The 100 Best Places to Work: 100-76
Outside's 100 Best Places to Work
For our 2013 list of the best places to work in the United States, free ski passes, unlimited vacation time, and exotic trips are just the tip of the iceberg. We found a staggering number of companies that understand the road to success depends on a work-life balance; a healthy, active staff; and a willingness to give back. The best news? Narrowing it down to 100 was the hardest part.
Already know exactly what you’re looking for? This year we’ve also highlighted some of the companies with the best perks, making it easier to meet your match.
Warning: Reading this list from your sad little cubicle will cause you to pack your belongings and kiss those fluorescent lights goodbye. —Alison Kelman
100. Nei-Turner Media Group, Inc.
Location: Williams Bay, Wisconsin
Number of Employees: 15
Digs: A renovated church a few miles outside of Lake Geneva houses the company’s headquarters.
Culture: Standing boldly with print, Nei-Turner publishes several local magazines and other special publications promoting tourism boards and special events. The lakeside village they call home has over 20 miles of shoreline—perfect for mid-morning company walks or team-building ziplining at Lake Geneva Canopy Tours.
Giving Back: Nei-Turner raises money at their annual Beer & Spirits event for the local Geneva Lake Water Safety Patrol, in addition to collecting canned goods for the River Food Pantry and hosting a blood drive for the American Red Cross.
Sweet Perk: In lieu of the dreaded company Christmas party, the office takes an overnight trip to a spa.
Hiring: Yes! Digital and Social Media Coordinator ntmediagroup.com
99. Big Agnes
Location: Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Number of Employees: 37
Digs: A funky red Victorian house with views of Howelsen Hill, the local ski resort
Culture: Big Agnes’s innovative water-repellent down sleeping bags and lightweight tents and pads have won them some of the highest awards in the industry. Considering that employees spend their lunch breaks on top of mountains, their expertise comes as no surprise.
Giving Back: The company supports Leave No Trace with product donations and cash used in the field and for education programs.
Sweet Perk: Employees look forward to midweek company campouts to test product.
Hiring: Yes! Customer and Dealer Services Manager
Location: San Francisco, California
Number of Employees: 158
Digs: NatureBridge’s downtown office is light, open, and centrally located, but nothing beats the cool red roofs of the company’s lakeside Golden Gate campus.
Culture: NatureBridge provides hands-on environmental science programs in national parks for nearly 600 schools, including overnight science programs in Yosemite National Park, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Channel Islands National Park, and more. Hiking and backpacking are part of everyday responsibilities for national park staff; all workers get to participate in special professional development lunch sessions.
Giving Back: NatureBridge provides nearly $2 million annually in scholarships to students.
Sweet Perk: Full-time staff are eligible to apply for the Matt Baxter and Bishop-Marcus Award, which provides employees with funding to enhance their professional development and pursue a project of their choice.
Hiring: Yes! Field Science Educator, Educator Development Program
97. DryCase, LLC
Location: Wilmington, North Carolina
Number of Employees: 17
Digs: The garage doors of this retired power company building remain open nine months of the year, letting natural light and air waft in.
Culture: The makers of these waterproof, vacuum sealed electronic covers needed something to cover their gadgets while navigating white water or ripping the waves. They put them to good use outside on surf and bike outings during their flex time. Employees wrap up the week by taking turns to act as chef for weekly Friday cookouts.
Giving Back: Product donations go to student entrepreneur programs and local surf charities.
Sweet Perk: Management is known to go crabbing or spearfishing in the morning to bring fresh seafood lunch for the office.
Hiring: Yes! Outside Sales Rep, Part Time Summer Warehouse Staff
96. Wilderness Adventure at Eagle Landing
Location: New Castle, Virginia
Number of employees: 30
Digs: The main lodge, cabins, full ropes course and zip-line sit on 500 acres in the George Washington National Forest, near the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Culture: An adventure camp that grown-ups can join two, employees of Wilderness Adventure get in on three seasons of Virginia’s best hiking, biking, climbing and more, both on and off the clock.
