What Industry Has The Best Work/Life Balance?

In a recent data analysis, Venngage busted the company culture myth that employees only care about trendy benefits like ping pong tables and office dogs. Turns out that the three most important benefits to employees are health insurance, 401ks, and paid time off.

So it makes sense that employees seek out employment that values them as a full human, rather than just a working machine. But which industries have the best work life balance?

Using raw data on 175 firms from Glassdoor and MIT, I analyzed every company that scored a 4/5 or higher for the category ‘work/life balance’ and found that 71% of those companies were tech companies. Taking a closer look, 43% of companies with a highly rated work life balance were in the Computer Hardware and Software space.

Conversely, out of the companies rated a 3/5 or below or ‘work/life balance’, 60% of them are within the Accounting industry, and only 10% of the lowest rated companies were tech. To me, this makes sense.

Accounting is an old industry with defined career paths and qualifications needed to succeed whereas tech is much younger, and the qualifications and skills needed are much more varied. To work in tech you can be self taught, or have taken a non-traditional career path (which is often the case for those with caring responsibilities, or medical issues that prevent more formal employment). To become an accountant you have to go to school, study, and take exams. With accountancy you expect rigor – with tech you expect flexibility.

It is also worth taking into account the generational make of up companies. Stereotypically, tech companies employee more Millennials than more traditional industries and work/life balance is a key driver for Millennials when choosing jobs. In fact in Deloitte’s 2016 Millennial Survey 16.8% of Millennials evaluate career opportunities by good work/life balance, and a further 11% look for jobs with flexibility in terms of remote working and flexible hours.

Achieving a good work/life balance isn’t an exclusively Millennial pursuit though. Gen Xers (those born between 1961 and 1981) are often credited as being the creators of ‘working to live’ rather than ‘living to work’. And whilst one in three Millennials recommends working for a start up, 55% of start ups, famous for their work hard play hard culture, were founded by Gen Xers.

Having a great work/life balance within your company culture is a great way to attract new employees, particularly if you work within a start up or in a tech company. But even if you work in a different or more traditional industry, work/life balance is important as well.

The 28 top rated companies for work/life balance included leaders in the world of banking and credit unions, biotech and pharmaceutical companies, telecommunications services, and investment banking. This goes to show that it is the exceptions that make the rules, and that any company within any industry has the choice to prioritize and promote a good work/life balance.

The top 28 companies:

1. Ultimate Software
= 2. SAP
= 2. Nokia
= 3. Adobe
= 3. Paylocity
= 3. Clorox
= 3. Workday
= 3. NetApp
= 3. LinkedIn
= 4. Sales force
= 4. Intuit
= 4. Autodesk
= 4. Cisco Sustems
= 4. CA Technologies
= 4. Kronos
= 4. HP Inc.
= 4. Thomson Reutter
= 4. Expedia
= 5. Capital One
= 5. Illumina
= 5. Bayer
= 5. Red Hat
= 5. Infor
= 5. Siemens
= 5. American Express
= 5. Airbnb
= 5. Edward Jones
= 5. EMC (Dell)

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Author: Alice Corner

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