The Best Places to Work: 2016
Our list of 100 finalists showcases companies that make employee health and happiness a point of pride
1. Forum Phi (Aspen, Colorado)
Company powder days, quarterly “Forum Fridays,” and potential quarterly cash bonuses have become the norm at this Aspen-based architecture and interior design firm. Employees say mixing mountains and work gives the 25-person company the cutting edge when recruiting new talent. Once every quarter, employees vote on a Friday outdoor venture—hut trips, ski days, and rafting are all on the docket.
2. GroundFloor Media (Denver, Colorado)
Flexibility is the key for workers at this midsize public relations firm in Denver: employees work anytime, anywhere. Headquarters are in a refabricated warehouse downtown, near Coors Field. The offices are sprawled around the central collaborative space that doubles as a wet bar every Thursday when the company’s “beer club” brings in a new brew.
3. Southwest Michigan First (Kalamazoo, Michigan)
It’s family first at this Michigan economic development advising agency. CEO Ron Kitchens says that in the past year, the company has made a push to go green—an initiative pushed by the millennial employees who make up half the agency’s workforce. A new staff position was created for the sole purpose of making sure every employee uses their flextime and is able to maintain the balance between working and cheering at their kids’ sporting events or going fishing.
4. Ergodyne (St. Paul, Minnesota)
Ergodyne’s website jokes that the company was born in a small cabin in the Minnesotan woods and was conceived from “a little bit of guts and a pair of brass cojones.” The St. Paul–based company has grown to operating out of a retired brick-and-beam railroad depot with plenty of natural light. Company dress code? “Wear something.” Its mission? To create cool, comfortable, and tough safety workwear for those who need it to get the job done. Ergodyne has around 50 employees, who enjoy hot-dish cook-offs, tickets to sporting events, and at least one happy hour every quarter.
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5. Shine United (Madison, Wisconsin)
In the past five years, this Wisconsin-based advertising agency has shared more than $500,000 in profits with its employees through the company’s ShineShares program. The agency partnered with the University of Wisconsin’s oncology department to develop the name, logo, fliers, and pamphlets for a bike benefit designed to fund cancer research. Employees also get bagels every Wednesday, “Beer Thirty” on Thursdays, and Summer Fridays, a program that lets employees leave at noon.
6. TeamSnap (Boulder, Colorado)
Seventy-five percent of the 60-plus-person staff at this tech startup work remotely, and in the past year, management has invested in office equipment for them. The company’s sells time-management software that clubs and organizations use to streamline registration and build rosters for YAFL teams, plus intramural and office leagues. Once a year, the team gets together and hits the mountains of Colorado for an annual teambuilding session over Frisbee or a hike.
7. Causely (Lexington, Kentucky)
This software company leverages advertising and social media to create an online community of “do-gooders.” Checking in on Facebook at a gym or posting a picture of your meal and checking into your favorite restaurant triggers a donation in a tangible form: a gallon of water or a meal for a shelter pet. Company headquarters is joined to a CrossFit box, and employees have a plank challenge every day at 3 p.m. The 25-person company also hosts a regular TED Talk Tuesday: employees get together and watch a TED Talk, then talk about it together.
8. Development Counsellors International (New York, New York)
Economic development and tourism is the focus of this integrated marketing agency. The company focuses on five values: a passion for place, curiosity, shared talent, the pursuit of happiness, and the ability to keep promises. The company’s health and wellness benefits cover fitness classes for its 50-plus employees, and a profit-sharing model awards staffers part of the company’s earnings.
9. Uproar PR (Orlando, Florida)
The public relations firm has about 50 employees spread among four international office buildings with a few things employees find essential to their office culture. The kitchen areas stocked with great snacks (smoothies, Cheez-Its, and granola are always on hand). A “culture wall” is where employees show other employees who they are outside of the office. The firm also has a slight competitive edge with quarterly financial goals, but when the company hits the goal, employees are treated to a spa day or a mixology class and dinner.
10. Pellucid Analytics (Boulder, Colorado)
The founders of Pellucid Analytics aim to turn the nonstop-work reputation of Wall Street investment firms on its head. To do that, they created a software program that’s helping the industry change by helping stockbrokers create data-heavy presentations faster: what used to take eight hours should only take one with their software. Employees do this all in an open-office layout with big windows that face the Flatirons.