Giving Back: Instructors pass on their outdoor knowledge and Leave No Trace ethics during their Local Adventure Youth Mentoring program
Sweet Perks: Every employee gets $300 per year towards race entry fees, as well as free running gear and cycling jerseys for when they toe the line.
Hiring: Yes! Full-time seasonal employees keep their benefits during the off-season, play all winter, and then return to a guaranteed job in the spring.
95. Two Rivers Marketing
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Number of Employees: 97
Digs: Built near the confluence of the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers, this renovated 1950s General Motors parts warehouse has retained an industrial feel.
Culture: The internal “online university” keeps new and veteran employees up to date on the latest B2B marketing skills. They have a fun side too: Associates who have been on the team a year or more display framed caricatures on their desks.
Giving Back: As part of their fundraising for Special Olympics Iowa, staff nominate an associate to rappel off of Des Moines’ 345-foot Financial Center.
Sweet Perk: On Amusement Park Day, Two Rivers pays admission fees to Des Moines’ Adventureland for employees and their families.
Hiring: Yes! Public Relations Writer, Marketing Insights Director, Media Business Lead, Multimedia/Videographer
94. Spectra Logic
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Number of Employees: 437
Digs: Employees often use company cruiser bikes to travel between campus buildings, which are decorated with brushed stainless steel and bright colors.
Culture: Spectra Logic provides tape and disk-based data backup for everyone from NASA to National Geographic. Staff take advantage of the campus volleyball court during monthly summer BBQs, battling it out for corporate domination.
Giving Back: Spectra Logic employees raised funds to build a rural village school in Laos through Room to Read, an organization that furthers primary education in Asia and Africa, in honor of a fellow employee that was killed in a bicycle accident.
Sweet Perk: Twice a week, Spectra’s CEO brings in his personal trainer to run free classes over lunch hour.
Hiring: Yes! Software Engineers, Director of Manufacturing, Enterprise Sales Representatives, Director of Human Resources, and more
93. First Green Bank
Location: Mount Dora, Florida
Number of Employees: 60
Digs: A koi ponds winds in and out of the platinum LEED certified building, which features a “green wall” festooned with plants.
Culture: Employees’ green ideas are strongly encouraged via their Mission Minded Award, given to the employee that has incorporated their sustainable mission into their everyday life. Staff members build team unity through events like 5Ks and paintball matches.
Giving Back: Employees volunteer at the community garden at South Lake Hospital; veggies produced there are given to local non-profits.
Sweet Perks: Workers can get a zero-percent interest rate on loans for fuel-efficient cars, solar panels, or sporting equipment over $1,000.
Hiring: Yes! Customer Service Representative (Ormand Beach)
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Number of Employees: 1,122
Digs: Open floor plans and 3D wall art are hallmarks of Clearlink’s offices, and the overall design of their call center in Orem, Utah earned the company the 2012 ENR Mountain States Best Project in Interior Design/Tenant Improvement.
Culture: Managing monster ad campaigns from companies like AT&T and Verizon is a demanding job. Clearlinkers relax with company-sponsored Ski Utah passes and daily tee times, as well as an annual retreat to Las Vegas.
Giving Back: Last year employees donated 8,650 lbs of clothing to Big Brother Big Sister and over 15,000 cans of food to the local food bank.
Sweet Perk: Every year, four top-performing employees earn an all-expense-paid, seven-day trip to anywhere in the world for them and a guest.
Hiring: Yes! Marketing, Finance/Operations/HR, Sales
91. BDO USA, LLP/Mikunda, Cottrell & Co.
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Number of Employees: 107
Digs: A building in Anchorage's Midtown district, close enough for an evening summer hike in the Front Range of the Chugach.
Culture: In between Bagel Wednesdays and Donut Fridays, the company provides audit, attest and financial statement preparation services throughout the state. It’s a typically high-stress line of work, so the company encourages staff to play outside with a community-events page, which posts information on various outdoor activities happening around town.
