Get the Balance Right! The Top-Rated Companies for Work/Life Balance in 2018

Top-Rated Workplaces: Best Work/Life Balance

If working through lunch and sending midnight emails are the norm for you, the idea of achieving work/life balance may seem like a pipe dream. But for many employees today, it is increasingly important to create a greater sense of harmony between their professional careers and their personal interests.

In fact, a survey by Deloitte found that if salary is taken out of the equation, Millennials in particular name work/life balance as the most important determining factor when they’re considering job opportunities.

A more balanced style of working can also benefit employers. Overworked employees are more likely to suffer from mental and physical health problems, which in turn impacts productivity, increases turnover and drives up insurance costs. Aware of this, some companies are offering more generous parental leave packages, flexible work hours and remote working opportunities.

We wanted to learn more about which companies are taking the lead when it comes to work/life balance, so our data science team analyzed Indeed’s 72 million ratings and reviews to identify which companies receive the highest ratings for helping employees achieve a healthy balance between the personal and professional. Here’s what we found.

Real estate giant Keller Williams leads a range of companies from multiple industries

Our rankings are striking for the breadth of industries represented—they include tech, healthcare, banking, sports gear, pharmaceuticals, aerospace, and consumer goods firms. However it is real estate giant Keller Williams that places first.

Top rated companies for work/life balance

The takeaway? Awareness of the importance of work/life balance isn’t just restricted to a few hot companies in the tech industry, even if those are the ones which receive the most media coverage. Organizations across the country are putting serious effort into empowering their employees to successfully navigate work responsibilities, personal commitments and leisure time.

The top two companies in our ranking (Keller Williams and Coldwell Banker) are real estate firms, while another real estate company claims the number 7 spot (Century 21). This underscores the point that work/life balance isn’t some new trend. Real estate agents work to no set schedule and were setting their own hours long before the concept of flexible work became a trending topic in conversations about the labor market.

Another company which is implementing exceptional family-friendly and flexible work policies is sports apparel firm Nike (#8). This iconic brand may be in a very different line of business from Keller Williams, but it offers paid sabbaticals and discounts on fitness programs to boost work/life balance.

Then American Express (#11), which in 2017 not only upped its paid parental leave to at least 20 weeks for full time and part time employees, but also began offering employees free 24/7 access to lactation consultants, while covering breast milk shipping costs for mothers traveling on business.

And while tech firms may not have the monopoly on work/life balance, they do often create innovative solutions to support employees. Third place Cisco offers flexible work and a “fun fund” to support celebrations and entertaining activities. Not only that, but birthdays are a day off for employees. Fifth place Google provides new mothers with paid leave of up to 22 weeks; fathers and adoptive parents receive between 7-12 weeks.

Meanwhile, Dell (#13) has taken flexibility to heart. In 2016, an impressive 25% of employees either worked full-time or part-time from home, while the company planned to increase this to 50% by 2020. The firm also touts the fiscal and environmental benefits of this policy—not only does it save money on office space, but as fewer employees spend time in traffic it cuts down on emissions.

So what are employees saying about the top companies on our list? Keep reading to find out.

The best of the best: what makes the top five companies stand out

1. Keller Williams Realty

Founded: 1983
HQ: Austin, Texas
No. of Employees: 10,000+

With about 900 offices and 139,000 agents around the world, Keller Williams is the largest real estate franchise by agent count. The company is known for its profit-sharing system, its focus on training and—of course—the work/life balance employees are able to achieve.

“As an individual contractor you determine your work day,” says one employee, who also comments on the company’s training programs. “Each day offers learning and continuing education about culture and opportunities.”

There is complete flexibility in your schedule and unlimited earnings potential,” adds another agent.

2. Coldwell Banker

Founded: 1906
HQ: Madison, New Jersey
No. of Employees: 10,000+

Another real estate powerhouse, Coldwell Banker has more than 90,000 agents worldwide and boasts a strong record of social responsibility.

And in a world where employees are increasingly expected to stay connected at all hours, this company bucks the trend.

One employee describes working for Coldwell Banker as “not the type of work you need to take home with you.” She adds, “if real estate isn’t your passion it won’t drain you of your desire to pursue whatever is.”

“One of the things that I like about working here is flexibility,” another employee adds. “I get the chance to work from home at least once a week. And that makes a difference.”

3. Cisco

Founded: 1984
HQ: San Jose, California
No. of Employees: 10,000+

An IT networking and telecom giant, Cisco is a household name, in part because of its popular Human Network campaign.

In addition to praising the company’s work/life balance efforts, employees have great things to say about their managers, who can play a large role in encouraging employees to take time off or participate in flexible work programs, for example.

“My manager and team were amazing and I got nothing but support from them on the programs I wanted to launch,” one employee says. “The work/life balance was unlike any other company I’ve been at.”

Another employee shares how the company’s policies deeply impacted her family life.

“Cisco is an excellent company to maintain work life balance. I worked most of the time from home and being a single mom it helped [me] to raise my kids.”

4. Kaiser Permanente

Founded: 1945
HQ: Oakland, California
No. of Employees: 10,000+

Kaiser Permanente is the largest managed care company in the US, so it should come as no surprise that the company is also great at caring for its employees.

“I only worked at Kaiser Permanente for 3 months, but in those 3 months I could see why they are a leader in healthcare management,” said one employee. “They take good care of their employees, encourage a healthy work/life balance, and encourage professional growth.”

The company’s focus on good health and a balanced lifestyle seem to go hand-in-hand. “They had health initiatives that showed that they cared about their employees,” another employee pointed out. “Kaiser was also flexible around doctor visits, vacations and overall time, leading to a great work/life balance.”

5. Google

Founded: 1998
HQ: Mountain View, California
No. of Employees: 10,000+

The world’s most popular search engine is also known for giving its employees a host of workplace perks (think free food, fitness classes and celebrity speakers). But sometimes a demanding work schedule is the price you pay for an amazing workplace. Fortunately, this doesn’t seem to be the case with Google.

According to employees, Google promotes a positive work/life balance, but whether this actually translates to every employee lately depends on each employee’s manager.

One employee notes, “the manager you work with is key to your work/life balance and overall satisfaction at the company, so vet your potential direct managers well.”

Top rated workplaces