35. Intrepid Travel

Travel operator

LOCATION: Santa Rosa, CA
BEST PERKS: Travel, Fitness, Community & environmental support
YES! intrepidtravel.com

Intrepid takes more than 100,000 travelers to over 100 countries worldwide each year. We employ more than 1,000 staff and have offices in 25 countries around the globe. Intrepid’s philosophy has stayed the same over the past 21 years: to provide the best-value small-group adventures in the world. Despite the company’s global expansion, Intrepid Travel remains independently owned. Our travelers get the chance to meet local people and really get to know their culture firsthand. They contribute directly to local economies and help develop cross-cultural understanding. In other words, Intrepid travelers enjoy real life experiences. In 2010, we became a carbon-neutral company.

Our employees feel like they are making a difference every day. Our team is extremely passionate about our style of travel, and they love to share their experiences with fellow colleagues and clients. We are actively involved with local projects and support the work of our charitable partners. We have a motivated team that is unashamedly proud of what we do—and best of all, we have fun doing it. As we like to say, “There is more to work than the job you do.” Also, we are a pet-friendly office, and our office dog, Jake, is loved by everyone. He brings a lot of playfulness and fun to each department he goes around to visit each morning.

Performance-based bonuses are offered annually based on individual performance and that of the local business. All staff are eligible to earn up to an average of 10 percent of their annual salary. In addition, our company runs short-term incentives throughout the year to stimulate new projects. Staff can earn extra time off, free holidays, and gift cards. New staff are sent on one of our holidays as an induction trip free of charge, including flights. They can also receive free trips from sales-based incentives and long service and can also take 75 percent off any trip at any time, including 50 percent discounts for traveling partners, friends, and family. Our annual awards are the highlight of the year for most staff. These awards recognize those individuals who show exceptional support of our core values and provide the highest level of customer service, internally and externally. Prizes are awarded to each category. Also, every Friday night we have happy-hour drinks in the office, which gives employees a chance to wind down, chat with co-workers from other departments, and get ready for the weekend.

We have a covered bike rack by the front steps of the office to encourage bike commuting, with shower facilities on-site, and we encourage staff to work out during their lunch breaks. Our Stay Active program offers $250 to every employee for any activity that will raise their heartbeats. We have a company softball team that practices once a week in the summer, and has a weekly game as well. Uniforms, joining fees, and equipment are provided by the company.

We allow workers to arrive and leave early, others can work at home on some days to avoid long commutes, and others can shift their days to be able to enjoy three-day weekends. Employees can also earn two months’ paid time off for serving ten years in the company. We offer an extra day off per month for managers who tend to stay longer than their normal hours. This “Rostered Day Off” must be taken that month and is intended to give them time to pursue their interests outside of work.

We encourage all employees to dedicate at least one day a year to support a local project of their choice. This is treated as paid time off. We are active supporters of St. Anthony’s Foundation in San Francisco. We donate employees’ time working at the mission, and deliver our excess supplies of sleeping bags, as well as the results of our ongoing food and clothing drives. We also donate trips to their annual fundraising auctions. In addition, we are supporters of the Bay Area Wilderness Trust, the Redwoods Stewards, and the San Francisco National Seashore committee.

We operate a strict recycling program, and our “Green Team” monitors our monthly use of resources, including utilities, office supplies, and work-related travel, and are constantly aiming to reduce our carbon footprint. We have also removed any nonessential equipment. For example, we removed all personal printers and reduced our total number of printers and photocopiers to one unit. We also removed other energy-using units, such as refrigerators and Coke and vending machines.

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