11. ReadyTalk (Denver, Colorado)
This communication company has pioneered an audio, video, and web conferencing system that allows businesses to telecommute seamlessly. The company office is between the University of Colorado, the South Platte River, and Coors Field, which means there are plenty of activities and good restaurants nearby. The company offers tuition reimbursement and a nine-month series of professional training that helps good employees advance within the company.
12. GeoEx (San Francisco, California)
Located in San Francisco’s Presidio area, GeoEx is a travel agency that specializes in sending clients on customized trips into hard-to-reach corners of the world—and does the same for its 55 employees. Workers are sent each year on a “familiarization trip,” a two- or three-week venture to check out where their clients travel. The company also hosts yoga classes at the office and outings to new museums in San Francisco.
13. The Trade Desk (Ventura, California)
The Trade Desk is an advertising technology firm based in Ventura, California. The company offers brands and agencies a unique toolkit to deliver data driven advertising across desktop, mobile, audio, TV, and video campaigns. The Trade Desk has free happy hours, lunches, snacks, and surfing lessons for employees who visit the headquarters, as well as offices across the globe.
14. Charles Cunniffe Architects (Aspen, Colorado)
From the conference room of this architecture firm, clients and the company’s roughly 20 employees can watch the grass green up in spring, leaves turn gold in fall, and snow blanket the slope of Aspen Mountain in winter. It’s a good thing the company has a gear storage area in the building and flextime for powder days and doctor’s appointments.
15. Zen Planner (Denver, Colorado)
Staffers at ZenPlanner are expected to keep their minds active, and management ensures that by facilitating company activities. Last year, for example, the software company sent employees to climb two of Colorado’s 14ers together. The 80-plus employees can work out in the newly remodeled office gym that hosts yoga, CrossFit, Zumba, and mediation classes throughout the week.
16. The Frontier Project (Richmond, Virginia)
This Virginia consulting firm helps other companies rebrand and reinvent themselves from within. The Frontier Project believes it must stay true to the business practices it teaches and tries to treat its own employees well. The firm offers unlimited vacation time, paid parental leave, and personal skill-building workshops.
17. Realeflow (Parma Heights, Ohio)
This Ohio-based software company created a niche real-estate investment program that helps Realtors find, manage, and sell real estate. Everyone here has a flexible work schedule and half-day Fridays. The company offers an incentive for employee longevity: after six years, employees get a paid sabbatical equivalent to three more paid weeks off.
18. Inntopia (Stowe, Vermont)
This Vermont-based software company recently moved into a new office at an old mill and doubled its staff to about 60 in the past year to fill in the new space. The company books trips and creates vacation packages from the heart of some good New England terrain.
19. Hanson Dodge Creative (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
This Milwaukee-based marketing company focuses on working with companies in the outdoor space, but it also helps coordinate a weeklong fundraising campaign for the local United Way in which the company president participates in a musical pie-in-the-face contest. The company’s 65 employees get together for “Old-Fashioned Fridays” to enjoy Milwaukee’s trademark drink.
20. Nemo Design (Portland, Oregon)
Nemo Design formed when the company founders wanted to create their perfect workplace culture. (Nemo is Latin for “no one.”) The firm, which designs and crafts ads for companies looking for a pivot or change into a different market, has an employee retention rate above 70 percent. Employees get a company-sponsored season ski pass and time out of the office to shred, ride, or run.
21. Cloud 9 Living (Broomfield, Colorado)
In the past year, this sales company that sells “experience gifts” implemented a paid-time-off volunteer program in which employees get two days a year to maintain trails, teach kids to read, or help out at the charity of their choice. Employees also receive quarterly “Experience Days,” when they get time off to ski, whitewater raft, or hit the ATV track.
22. Mountain Hub (Park City, Utah)
This tech startup of 18 employees, formerly called Avatech, created an app that uses crowdsourced information about hazards like avalanches or unstable terrain outdoors from hikers, bikers, and skiers in the field. The Utah office lets dogs roam the workplace and provides ski passes, health benefits, and flexible office hours.
23. Evoke at Entrada (Santa Clara, Utah)
This Utah-based wilderness therapy institute leads groups of clients into the outdoors for overnight, therapeutic adventures. The company tries to keep the ratio at one person to two clients while in the field in an attempt to stave off workload burnout. After one year, field Instructors earn a 401k plan and bonuses every six shifts. Plus, staffers are encouraged to submit proposals for funding for professional development.