Giving Back: Once a month, employees are welcome to wear jeans on Fridays in exchange for a $5 donation to a local charity. The company matches the funds collected.
Sweet Perk: During tax season, the busiest part of the year, a masseuse is provided on site to help alleviate stress and promote overall well-being.
Hiring: Yes! Senior Associates
*Mikunda, Cottrell & Co. is now owned by BDO USA, LLP
90. Aspen Skiing Company
Location: Aspen, Colorado
Number of Employees: 919
Digs: Employees can use cruiser bikes to get to the different offices clusters at each of the company’s four mountains.
Culture: The operators of four world-class ski mountains—Aspen, Snowmass, Buttermilk, and Aspen Highlands—have attracted skiers and snowboarders from around the world for 60 years. Weekly themed ski days, dogs in the office, and discount gear keep staff and guests engaged and happy.
Giving Back: Each year the employee-run Environment Foundation donates more than $200,000 to projects protecting the local environment.
Sweet Perk: To kick off the season, employees learn about new products available to guests while chowing down and listening to live music by a bonfire on top of the mountain.
Hiring: Yes! Mountain Operations, Hospitality
89. Mercury Payment Systems
Location: Durango, Colorado
Number of Employees: 705
Digs: In 2014 MPS will move from their current office park to their own 58-acre Gold LEED certified Mercury Village on the Animas River.
Culture: This payment processing company works with resellers and developers to create customized, integrated point-of-sale solutions. The team-building budget brings staff together on rafting, skiing, and ziplining trips, while the seven-mile Animas River Trail is perfect for a midday getaway.
Giving Back: Last year, employees volunteered over 7,100 hours during normal work time through the Employee Volunteer Program.
Sweet Perk: Weekly chair massages and chiropractic adjustments melt away stress.
Hiring: Yes! Sales, IT, Customer Support (Denver and Durango)
88. Industrial Revolution, Inc.
Location: Tukwila, Washington
Number of Employees: 21
Digs: The office, warehouse and manufacturing space are located in the heart of the Puget Sound region.
Culture: Conservation is king at this privately owned manufacturing group, which produces top-shelf knives and outdoor equipment . Employees take turns monitoring the company’s green practices, which includes a lunchroom equipped with all recyclable materials.
Giving Back: The outdoors support Industrial Revolutions, and they support the outdoors by giving to Leave No Trace, Big City Mountaineers, Pacific Crest Trail Association, and the Pacific Science Center
Sweet Perk: Each employee gets a yearly $5,000 education allowance.
Hiring: Yes! Customer Service Specialist, Operations Staff (Warehouse/Manufacturing)
87. OCSC Sailing
Location: Berkeley, California
Number of Employees: 65
Digs: A 50-yacht fleet and clubhouse with views of the Golden Gate Bridge from the San Francisco Bay.
Culture: At this sailing school and adventure-travel company, staff break up their voyages with company lectures and fitness classes. If the perfect mix of city and sea isn’t enough, staff for OCSC Adventures lead trips and safaris as far as Tanzania, Antarctica, and Turkey.
Giving Back: Five percent of the company’s gross Adventure Travel income goes to WILD AID, an organization committed to ending the illegal wildlife trade.
Sweet Perk: Staff take advantage of free sailing lessons and access to the full fleet, as well as a designated stipend for international vacations.
Hiring: Yes! Sales/Management, Customer Service Representative, Yacht Service Tech
Location: Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Number of Employees: 93
Digs: This refurbished airport turned Smartwool headquarters features welcoming, "mountain modern" furniture, a ping pong table. and low-energy lighting, heating, and cooling systems.
Culture: It’s in the company’s best interest to get employees familiar with their technical merino outdoor apparel, so staff enjoy free ski passes or an “activity pass” to the fitness pursuit of their choice. Staff and teams who exemplify the company’s value of affecting positive change in the world are nominated to win the annual SmartWool Pinnacle Award, which comes with a $1,000 cash prize.
