You Work Hard and Play Harder

Best jobs that offer pay to play

Aug 3, 2011
Outside Magazine

   Photo: TrailSource/Flickr

“Come here if you want to have a life,” says Angie Adams, an environmental planner at Environmental Management and Planning Solutions (#2), a consulting firm where staffers take advantage of flexible hours to ski in the morning or go horseback riding in the after­noon. Most of the businesses on our list ­offer something akin to summer or “powder” hours, but if you’re someone who, say, ­fanatically checks the surf report, you might be happiest in an office where playtime is ingrained. Take Smith Optics (#32), where staffers get a 2.5-hour lunch once a week to ski or bike, receive a $1,000 annual credit for equipment purchases, and have access to a gear room outfitted with tools and workbenches. Action-sports watch brand Nixon (#46) maintains a stash of surfboards and skateboards for employees and hosts company dawn-patrol sessions several times a summer. At River Design Group (#22), an engineering firm that specializes in dam removal and river restoration, there are steelhead days for midweek casting during times when rivers are choked with fish but not other anglers. Then there’s Santa Cruz Bicycles (#27), where a ride-hard ethos plus world-class mountain-bike trails right out the back door equals serious pressure to saddle up. “Our ­engineers are mighty good at 3-D product design, but they are riders first and foremost,” they boasted in their Best Places to Work application. “Our builders can rail dirt better than most. Our painter can catch more air than you can.”

More at Outside

Elsewhere on the Web

Not Now

What You Missed

Our most important headlines, sent to you every weekday.

Thank you!