How We Picked Them

Johan Smith, left, and Palmer West, founders of technical-apparel brand Aether, in their Los Angeles showroom

Johan Smith, left, and Palmer West, founders of technical-apparel brand Aether, in their Los Angeles showroom     Photo: Peter Yang

The yearlong selection ­process for Outside’s Best Places to Work began with outreach, supported by the Outdoor Industry ­Association (outdoorindustry.org), in which we got the word out to ­eligible applicants: nonprofit and for-profit ­organizations with at least 15 employees working in the United States. Our ­research partner, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania–based Best Companies Group (bestcompaniesgroup.com), then sent registrants employer questionnaires and confidential employee-satisfaction surveys to collect information about benefits, compensation, policies, job satisfaction, environmental initiatives, and ­community-service programs. Results were analyzed by Best Companies Group ­experts, who selected the 50 companies, ranking them according to which best-­enabled employees to balance productivity with an active and socially and ecologically conscious lifestyle.

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