Giving Back: The company community gardens produces food for local families in need.
Sweet Perk: During the summer, employees leave work at 3 p.m. on Fridays for a two-hour bike ride, followed by happy hour at a local joint.
Hiring: Yes! Representatives (Field Service)
85. Adventure Life
Location: Missoula, Montana
Number of Employees: 19
Digs: The company’s headquarters sports a large and frequently used break room, which hosts pilates and other group workouts.
Culture: Staff at this eco-travel company crushed it in Missoula’s Commuter Challenge two years in a row by sustainably commuting to work more than any other small business in town. The company sends employees to scout out trips as far away as Brazil, Alaska, and the Arctic.
Giving Back: The Adventure Life Grant Program gives back $10K annually to grassroot projects in countries Adventure Life visits.
Sweet Perk: The company’s Pursue Your Passion reimbursement gives back 50% of costs spent on race entries, gym memberships, or other activities.
Hiring: Yes! Bookkeeping Assistant
84. Leisure Trends Group
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Number of Employees: 51
Digs: Situated right off Boulder Creek and the nearby bike path, this office on stilts is easily accessible to bikers, runners, and the occasional kayaker commuter.
Culture: LTG helps brands like Mountain Hardwear, Columbia Sportswear, Kelty and strategize sales through consumer research, retail marketing intelligence, and customer relationship marketing services. Pro-deals, office ski passes, and subsidized Boulder EcoPasses to the regional bus system guarantee staff can enjoy all Boulder has to offer.
Giving Back: LTG matches an employee’s individual donation or cash equivalent of volunteer time up to $100.
Sweet Perk: Employees can earn or compete for the Industry Gear Prize Closet, a shopping spree in the office trade closet, containing items ranging from hats and sunglasses to backpacks and tents.
Hiring: Yes! Senior Research Analyst, SQL Database Analyst, Sales and Marketing Assistant, and Fall interns
83. Europa Sports Products
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
Number of Employees: 370
Digs: The highlight of the office is a 3,000-square-foot gym is bulging with a variety of strength training equipment, including a powerlifting area and tractor tires.
Culture: When they’re not pushing paper, these national distributors of sports are busy getting ripped. Among the benefits: a full-time fitness and wellness coordinator who is a former strength coach for the Charlotte Hornets.
Giving Back: Europa gives time and support to the Walk for Diabetes Awareness, Toys for Tots, and the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina.
Sweet Perk: The company holds raffles for free tickets to every home NFL and NBA game.
Hiring: Yes! Application Development Analyst, Brand Manager, Functional Fitness Sales Consultant, National Accounts Manager, Web Data Specialist, and more
82. Backbone Media
Location: Carbondale, Colorado
Number of Employees: 27
Digs: The highlight of Backbone’s open and airy office lies in the basement gear room, stocked floor to ceiling with the latest and greatest gear and apparel from Backbone's 50-plus client brands.
Culture: As the leaders in marketing for outdoor companies and tourism destinations around the world, this year’s staff press trips include cat skiing in British Columbia, ski touring in Italy, and trail running in the Wasatch. Besides Carbondale, the company has offices in Denver and Wyoming.
Giving Back: Backbone provides pro bono work for Big City Mountaineers, Roaring Fork Conservancy, and Protect Our Winters, among others.
Sweet Perk: After three years of employment, employees receive $500 to use towards the purchase of any of their clients' products.
Hiring: Yes! Interns
81. Pacific Market International
Location: Seattle, Washington
Number of Employees: 98 in the U.S., plus another 90 internationally
Digs: The company’s fourth-floor office looks out over Elliott Bay and across to the Olympic Mountain Range.
Culture: These manufactures of the classic Stanley thermos have been going green for over 25 years. Twice-weekly fruit delivery and annual participation in bike to work month (along with the rest of the year) bolster their efforts.
Giving Back: PMI gives the greater of $50,000 or 1% of its net profits to organizations supporting children, education, and the environment.
