Some companies have gone above and beyond to not just survive, but thrive.
Some companies have gone above and beyond to not just survive, but thrive.

The 50 Best Places to Work in 2020

Work life got turned upside down this year, and many people are just thankful they have any job at all. But some companies have gone above and beyond to not just survive, but thrive.

Some companies have gone above and beyond to not just survive, but thrive.

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

1. Forum Phi Architecture

(Courtesy Forum Phi)

Location: Aspen and Carbondale, Colorado
Focus: Architecture, interior design, and land-planning services
Number of employees: 28
Average salary: $96,000
Vacation time: 29 days PTO to start, increases by a week with every five years

Perks: Complimentary ski pass; powder days; hosted outings like river floats, scavenger hunts, hut trips, and barbecues in the park; $50 per month internet reimbursement; flexible parenting setups to accommodate the constraints of in-home schooling; and an additional week of PTO this year because of COVID-19 concerns.

What makes it great: “Forum Phi treats its employees like individuals and strives to balance the constraints of work with the needs of each person’s everyday life. Our transition to remote work during the pandemic was seamless, and although we filed a COVID plan to reopen the offices with the local governments, we are recommending people still stay remote as much as possible out of concern for the well-being of the team and the community. We are still promoting people to get outside and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us with group mountain bike rides weekly and socially distanced company outings.”

2. GroundFloor Media

(Courtesy GroundFloor Media)

Location: Denver, Colorado
Focus: Advertising, public relations, marketing
Number of employees: 23
Average salary: Not provided
Vacation time: Unlimited PTO

Perks: Weekly 30-minute virtual social activity called Get Connected to Stay Grounded; weekly check-ins with coworkers through the company’s Pandemic Partners program; socially distant hikes; meeting-free Monday and Friday mornings.

What makes it great: “We’ve always had an extremely flexible workplace. The autonomy of the office is one of our biggest selling points. People can work at their own time and what works best for their lives.”

3. Ergodyne

(Courtesy Ergodyne)

Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Focus: Work and safety gear
Number of employees: 58
Average salary: Not provided
Vacation time: Unlimited PTO

Perks: Employee wellness program featuring virtual yoga on Monday’s and virtual 5Ks every month, on-site gym, interactive online team meetings, virtual happy hours, and virtual trivia nights led by the executive team.

What makes it great: “It’s a vibrant culture where we really encourage socializing and getting to know your colleagues. We have a high-performing culture but also grant a lot of freedom. When we are in the office, we have monthly happy hours, cook-off competitions, Halloween parties, and Easter egg hunts for the families. We offer summer hours from May to September since our Minnesota summers are short and we want our employees to get outside and stay active.”

4. Bonusly

Location: Boulder, Colorado
Focus: Recognition and rewards software for enriching company culture
Number of employees: 50
Average salary: $108,653
Vacation time: Unlimited PTO

Perks: $500 wellness benefit, one-time $150 work-from-home stipend, $2,000 annual professional development benefit, $40/week meal reimbursement, an FSA option, virtual happy hours, a “relax from home” day every second Friday of the month to help prevent burnout, and a $25 bonus for those who get their flu shots.

What makes it great: “We live and breathe our product—recognition has an incredible impact on organizations and creating cultures where people can thrive. Our entire team continues to see all the amazing work happening across the organization, no matter where people are physically located. Our culture is unlike any other—we care deeply about our team, instill a sense of purpose through our product, and give meaningful feedback that helps our people grow individually and as a team.”

5. WhippleWood CPAs

Location: Littleton, Colorado
Focus: Accounting, business consulting, and tax services
Number of employees: 26
Average salary: $80,156
Vacation time: 16 days PTO to start

Perks: Half-day summer Fridays, professional massages during tax season, Zen room, 401(k), parking lot skate “board” meetings, COVID-19 wellness bingo with cash prizes, socially distanced events.

What makes it great: “The best thing about working at WhippleWood is our culture. From the very top, our leaders live what they preach—a unique place to work where you are challenged and given room to grow with the help you need. Our industry can be stressful, and this year has been an extra challenge, with a seven-month tax season as opposed to our usual four. Knowing that our leadership has the best interest of not only our clients but also our team and our families has been a relief to so many of our staff during this time.”