24. Ecology Project International (Missoula, Montana)
Headquartered an arrow shot from the Clark Fork River, Ecology Project International promotes conservation efforts worldwide. Its employees can work remotely for three months at EPI’s various field sites in Costa Rica, Baja, the Galapagos Islands, Belize, or Yellowstone National Park. The company also keeps a stash of inner tubes in the basement for sporadic meetings on the river.
25. Avid4 Adventure (Boulder, Colorado)
Employees at Avid4Adventure design and operate summer camps for kids in Colorado and California. Employees received new benefits this past year, including adoption assistance, lenience and support for workers traveling home for family emergencies, and help with the kennel fee when employees travel without their dogs.
26. Zozi (San Francisco, California)
Zozi powers the world's experiences through an online reservation, payment, and customer management software used by thousands of activity businesses. Perks include cold brew coffee on tap, company bikes, a dog-friendly office, and a yearly $1,600 fund for purchasing tours and activities.
27. Room 214 (Boulder, Colorado)
Dogs roam the office at this ad agency, and the sound of the pinball machine can be heard inside this social media and digital marketing firm’s headquarters. But the company doesn’t like to keep its 32 employees cooped up at their desks. They have “forced fun” events during the workday that usually involve beer, a movie, or a board game.
28. Apto (Denver, Colorado)
The founder of Apto set out to design an efficient way to streamline the commercial real estate business. The company uses cloud-based software designed to make it easier to list and sell properties. The company has grown to 60 employees since its launch in 2012. Perks include stock options and weekly happy hours.
29. SlideBelts (Sacramento, California)
This belt company has redesigned and refined the concept of the ratchet belt—one without holes—by using teeth on the belt’s underside and a buckle that locks into the teeth. The company’s 20-plus employees enjoy a 35-hour workweek, product discounts, a chance at spinning the company “money wheel” when they produce forward-thinking ideas. Employees can win up to $100 a spin.
30. N2 Publishing (Wilmington, North Carolina)
In the past year, this North Carolina–based publisher hired a full-time nutritionist and sports therapist and started a wellness program full of fitness challenges (for example, “Can you really cut out the sugar?”). “Function over flash” is the motto in the bare-bones office—the company says it likes to spend money on things that matter instead of office furniture. This year, the company is donating $2 million to fight human trafficking.
31. RA Nelson (Vail, Colorado)
This construction company builds multimillion-dollar homes, affordable housing units, local parks, and high-alpine gardens in Colorado. Its 80 employees celebrate the end of each stage of construction with barbecues. The company also sponsors a local mountain bike team.
32. Wisetail (Bozeman, Montana)
The heads of this software company, founded in 2009, believe that being based in Montana gives them a competitive advantage in recruiting workers. The company offers it 30 employees wellness stipends to buy gear or join a gym, and there are trails right out the back door.
33. Carmichael Lynch (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
The rooftop of Carmichael Lynch is the company’s gathering point: weekly yoga sessions happen here, and a masseuse visits twice a month. In the past year, the company has created a certified wildlife habitat rooftop by adding a butterfly garden and distributed 100 butterfly kits to its employees.
34. Colle + McVoy (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Founded in the 1930s, this ad agency has reinvented its employee benefit program in the past decade. Offices are closed between Christmas and New Year’s Day, extensive maternity leave is the new norm, and employees enjoy flexible work schedules. The company regularly hosts lunches and parties, and employees can attend free fitness classes or enjoy a shiatsu massage.
35. Sterling-Rice Group (Boulder, Colorado)
This advertising and public relations company has a dedicated nap room and a spa room that features weekly massages. Headquarters are in the center of downtown Boulder and a 15-minute bike ride to the mountains. Groups of the company’s 111 employees are known to enjoy post-summit beers together.
36. TDA Boulder (Boulder, Colorado)
In the past year, this ad agency started a program where employees are encouraged to climb a Colorado 14er, snap a picture on the summit, and bring back the photo evidence. If they do, the company will donate $1,000 to a charity of their choice. TDA also helps fund personal and professional development stipends for yoga teacher certification, Spanish 201, or advanced Adobe Illustrator training.
