Colgate-Polmolive #1: Best Companies For Work-Life Balance

 Kathryn Dill Forbes Staff
Kathryn Dill Forbes Staff

As Americans in many industries increasingly work longer hours than previous generations and technology continues to facilitate the seepage of work life into home life, companies that prioritize their employees’ work-life balance become increasingly attractive.

To determine where someone who wants a challenging career and a thriving personal life might find an employer who shares those goals, Forbes turned to job search and company review site to identify some of the best companies for work-life balance.

The companies on this list have at least 100 employee reviews on Indeed and hire primarily full-time workers. The list does not include government or military organizations, colleges and universities, nonprofits, or staffing agencies.

“Creating work-life balance in a company is a choice,” said Paul D’Arcy, senior vice president at Indeed. “It’s not a luxury that comes with one industry or one type of business model.”

The 25 companies on this list come from a variety of industries and offer a wide range of careers. D’Arcy notes that organizations of varying profitability and different types of workforces all made the list “because of the culture they’ve built.”

At the top of the list for the third year in a row is Colgate-Palmolive. The company’s career page touts its commitment to “encouraging a healthy balance between work and personal responsibilities” and considerations like nearby childcare centers; emergency in-home care for dependents; tuition assistance; health, legal, and financial counseling services; and relocation assistance feature prominently in an outline of employee compensation and benefits.

D’Arcy says when evaluating a company’s work-life balance provisions, it’s important to consider how the company is choosing to emphasize employee’s home lives.

“It does vary. I think clearly the amount of work you have to do and hours you’re expected to be in the office is one dimension,” said D’Arcy. “The biggest change we see happening is a focus where possible on flexibility in the workforce. Flexibility is rising up the ranks. If you ask people what’s important, number one is pay, number two is location, so basically your commute, and number three is flexibility–ahead of benefits.”

Additionally, he added, the availability of freelance and contract work has made employees more aware of the professional alternatives to spending 60 hours per week at an office job.

“The rise of flexible alternatives through the on-demand economy is also putting pressure on this. People have other types of work they can do to protect their time.”

Perennial east coast grocery favorite Wegman’s comes in second on the list, followed by Coldwell Banker and H&R Block. Southwest Airlines makes the list at number 13, particularly impressive, says D’Arcy, in an industry that “doesn’t always drive a lot of loyalty from employees.”

“I’m always surprised by organizations like Costco being on the list,” said D’Arcy. “It’s impressive to get such great reviews from employees without the kinds of things that make working at a place like Google spectacular.”

(The search giant makes the list at number five.)

“Work-life balance is really connected to the culture of an organization,” said D’Arcy. “It’s one of the things that takes the longest time for an organization to make progress on. Organizations often need to do herculean things to shift and evolve their culture–there’s no quick fixes for organizations that don’t have great work-life balance today.”

In pictures: The 25 Best Companies For Work-Life Balance

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