6. Booyah Advertising

(Courtesy Booyah)

Location: Denver, Colorado
Focus: Advertising, public relations, marketing
Number of Employees: 57
Average salary: Not provided
Vacation time: Two weeks PTO to start, unlimited after one year

Perks: Flex scheduling, 401(k), employee health insurance with no-cost option, award-winning internal management training, dog-friendly office, annual all-agency outings, quarterly team events, beer and kombucha on tap, and an espresso machine.

What makes it great: “Booyah provides an environment to learn, grow, and find fulfillment both in career and life. Robust and continuous training programs signal our commitment to growth and education. Through this educational focus, employees rarely feel stagnant and are motivated to do their best work. We also give employees substantial autonomy in the day to day, yielding fulfillment and rapid growth.”

7. BridgeView IT

Location: Denver, Colorado
Focus: Technology consulting
Number of employees: 17
Average salary: Not provided
Vacation time: Three weeks PTO to start, unlimited after five years

Perks: Annual, all-inclusive trips to places like Cabo San Lucas, Aspen, Las Vegas, and Steamboat Springs; half-day summer Fridays; dog-friendly office; on-site gym; professional massages; a fridge stocked with beer and wine; opening-day Colorado Rockies games; a luxury watch on your fifth anniversary; powder days; birthdays off; and paid volunteering days.

What makes it great: “With the right culture for personal and professional success, it’s clear that people are the top priority at BridgeView IT. Flexible work schedules, skiing days, community outreach events, fun trips, and more create a rewarding environment. Plus, the response to COVID has been stellar, with the company introducing ongoing fitness challenges to provide a healthy outlet for comradery and charitable giving.”

8. SummitCove Vacation Lodging

Location: Keystone, Colorado
Focus: Hospitality, travel, and tourism
Number of employees: 48
Average salary: $45,000
Vacation time: Two weeks PTO to start

Perks: Health insurance plans; a 401(k) retirement program with employer matching; profit-sharing bonus program; Way to Go peer-recognition program; ski pass reimbursement; discounted rec center passes; pro deals on outdoor gear; group activities such as whitewater rafting, rock climbing, ropes course, and hikes; and staff bikes available in the office.

What makes it great: “The company understands that we all live in the mountains to enjoy them! Flexible scheduling, ski pass reimbursement, health insurance, and more all play a part in making that mountain lifestyle a reality. Leaders at SummitCove work on empowering and educating employees to be able make their own decisions and do what’s best for the company. Team members feel pride and ownership in their work and are able to see the results making a difference.”

9. BSW Wealth Partners

(Courtesy BSW)

Location: Boulder, Colorado
Focus: Financial advisory services
Number of employees: 26
Average salary: $144,000
Vacation time: Prorated PTO in year one, ten days PTO in year two

Perks: Annual, all-inclusive ski trips; whitewater rafting, kayaking, Iron Chef–style competitions, and go-kart racing on summer days; remote work options; and gift cards to support local, independent restaurants.

What makes it great: “BSW conducts amazing work for truly inspiring clients, work that employees go home feeling really good about. The company’s tagline, ‘Make Life Better,’ says it all. No organization could be more supportive of employees’ health, wellness, and quality of life, coupled with professional growth and development. The culture here promotes diversity, inclusiveness, collaboration, and support.”

10. Avid4 Adventure

Location: Boulder, Colorado
Focus: Operates day camps, resident camps, and expeditions in Colorado, California, Oregon, Washington, and Minnesota
Number of employees: 27
Average salary: Not provided
Vacation time: Unlimited PTO

Perks: Monthly outings to crags, trails, and creeks; free use of company mountain bikes, canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards; free bike tune-ups; reimbursed climbing gym memberships; an annual three-day mountain retreat; pro deals on gear; anniversary program that rewards full-time staff with branded merchandise, money for outdoor equipment, a one-month paid vacation with a flight and stipend to anywhere in the world; paid sick time for seasonal employees; stipend for staff to set up their home office; and an emergency assistance fund to support seasonal staff with medical, housing, or food needs.