37. Haberman (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Weekly produce deliveries, Wednesday yoga sessions, and pond hockey championships in winter are just a few of the perks of working at this 50-plus advertising firm. There’s also an organic garden—this year it produced 350 jars of salsa for employees and clients. The company is focused on positivity, whether that’s introducing a new organic food product, launching a new kind of health insurance plan, or encouraging its workers to practice humility.
38. Alaska Small Business Development Center (Anchorage, Alaska)
This 30-person nonprofit offers flexible hours, good health care, and great annual leave. Employees enjoy 13 paid holidays and 18 days of paid time off when they start with the company. The company operates within the university system, which means employees accrue more annual paid days off for every year they stay with the company.
39. BSW Wealth Partners (Boulder, Colorado)
This financial group help clients save and grow wealth. Employees are mentored toward reaching their personal goals, whether that’s climbing a mountain, skiing down one, or saving a certain sum. The snack cabinet is stocked, and winter means ski days. Employees also get paid time off for volunteer service, a chance for partial ownership in the company, and time for weekly meditation.
40. The Honest Kitchen (San Diego, California)
Pets are called “co-woofers” at this California-based pet food maker and vendor. Fifteen years ago, Lucy Postins was fed up with her dog being sick and decided to change its diet. That simple idea became a company that today churns out dog and cat food that’s safe enough for humans to eat. But the employees don’t have to turn to the food—the company keeps a supply of healthy snacks on hand and built a secret corridor that connects to a nearby brewery.
41. Nei-Turner Media Group (Williams Bay, Wisconsin)
Lake Geneva is known for its bluegill and walleye fishing and for local publication At the Lake, which highlights local community events. The Nei-Turner Media Group started this quarterly magazine about 20 years ago and has grown to creating tourism publications for other communities across the United States. Work hours change throughout the year—maybe a few less during winter—and employees are treated to the occasional free beer.
42. Go Ape (Frederick, Maryland)
This treetop adventure company has more than 15 high rope courses in the United States. Employees get free zip-lining anytime, performance-based bonuses, paid maternity or paternity leave, and free kombucha at the office.
43. G Adventures (Boston, Massachusetts)
This travel agency aims to contribute to the social good by sending clients on exotic vacations. The adventure travel company employs about 2,000 people around the world (22 in the United States) and hosts a series of merit-based camps, generally in the tropics, where top employees get to meet each other. After one year with the company, employees can take one subsidized trip per year to any of the places the travel company goes, including Kenya and Thailand.
44. StoneAge (Durango, Colorado)
This engineering and manufacturing company offers an employee stock ownership plan, which means hard work is rewarded with equity. Workers also enjoy full health benefits, cash profit-sharing bonuses, and a robust wellness program.
45. Dry Corp (Wilmington, North Carolina)
Dry Corp makes medical-grade waterproof cast covers, dry cases for cellphones, and submersible headphones. Just under 20 people work in an old warehouse turned office building. The office has a casual atmosphere and a basketball hoop out back. The company hosts a mandatory cookout every Friday with a rotating cooking roster. The company has regular team trivia nights at local bars and the occasional free beer at the office.
46. Bluetent (Carbondale, Colorado)
This Colorado-based digital marketing agency has attracted talented employees from Silicon Valley and keeps them around by offering a flexible schedule and maintaining a strict 40-hour workweek limit. The office is 20 minutes from four ski areas, and workers can mountain bike or fish at lunch. The company hosts a “Great Work” lunch once a month, where peers nominate their co-workers for a $100 prize.
47. Adaptive Sports Center (Crested Butte, Colorado)
This nonprofit mountain sports rehabilitation company tries to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities by enabling them to enjoy outdoor adventures. The company’s 15 full-time workers are treated to powder days and mountain biking days. The organization’s roughly 100 wintertime volunteers receive season passes and lockers at the local mountain if they volunteer one day a week during ski season.
48. SimplyHome (Asheville, North Carolina)
This technology company empowers the aging population and people with disabilities to live independently via in-home sensor-based alert systems. Management wants employees to be able to pursue their personal goals: last year, for example, one employee attempted the unsupported record on the Pacific Crest Trail and kept her job! The company also gathers everyone together for quarterly office get-togethers at local restaurants.