Sweet Perk: The company enjoys quarterly outings around town, where the employees enjoy a suite at a Mariners game, food and drinks at a local bar, or ice cream served on the deck.
Hiring: Yes! Director of Sales
80. Butler, Shine, Stern and Partners
Location: Sausalito, California
Number of Employees: 150
Digs: The company’s open office space was built in an old shipyard, and overlooks the boats and harbor of Richardson Bay.
Culture: The advertising experts at Butler, Shine, Stern and Partners never shy away from a challenge, professional or athletic. The company has breathed fresh air into brands like Mini Cooper and Columbia Sportswear, and sponsors a staff Escape From Alcatraz triathlon team. When employees feel like getting out on the water, they can rent kayaks from a local outfitter on the company’s dime.
Giving Back: In addition to donating presents and basic needs to local families during the holidays, BSSP does pro bono work for Raise the River the Marin County Bike Coalition, and more.
Sweet Perk: Their Indian Summer Concert series from August to October features free music, food and beer trucks in the company parking lot.
Hiring: Yes! Integrated Media Supervisor
79. SRAM, LLC
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Number of Employees: 540
Digs: A bike test track runs through the engineering and product management function areas, located on the top floor of this loft-style building in Lincoln Park.
Culture: SRAM’s team builds some of the highest-quality bike components on the market, and most employees get to work on two wheels. The company provides workers with amenities like showers and tuning benches for quick repairs.
Giving Back: SRAM is an affiliate of World Bicycle Relief, a not-for-profit that has distributed 145,960 bicycles in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Sweet Perk: To get experience with the global team, employees are often sent to one of SRAM’s 16 worldwide locations.
Hiring: Yes! Design Engineer, Advanced Product Quality Engineer, CAD Technician, and more.
78. Tough Mudder
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Number of Employees: 156
Digs: The new downtown office space will include an obstacle design lab and a media room for content development.
Culture: Mental grit, strength, and camaraderie are essential for this hit obstacle race series, and the values extend to the staff. Employees can compete in an annual business plan contest to win prize money for their own entrepreneurial ideas and Tough Mudder University, their internal professional development program, keeps them up to date.
Giving Back: Tough Mudder has raised $5.6 million dollars on behalf of the Wounded Warrior Project.
Sweet Perk: How does a whopping 25 days of vacation per year, plus holidays, sound?
Hiring: Yes! Director of Technology, Race Director, Business Analyst, and more
77. Rocky Mountain Institute
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Number of Employees: 71
Digs: The Boulder office has industrial touches, a large central kitchen, and garage door that opens to a back patio complete with cafe-style seating.
Culture: The nonprofit RMI researches and consults with businesses on how to pull away from their reliance on coal and oil. No surprise, then, that this is one of the greenest offices you’ll find. Healthy lunches are provided daily, and staff at the Snowmass office run, ski, and hike on the 900-acre land conservancy they call home.
Giving Back: Outside of its work, RMI doesn’t have any charity programs, though it encourages employees to volunteer on their own time.
Sweet Perk: The employee housing adjacent to the Snowmass office enables employees visiting from Boulder to stay the weekend and ski or hike.
Hiring: Yes! Consultant (Electricity/Solar Focus), Research Librarian, Mechanical Engineer Consultant
76. C1S Group, Inc.
Location: Dallas, Texas
Number of Employees: 16
Digs: Inside, project artwork lines the walls. Outside, a basketball net makes it easy for staff to break for a pick-up game.
Culture: In between re-purposing existing square footage to maximize production for their industrial clients, staff make time for crawfish boils, volunteer days, and training time for the Dallas Marathon.
Giving Back: As part of the Center for Green Schools’ Green Apple Day of Service, C1S put on a Garden Clean-Up Day for a local elementary school. The kids learn how to work compost piles, plant seeds, and talk about recycling and pollution.
Sweet Perk: Employees get access to the company travel service for personal vacation planning.
Hiring: Yes! Sr. Mechanical Engineer, Mechanical Designer, and Construction Manager