What makes it great: “Avid4 Adventure is special because it asks and leans into the difficult questions. ‘What is the next right thing to do?’ In response to COVID-19, we pivoted (and then pivoted again and again and again) to ensure that we could still serve our kids, parents, and staff who needed us. ‘How can we fight for inclusion, equity, diversity, and justice?’ We choose to recognize our own privilege, and we commit to action against injustice in our country, particularly in all outdoor spaces.”

11. CampMinder

(Melany Hallgren)

Location: Boulder, Colorado
Focus: Web-based platforms and solutions for summer camp operators
Number of employees: 55
Average salary: Not provided
Vacation time: Unlimited PTO

Perks: Remote work, virtual happy hours and trivia games, $300 annual allowance that can be used for internet bills or home office equipment, childcare reimbursement, 12 weeks of paid parental leave for all new parents, encouragement to take mental health days, a recognition program called Love Leafs in which employees are entered to win an end-of-year prize like an all-expense-paid trip.

What makes it great: “We serve summer camps! Our work enables camps to impact hundreds of thousands of kids, providing them with opportunities to learn, be part of a community, and connect with the outdoors and nature.”

12. Mann Mortgage

(Heidi Lee)

Location: Kalispell, Montana
Focus: Mortgage company specializing in home loans in local communities
Number of employees: 329
Average salary: Not provided
Vacation time: 12 days PTO to start

Perks: Bonus incentives, flexible work schedules, personalized ergonomic workspaces, company gatherings, and happy hour outings.

What makes it great: “None of us imagined as a little kid that we would be working in the mortgage industry when we grew up. And none of us could have imagined what a fulfilling and amazing opportunity we would all find here at Mann. While many companies talk about culture or being a family, Mann is purposeful in creating opportunities to make the culture shine through and make you feel like family. From day one of employment, team members are empowered to have a say in their destiny with opportunities to improve themselves and the organization, no matter their position. Mann is a positive place where team members are excited to come to work and have a voice in the company.”

13. Western Environmental Law Center

Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Focus: Litigates on wildlife, climate, and public land issues throughout the American West
Number of employees: 21
Average salary: $74,000
Vacation time: 20 days PTO annually, with a maximum of ten days that can roll over to the following year

Perks: Periodic days off to enjoy the weather; three-month paid sabbatical every five years; unlimited sick leave; work from home, with a $100/month home office stipend for each staff member to cover items such as internet, cellphone, and increased home utilities; and to manage mental health and family demands, staff also received eight extra paid personal days to be used in 2020.

What makes it great: “WELC embodies Teddy Roosevelt’s famous quote—we ‘speak softly and carry a big stick.’ Our staff is kind, empathetic, and fun, while also rising to the difficult challenge of requiring the federal government and other actors to change their behavior to benefit the public interest. This very often takes the form of safeguarding imperiled wildlife, the climate, clean water, and ancient forests. Our staff thrives on the energy surrounding our great victories for people and the planet and turns that into flexibility, humanity, and, ultimately, a gratifying workplace.”

14. Southwest Michigan First

Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan
Focus: Economic development organization
Number of employees: 27
Average salary: Not provided
Vacation time: 15 days PTO to start

Perks: Fully stocked kitchen, half-day summer Fridays, lagniappes delivered to employees at home and in the office, access to personal leadership coaching, on-site flu shot clinic, and team activities like a book club and baby showers that follow social distancing guidelines.

What makes it great: “Encouraging team members to put their family first actually helps team members focus more on work and increases productivity. Employees know that the organization has their back if they have to leave work to care for themselves or family members. By telling employees that it’s OK to put their family first when need be, the organization reaps the commitment of its team members who put the mission and needs of clients first in all that they do.”