49. SheerID (Eugene, Oregon)
Oregon-based software company SheerID verifies the identities of online bargain hunters who use sites like Amazon. Desks at the office are made from repurposed doors, the company keeps lots of snacks around, and employees can work flexible hours or telecommute if they need to.
50. SportRx (San Diego, California)
This prescription sunglasses company is located on two major bike paths in San Diego. There’s a kegerator at the office with two beers on tap: an employee’s home brew and one from a local brewery. Lunch is provided daily, and employees get free swag from companies they work with.
51. Geocaching (Seattle, Washington)
Geocaching says it has more than 3 million active worldwide users searching for treasure in every country except North Korea. The 75 employees at company headquarters on Lake Union in Seattle wear shirts reading “I play where I work” and receive unlimited ski lift tickets, inflatable kayaks, and hiking equipment. Staff are required to get out of the office to go caching during work hours.
52. SummitCove (Keystone, Colorado)
Frustrated with the lack of prospects of finding a condo in the Colorado Rockies, the owners of SummitCove built their own property managing company and have become the largest independent group in Keystone Ski Resort. During peak season, its 75 employees (average age around 30) take weekend trips climbing, biking, and skiing around Lake Dillon. The company pays for English and Spanish lessons, believing that a bilingual team offers better services overall.
53. BCF Agency (Virginia Beach, Virginia)
This marketing and communications ad agency works with hotels and resorts to create brands and business metrics for national clients. Its 50 employees are hired to be “professional tourists,” meaning they’re encouraged to travel with generous paid time off. The agency holds Horror Movie Mondays, Easter egg hunts, office derby races, pumpkin carving contests, and piñata whacking.
54. Ecotone (Forest Hill, Maryland)
Ecotone offers construction services for stormwater facilities and restoration of degraded streams, wetlands, and forests across the United States. Its 52 employees compose a team of designers and ecologists who take weekly trips to skeet and trap-shooting ranges and enjoy quarterly team-building activities at the local brewery.
55. Young & Laramore (Indianapolis, Indiana)
Advertising agency Young & Laramore creates print, digital, and TV ads inside a renovated 1920s schoolhouse in downtown Indianapolis. The independent agency’s 50 employees focus on ads for homes, restaurants, beverages, and outdoor and active lifestyles. The headquarters is a renovated gymnasium, and workers hold meetings inside an on-site rocket sculpture. Staffers can bring their dogs to work and enjoy unlimited time off.
56. New Belgium Brewing (Fort Collins, Colorado)
The 800 employees at this craft beer maker all have stakes in the company, not to mention access to an on-site gym, bike track, and foosball and ping-pong tables. One year on the job earns each staffer a new cruiser bike; five years means a free flight to Belgium; after ten years, each worker receives a paid sabbatical. Oh, and everyone gets a free beer every day and a 12-pack each week.
57. Namaste Solar (Boulder, Colorado)
More than half of the 155 employees at Namaste, which installs residential and commercial solar power systems, receive stock options and paid time off to volunteer. The employee-owned cooperative donates 10 percent of profits to local charities.
58. Outward Bound California (San Francisco, California)
Outward Bound California provides experience-based outdoor leadership programs for teens and adults. The majority of participants are high school and college students who take part in wilderness and urban courses in the San Francisco Bay Area, Joshua Tree, High Sierra, and Yosemite. (Two-thirds receive scholarship support). Full-time employees receive company-sponsored access to a climbing gym and yoga studio in San Francisco.
59. Peaksware (Boulder, Colorado)
Peaksware makes software to help people learn musical instruments and train for marathons, among other goals. Its 350 employees have access to an on-site gym and recording studio and receive a $1,200 annual stipend for fitness-related costs. The company also organizes food-truck lunches, concert raffles, cookouts, and beer Fridays.
60. Infinite Energy (Gainesville, Florida)
Infinite Energy supplies natural gas in Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, and New York, as well as electricity in Texas. Its 350 employees are visited by local butchers and farmers, receive on-site chair massages, and enjoy weekly yoga classes and a CrossFit-style workout session of flipping and hammering 22-pound tires in the company parking lot. Plus, employees get generous referral bonuses.
61. BrainStorm (American Fork, Utah)
Software education firm BrainStorm gives each of its 90 employees $50 per month to donate to anyone they meet during work hours, including clients. It also has an in-house Culture Club that organizes volunteer opportunities with Habitat for Humanity, along with staff events like skeet shooting and dodgeball games. The office features a ski-lift chair that doubles as a swing, drum set, and monkey bars.
