two annual college scholarships of up to $20,000 each to graduating daughters of Ultimate employees.
The No. 1 Small organization is Cloud for Good.
This company provides its Salesforce expertise to nonprofits and educational organizations.
There’s no office to report to at Cloud for Good, which is 100% virtual. But employees stay in contact via video conferencing, and a shared sense of social responsibility contributes to a cohesive company culture.
Benefits include childcare stipends, paid time off for volunteer work, and 100% employer-paid health insurance premiums.
The No. 2 Large organization is Owens Corning.
Campus amenities at this building materials manufacturer include an on-site physician, massage therapist, fitness center, outside track, meditation, outside dining courtyard, a credit union, a market, and free parking totally covered by a solar-panel roof.
It hosts a regional “IT in Action Day,” when students from local universities spend a day with Owens Corning IT employees. This year it also partnered with a global tech provider to do a two-day STEM competition with a local disadvantaged elementary school.
The No. 2 Midsize organization is Enova International.
At online lending company Enova, employees can choose what software and hardware they want to use. With an array of benefits, it has made our list six times. It has a snacks kitchen, late-night meal delivery and rides home, sabbaticals and tuition reimbursement.
There’s a program for employees to recognize colleagues’ achievements, and quarterly awards are given for high-impact projects.
The No. 2 Small organization is Axxess.
Communication is a priority at home health technology company Axxess. Conference calls are held twice each week so that all employees can hear about the latest advances in various areas of the company, and everyone meets quarterly with the CEO to ask whatever questions they may have.
HR at Axxess is a concierge service that includes free snacks and drinks; catered meals; a 24-hour, on-site fitness center; a wellness room; and a building concierge service to assist with special needs.
The No. 3 Large organization is VMware.
As part of its commitment to social responsibility and community involvement, VMware’s citizen philanthropy program allows employees to receive up to 40 paid hours per year to volunteer their time and talents with local nonprofit organizations. Its new IT Pro Bono service coordinates employees who donate their IT knowledge and expertise to nonprofits.
Benefits include unlimited PTO, a generous 18 weeks of fully paid maternity or paternity leave, and perks ranging from snacks to sabbaticals. A car wash, dry cleaners, banking facilities and game room are all on site.
The No. 3 Midsize organization is Plante Moran.
Leaders at business consultant and CPA firm Plante Moran take pride in their accessibility. CIO Paul Blowers is known for his “Paulway” conversations with employees in hallways and biannual town hall meetings for all technology staffers.
Mentoring is promoted through several programs, including a “buddy program” to help new hires acclimate to the firm.
The No. 3 Small organization is Sev1Tech.
IT services firm Sev1Tech says it doesn’t have employees; through its profit-sharing program, it has stakeholders. Employees who participate in the program receive increasing quarterly bonuses based on the company's profits and individual salaries. They are able to earn up to 13% more per year, on top of their regular salary.
Stakeholders are required to fulfill (and all employees are encouraged to take) 16 hours of paid community service time per year, with events focusing on community education, healthcare and wellness, veterans' assistance, the environment, and families in need.
That’s a quick rundown on the state of benefits at Computerworld’s Best Places to Work in IT. We haven’t mentioned all the benefits these companies offer, by any means, but you can read more about the value of soft benefits in our Best Places special report, now available on Computerworld.com.