15. SmartEtailing

(Courtesy SmartEtailing)

Location: Boulder, Colorado
Focus: Websites, marketing, and integrations for independent bike shops
Number of employees: 55
Average salary: Not provided
Vacation time: 14 days PTO to start

Perks: Partially reimbursed gym memberships, profit sharing, deals on bikes and gear, weekly virtual happy hour, virtual morning coffee twice a week, socially distanced bike rides, and lots of video calls to stay connected.

What makes it great: “Our culture is the number one reason we love to work for SmartEtailing. We treat our employees like family and really get to know each individual.”

16. Young & Laramore

Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Focus: Full-service advertising agency
Number of employees: 67
Average salary: Not provided
Vacation time: Two weeks PTO to start, three weeks after three years, and four weeks with eight years of service

Perks: Company bikes, showers, and lockers for those who wish to come into the office to work or exercise; a quiet room for meditation, prayer, or private yoga; YMCA memberships; virtual “Beer Thursdays”; a socially distanced pickleball tournament in the parking lot; quiet time on Tuesday mornings—no meetings or texting allowed; quiet lunch hours; and Fridays off at 3:00 P.M.

What makes it great: “It’s a place where each of us are able to do the best work of our careers, and do it in a place that trusts and respects us, with coworkers who trust and respect each other.”

17. Small Giants

Location: Denver, Colorado
Focus: Full-service marketing for commercial real estate
Number of employees: 24
Average salary: $57,670
Vacation time: 12 days PTO

Perks: One hundred percent employer-paid health care, dental, and vision; wellness program with prizes and rewards; employee-planned events, activities, and challenges; group hikes, working walks, and lunch workouts; team-selected employee of the month program, with a half-day of PTO for nominees; annual awards for excellence and demonstration of core values; all-expenses-paid midyear and end-of-year retreats; dog-friendly office; flexible schedule with the ability to work from home; continuing education program; and company-provided childcare and instruction for children during COVID-19.

What makes it great: “Small Giants was founded to be a best-in-class employer as much as it was to be a premier marketing agency. To achieve that, we have been very invested in employee hiring, career growth, supporting and funding continued education, goal development, and accountability while providing a fun and supportive environment. The cornerstone of the Small Giants brand is culture, and it is the reason employees stay, feel engaged, and are proud of the company they have created.”

18. LifeOmic

(Candace Luebbehusen)

Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Focus: Cloud-based health care software company
Number of employees: 101
Average salary: $145,000
Vacation time: 16 days PTO to start

Perks: Annual pool parties; free gym memberships; weekly catered lunches; flexible work schedules; a break room with beer, wine, and snacks; a biannual all-expenses-paid retreat in Salt Lake City (skiing in the winter, camping in the summer); paid parental leave; companywide wellness program with monthly and quarterly cash incentives; and 401(k) match.

What makes it great: “Of course, LifeOmic values health, wellness, and fitness, but the best part is the culture of flexibility that allows us to live it out. Going for a run between meetings, heading to the gym at an hour that works with your schedule, or even logging off for your child’s baseball practice is encouraged. The flexible work schedule allows for the ability to innovate at your best time of day and take care of yourself and your loved ones, which is huge.”

19. Arts & Letters Creative Co.

(Mel Calabro)

Location: Richmond, Virginia
Focus: Advertising, public relations, marketing
Number of employees: 119
Average salary: Not provided
Vacation time: 25 days PTO

Perks: Six weeks paid parental bonding leave, plus six additional weeks paid pregnancy/childbirth leave for mothers; 100 percent of premiums covered for health, medical, and dental plans; 50 percent coverage of premiums for dependents and domestic partners; $100 monthly stipend for self-care; 401(k) with 4 percent safe harbor match; paid six-week sabbatical after seven years with the company; and annual Swagsgiving and homecoming events.

What makes it great: “At its core, an agency is nothing more than a bunch of people who believe in each other and a bunch of clients who believe in those people. We believed this when we started the company three and a half years ago, but having been through this challenging year together, we now know it to be true. While the place has grown, the desire to create the best possible environment for people to work together has not. We’ve always believed that the world’s best talent wants to work in a place where they could create huge ideas with massive impact but also try to make it home for dinner. We believe that the challenging stuff can be worth it (and even fun) when you’re doing it with people who feel supported on all sides. To us, that’s where it all started, and that’s what it will always be about.”