62. VictorOps (Boulder, Colorado)
Boulder-based VictorOps says its incident management notification software “makes on-call suck less” for its growing customer base. The office’s 50 employees have access to a rooftop barbecue area, shuffleboard table, and a kegerator that alerts the staff when the beer supply runs low. The boss’ love for quadcopters ignited a competition to fly chicken wings out from the nearby sports bar to the office’s outdoor patio.
63. Spawn Ideas (Anchorage, Alaska)
The 42 employees at this ad agency get $250 every year to cover race entry fees, ski passes, or trips to national parks. Staff hold outdoor meetings in a nearby park that overlooks Cook Inlet and take part in weekly hikes up nearby Flattop Mountain.
64. Voyageur Outward Bound School (Ely, Minnesota)
Set on the Kawishiwi River, the Voyageur Outward Bound School is a nonprofit that teaches leadership skills to students—many of whom receive scholarship support from donations from alumni, parents, corporations, foundations, and others—through activities like rock climbing, dogsledding, and kayaking. More than 140 employees live in rustic cabins together at the Minnesota Wilderness Base, where they have access to hiking trails, whitewater, and a 30-foot crag.
65. Beach Cities Health District (Redondo Beach, California)
Beach Cities Health District, in Southern California, is one of the largest preventative health agencies in the nation. The district prides itself on a family-first environment and allows its 80 staffers to bring their children and dogs into the office. Workers are encouraged to volunteer four hours a month while on the clock and receive free memberships to a beach-side gym.
66. Restoration Services (Oak Ridge, Tennessee)
Restoration Services, nestled in the shadows of the North Boundary and Black Oak Ridge Trails in Tennessee, has 276 employees offering services focused on environmental cleanup and site reuse nationwide. The company was part of a team that won a sustainability award from the Department of Energy for developing a photovoltaic solar installation that reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Staffers build and maintain local biking and hiking trails and have easy access to fishing, rowing, and paddleboarding.
67. Cornerstone OnDemand (Santa Monica, California)
Cornerstone OnDemand has 1,722 employees around the world who provide cloud-based software solutions to help companies manage and recruit workers. At its headquarters in Santa Monica, staff have access to an in-house acupuncturist and chiropractor, an arcade, yoga studio, and a nursing room.
68. Brewers Association (Boulder, Colorado)
The Boulder-based Brewers Association is a national nonprofit representing 4,800 small and independent craft breweries across the United States. More than 60 employees participate together in marathon relays, compete in the annual Brewing Olympics at the nearby reservoir, and have their choice of three beers on tap in the office bar.
69. Balihoo (Boise, Idaho)
Balihoo, a cloud-based marketing platform, launches digital and traditional ad campaigns for national brands such as New Balance. The CEO of this software startup prides himself on being a hunter and competitive dirt-bike racer. The 35 employees participate in an amateur ham radio club and take lunch breaks along the 22-mile Boise River Greenbelt recreation area.
70. Arapahoe Basin Ski Area (Summit County, Colorado)
Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, located on the Continental Divide in Colorado, prides itself on having the longest ski season in North America with more than 350 inches of snowfall between October and June. At peak season, the alpine ski area employs 450 people who enjoy yoga sessions and free skiing at most resorts across the state.
71. Montana Wilderness Association (Helena, Montana)
The Montana Wilderness Association’s mission is to protect the state’s $1 billion outdoor industry and secure its wild heritage. The association’s 25 employees get paid trail days and recently traversed the Crazy Mountains for an annual team-building excursion.
72. Verified First (Meridian, Idaho)
Verified First is a background and drug screening company that supplies each of its 60 employees with Nerf guns, arcade games, foosball tables, and access to an on-site gym. Staffers work East Coast hours between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., giving them more time to see their families and take in the 10,000 miles of nearby trails.
73. Crestone (Boulder, Colorado)
Execs at Crestone pride themselves on having $1.6 billion in assets under management to help entrepreneurs and business owners find investment opportunities. The company’s 36 employees have an in-house view of the Flatirons and the luxury of taking mountain bike rides with clients.