20. Geocaching HQ

Location: Seattle, Washington
Focus: Geocaching adventure app
Number of employees: 82
Average salary: Not provided
Vacation time: Three weeks PTO to start

Perks: Two paid hours of geocaching each month, access to a stocked gear closet, unlimited ski and snowboard lift tickets to any mountain in the world, an internal geocaching program with global travel opportunities, paid four-week sabbatical every seven years, ORCA cards for transportation, and professional development opportunities.

What makes it great: “Geocaching HQ thrives on the people who work here. This is demonstrated from the moment a new hire joins the team to their immersive onboarding and throughout their development. We are a company that truly values authenticity, passion, and collaboration, and these principles are modeled all the way from our leadership team to each team member. We deeply believe that Geocaching is making the world a better place, and we continue each day to collaborate and iterate to make the game the best it can be for our community.”

21. Mathys+Potestio

(Courtesy Mathys+Potestio)

Location: Portland, Oregon
Focus: Boutique creative staffing
Number of employees: 22
Average salary: $71,000
Vacation time: Unlimited PTO

Perks: Weekly virtual happy hour; every other Friday off in the summer; fully funded health care; commuting stipend; Costco membership; and twice-annual “fun days” in Portland for hiking, whitewater rafting, wine tasting, and brewery hopping.

What makes it great: “M+P is a great place to work because we get to find good jobs for others while having a good one of our own.”

22. Wilderness Travel

Location: Oakland, California
Focus: Adventure travel and tour operator
Number of Employees: 26
Average salary: Not provided
Vacation time: Three weeks to start

Perks: A $2,450 annual travel stipend, all-expenses paid vacation on a Wilderness Travel tour within two years, dog-friendly office, ten “Free Fridays” per year, and company outings like wine mixing and glass blowing.

What makes it great: “We get to live and breathe adventure travel every day! Employees receive yearly travel stipends and access to free trips when they come up, from African safaris to treks in Nepal. In the office, we have a true family culture, with office dogs, over-the-top birthday celebrations (like an Elvis singing telegram), Halloween costume competitions, and so much more.”

23. Shine United

(Courtesy Shine United)

Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Focus: Advertising, public relations, and marketing
Number of employees: 46
Average salary: Not provided
Vacation time: Two weeks PTO to start

Perks: Rock-climbing club, sports-watching parties, weekly “Beer 30” gatherings at the downstairs bar, half-day summer Fridays, a $10,000 sabbatical stipend after ten years, paid maternity leave, company covers 100 percent of health insurance, and full support for remote work.

What makes it great: “Work is important, but family comes first, and Shine definitely lives that belief. This, along with unlimited sick time, is one of the great things about working at Shine. The life-work balance is truly something great. If you or your kids are sick, you stay home and get everyone healthy, during a pandemic and otherwise. If your kids can’t go to school and have to be taught at home, Shine understands that necessity as well.”

24. WorkInProgress

(Courtesy WorkInProgress)

Location: Boulder, Colorado
Focus: Advertising, public relations, marketing
Number of employees: 23
Average salary: Not provided
Vacation time: Unlimited PTO

Perks: Retirement plan with matching company contributions, flexible hours, telecommuting options, virtual happy hours, fully stocked kitchen, monthly team breakfasts, $1,500 stipend for training or education, and a fishable lake out the front door and Boulder Creek in the back.

What makes it great: “There’s support, transparency, and goodwill from top to bottom. People care for each other personally as much as professionally. Work-life balance is much more than lip service here; we have unlimited PTO with clear parameters that manage to keep its execution guilt-free. Raises and bonuses are regular and generous. Company goals and progress are discussed regularly at an all-agency breakfast. There are no secrets here. No backbiting. No egos. No drama. The culture is treated with strict reverence. New hires are vetted by everyone in the agency. Opinions are frequently solicited through anonymous as well as public channels. People in every department are smart, skilled, and easy to respect. It’s a laughably easy place to work while still maintaining a steep, upward trajectory.”