74. IDX (Eugene, Oregon)
IDX creates search software, customizable listing search utilities, and management tools for real estate blogs and websites. With 55 employees, the company prides itself on fostering an “intrepreneurial” culture where workers are free to fail within a collaborative environment. Staffers are encouraged to join bowling, dodgeball, and soccer leagues and often find themselves at the company-owned barcade three blocks from the office.
75. Smartwool (Steamboat Springs, Colorado)
Smartwool gives its 110 employees season passes to Steamboat Ski Area in Colorado and mandates a powder day whenever it snows more than six inches. The merino apparel maker offers 40 hours of paid community service and commuter incentives and hosts in-office ping-pong tournaments.
76. Ruffwear (Bend, Oregon)
The 31 employees at this outdoor dog gear maker are welcome to bring their four-legged companions into the office, which is set near a heaven of trails for runners and mountain bikers. Staff get reimbursed up to $50 for race entry fees and receive paid field days to test gear with their dogs.
77. Big Agnes (Steamboat Springs, Colorado)
This outdoor gear maker, best known for its tents, enforces a “powder clause” that allows its 62 staffers to ski until 11 a.m. when it snows during the workweek. Employees get discounts on gear and reimbursement for wellness items, including ski passes and rec center memberships.
78. G5 (Bend, Oregon)
G5 specializes in digital marketing for apartments, self-storage, and senior living. Its office, located near Drake Park in downtown Bend, offers its 262 workers quick access to fly-fishing, mountain biking, and skiing. Each day, the office welcomes up to 50 of its staffers’ dogs, most of whom are featured on the company website.
79. Toad & Co (Santa Barbara, California)
This apparel maker is headquartered minutes from the beach and a national forest. Its 75 staffers go on camping trips together, compete in grilled-cheese cookoffs, work with adults with disabilities, and volunteer at soup kitchens.
80. Ryan Solutions (Edwards, Colorado)
Ryan Solutions has 24 employees who handle database marketing and customer relationship management services for more than 130 ski resorts and beach, golf, and hotel destinations. The firm’s M.O. is to work hard, then get out the door to ski Vail or Beaver Creek on powder days, fly-cast for rainbow trout on the Eagle River, and hit the mountain bike trails.
81. Zagster (Cambridge, Massachusetts)
This bike-sharing company runs 140 programs in cities, universities, and businesses across the United States and recently launched its first in Canada. The 47 employees receive stipends for buying new bikes and are reimbursed for costs associated with outdoor activities. The office has a fully stocked kitchen, a cold-brew coffee keg, and beer taps.
82. Access Fund (Boulder, Colorado)
The 18 employees of the Access Fund are focused on protecting America’s outdoor climbing areas via policy initiatives, land acquisition, and education. Staffers are allowed to bring dogs to the office and get free memberships to indoor climbing gyms. They’re also encouraged to go for a quick drive to climb the mouth of Boulder Canyon.
83. Mondo Robot (Boulder, Colorado)
Mondo Robot, a creative digital agency based in Boulder, builds websites for major brands, including Whistler Blackcomb, Comcast, and the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Its 36 employees play ping-pong, pinball, and mini-golf in the office while exploring virtual reality and augmented reality possibilities for the growing customer base. The agency seeks to hire additional designers with this clever posting for open positions: “We rock websites, games, strategy, bikes, motion, tequila, video, code, logos, tacos, mobile, music, new identities, IPAs, and sweet Colorado pow.”
84. Rustic Pathways (Cleveland, Ohio)
Rustic Pathways provides travel and service programs meant to expose American students to developing countries. During peak season, the company has 550 full-time and seasonal employees around the world who have taught more than 13,000 students how to build schools in Fiji and homes in the Dominican Republic for Haitian refugees. Staff work in 20 countries, and their families are delighted to learn that one perk involves free trips with the company.
85. Cotopaxi (Salt Lake City, Utah)
This outdoor gear maker donates money toward education initiatives in India and sends bed nets to families in sub-Saharan Africa. The business offers part-time work to refugees, and more than 50 full-time staffers enjoy unlimited vacation and access to Alta and Snowbird ski areas.
86. Tendril (Boulder, Colorado)
Tendril develops cloud-based software to help customers manage their utilities and energy use. Its 134 employees hold meetings on Boulder Peak and kick back at 3:30 p.m. for daily beers at the fully stocked office bar. Staffers also receive unlimited paid time off—some employees recently took advantage of that perk to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
87. EMC Research (Seattle, Washington)
EMC Research specializes in polling, focus groups, and public opinion research consulting. The firm holds annual retreats for its 55 employees at resorts in Texas and Mexico.