25. SportRx

(Courtesy SportRX)

Location: San Diego, California
Focus: Custom prescription sunglasses and snow goggles
Number of employees: 67
Average salary: Not provided
Vacation time: Unlimited PTO

Perks: Wellness coach who does weekly virtual sessions to promote balance and mental health, lunch delivered from a local restaurant every day for team members who remain on-site, and free or discounted bike and snow gear.

What makes it great: “One thing that makes SportRx a great place to work is we’re never siloed into one thing, and we’re always pushing the envelope with new and creative ideas. People are empowered to incorporate their passions into their job roles.”

26. Power Digital

Location: San Diego, California
Focus: Digital marketing
Number of employees: 128
Average salary: $62,000
Vacation time: Unlimited PTO

Perks: Healthy catered lunches; dog-friendly office; monthly company events, from yacht parties to bus trips to local breweries; employee-taught fitness and yoga classes; movie nights; and cooking lessons.

What makes it great: “The fact that every day when I come to work, I know that I will be working with people who don’t dwell on the problem but work together to find a solution is empowering. Even through all the growth I’ve experienced at Power Digital, we’ve managed to keep the startup mentality alive through our friendships, mentorship, and understanding that we are paving our own path as a company. We push each other to be our best, not only in our careers but also in our personal lives. If you have a goal that you want to achieve, everyone at Power Digital helps you achieve that goal. This type of mentality helps us work toward a common goal. We work hard, we play hard, we win together, and we lose together, and at the end of the day, we are a family.”

27. Turner

(Courtesy Turner)

Location: Denver, New York, Miami, Chicago
Focus: Advertising, public relations, marketing
Number of employees: 40
Average salary: Not provided
Vacation time: 20 days PTO to start

Perks: Paid volunteer days, locally curated kegerator, cornhole, dog-friendly office, Zen room, recess activities, and unlimited PTO after your tenth anniversary.

What makes it great: “A lot of companies talk about work-life balance; we make it a part of our core ethos. Every member of our team has a manageable workload and a flexible schedule. We recognized long ago that diversity makes our team stronger, and we invested in specialist roles for multicultural marketing; we also have a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee with goals and action steps we report on annually.”

28. Oboz Footwear

(Courtesy Oboz)

Location: Bozeman, Montana
Focus: Footwear manufacturer
Number of employees: 27
Average salary: Not disclosed
Vacation time: 15 days PTO to start

Perks: Dog-friendly office, periodic days off to celebrate successes, stocked fridge with beer and wine, partnerships with local companies that offer in-office coffee and other treats, summer Fridays, annual Oboz celebration retreat at Hyalite campground, annual trails challenge, Friendsgiving potluck celebration in November, holiday party, and in-office happy hours.

What makes it great: “Walking into the office on a normal day, you’re greeted by our happy, astute customer service team, which consists of five folks and their dogs. Convos are along the lines of past-weekend adventures or plans for the upcoming weekend. Meetings—whether they’re ‘walking meetings’ outside and immediately onto our town’s trail system across the street or in a conference room donned with product—are typically fun. Lots of activities are planned with each other outside working hours. We also appreciate a pretty flexible working environment that helps make life easier. Within all of it, there’s an inherent trust and respect we have for one another.”

29. WorkBright

Location: Boulder, Colorado
Focus: Remote digital onboarding and new-hire paperwork for employees and contractors
Number of Employees: 22
Average salary: Not provided
Vacation time: Unlimited PTO

Perks: FSA accounts with a monthly contribution from WorkBright that can be used for childcare, wellness, or home office; ability to work from anywhere, anytime, and earn equity in the company for every employee; quarterly wellness stipends and professional development funds; annual company retreat at an outdoor recreation destination; and personal development grants for pursuing passions outside of work.

What makes it great: “While the flexible work life, generous vacation policies, and fun team outings are great perks, WorkBright is a great place to work because of the transparency and genuine caring from leadership. We often say what we do is as important as how we do it. By using our core values to guide each interaction with each other and our customers, we have cultivated a fostering, compassionate environment for all employees to learn and grow every day.”