88. Sphero (Boulder, Colorado)
Sphero is a robotics and digital technology developer that offers its 180 employees flexible work hours and awards them for creative thinking. Offices in Boulder and Hong Kong are packed with Star Wars toys, Xbox stations, and Nerf guns.
89. Ontraport (Santa Barbara, California)
Founded in a backyard yurt, Ontraport helps entrepreneurs and small businesses automate software. Its 110 employees participate in daily meditation classes and play kickball on a nearby beach. The company also chips in to send its workers on trips each year. This year, staffers went to Ecuador and enjoyed domestic ski and camping outings.
90. Wilderness Adventure at Eagle Landing (New Castle, Virginia)
Founded by a retired Marine colonel, Wilderness Adventure at Eagle Landing is a year-round adventure camp for youths and teens located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwest Virginia. Its 30 employees get room and board on the former farmhouse property and enjoy the perks of an on-site bouldering wall and bike trails.
91. Rivertop Renewables (Missoula, Montana)
Rivertop Renewables makes biodegradable chemicals from natural plant sugars. Its labs are located steps away from the Clark Fork River, the University of Montana, and downtown Missoula. The 20 employees here have easy access to skiing, biking, kayaking, fishing, and hiking.
92. Eagle Creek (Carlsbad, California)
Luggage maker Eagle Creek has 50 employees at its global headquarters in Southern California. Staffers get “early out” Fridays and five paid days off for community service projects and are encouraged to test products on weekend adventures.
93. Cloud Elements (Denver, Colorado)
Cloud Elements is an API integration platform that helps make sure companies’ apps are utilizing the full potential of the cloud. Set near the Platte River Bike Trail, the firm’s 60 employees receive paid time off each month to ski, plus unlimited vacation time. The company has a unanimous hiring process in which anyone can veto a hire.
94. EverCheck (Jacksonville Beach, Florida)
A former pro rock-climbing photographer founded this Florida-based software company that automates workflow and modernize human resources for more than 200 hospitals nationwide. With offices in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, and Boulder, Colorado, the company’s 20 employees enjoy a mixture of beach and mountains, along with local surfing and rock climbing opportunities. Parents are encouraged to take three months off to spend time with their newborns.
95. Stride Health (San Francisco, California)
Stride Health is focused on making health care accessible for rock climbers, freelance photographers, Uber drivers, and other self-employed workers who embrace an independent lifestyle. The startup insurance broker sponsors climbers Alex Honnold and Kevin Jorgeson. Its 55-employee team enjoys on-site organic food deliveries, pull-up competitions, an annual $3,000 stipend toward continuing education, and unlimited days off.
96. Noble (Orlando, Florida)
Noble works with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to develop autoinjectors, prefilled syringes, and respiratory training devices. The company’s 32 employees receive fitness club memberships and participate in dragon boat and go-kart races during biannual company meetings.
97. FullContact (Denver, Colorado)
FullContact uses apps and APIs to keep contacts in-sync, up to date, and safe. The company’s 200-plus employees worldwide have adopted an outdoor culture of cycling, hiking, and skiing. To encourage off-the-grid time away from the office, the company gives staffers three weeks of paid vacation plus an annual $7,500 pretax stipend to take a one-week trip of their choosing.
98. Foundant Technologies (Bozeman, Montana)
Foundant Technologies, based in Bozeman, creates software for people and organizations that fund nonprofits. Some of its 50 employees enter the annual Bridger Ridge Run, while others participate in weekly yoga sessions or huddle up at the Montana State University football stadium to cheer on the Bobcats.
99. Verde Brand Communications (Boulder, Colorado)
This public relations company founded by a former journalist services the outdoor, action sports, and health and wellness markets. Its 31 employees get paid to volunteer and are allowed to work remotely so they can spend more time with their families.
100. CamelBak (Petaluma, California)
This gear maker, best known for its reservoir packs, offers its 150 employees on-site Pilates and yoga, potluck events, and ping-pong tournaments. It also sponsors fundraising events like Relay for Life and a multimile kayak race through the Russian River.