30. The ZaneRay Group

(Courtesy ZaneRay)

Location: Whitefish, Montana
Focus: Web design and development agency
Number of employees: 30
Average salary: $88,000
Vacation time: 3.5 weeks PTO to start

Perks: Overtime pay for work beyond 40 hours; profit sharing; weekly catered lunches; flextime scheduling, so employees can get outside during the day; company matching for nonprofit donations; COVID-19 supplemental pay; team-building events, including a summer activity and winter ski day; and an unspoken powder-day rule.

What makes it great: “ZaneRay operates in full transparency with all of our employees. We share everything to ensure that we are all able to participate and celebrate in the successes of the agency. We believe that living our best lives will produce our best work, and we structure our working environment to support that balance, and we often turn down projects in order to maintain that stability. We care deeply about our employees, as well as the sustainability of the world that we live in, and support a number of organizations that promote sustainability as well as land conservation. Being Montanans, it is a true passion of ours and one that is critical in order to promote the lifestyle that we all value living in this place. We hire very deliberately and carefully since people tend to stick around for many years to follow.”

31. The Garrett Companies

(Courtesy The Garrett Companies)

Location: Greenwood, Indiana
Focus: Development, construction, and asset management
Number of employees: 90
Average salary: Not provided
Vacation time: Four weeks PTO

Perks: Annual canoe trip; oil changes on-site; employees have the choice to work from home, the office, or both—whatever works best for their needs; everyone gets their birthday off.

What makes it great: “We want our employees to enjoy their work and have fun while doing it. The employee is at the core of what we do and will remain at the core. Each year, the company evaluates how the culture can be improved. We have also placed an emphasis on training our employees. We want to help them gain knowledge. We have added mentorship programs into weekly routines. The culture here continues to improve for the better.”

32. Koru

Location: Carbondale, Colorado
Focus: Construction
Number of employees: 22
Average salary: Not provided
Vacation time: 15 days PTO, unlimited at five years

Perks: Flexible schedule to encourage employees to take time out of their work schedule to hike, bike, raft, run, or ski; Aspen Ski Co. pass to all employees; group ski days, raft days, and camping trips; dog-friendly workplace; and Friday afternoon group happy hour.

What makes it great: “Koru strives to uplift everyone on the team, focusing on the whole person, their life inside and outside of work, and those significant to them. This is done through a focus on personal development, intentional communication, team check-ins, employee reviews (where feedback is given to both the employee and the owner), transparency surrounding company goals and results, as well as establishing a deep level of trust with each member of the team.”

33. Workshop Digital

(Casey Templeton)

Location: Richmond, Virginia
Focus: Digital marketing
Number of employees: 24
Average salary: Not provided
Vacation time: Unlimited PTO

Perks: Weekly office meditation; organized events, like kickball games, softball leagues, whitewater rafting, and paddleboarding; paid time off for volunteering; a snack-packed café; profit sharing; monthly health and wellness challenges; monthly birthday celebrations.

What makes it great: “At Workshop, we have three committees: community, culture, and health and wellness. These committees are constantly bringing ideas to the leadership team. Examples that have been implemented include a recent ‘guess that baby photo’ competition, Walking Wednesdays, and organized volunteer events, like building a house with Habitat for Humanity. It’s great that the leadership empowers the team to own these committees, and that further adds to the culture here.”

34. Ridgeline Insights

(Courtesy Ridgeline Insights)

Location: Boise, Idaho
Focus: Outdoor gear for kids, and selling and marketing outdoor brands on Amazon
Number of employees: 19
Average salary: $58,000
Vacation time: Unlimited PTO

Perks: Employees are trusted to get their work done when it works best for them, daily informal check-ins, all-staff meetings with an effort to hear from everyone, and virtual beers on Fridays.

What makes it great: “Our team has been resilient during the pandemic. Much of that is due to a supportive culture that puts employees and families first, so that everyone can find a new balance between work and home, since everyone is at home. Having the office available to get out of the house and holding meetings in our ‘conference room’ in the park across the street have further strengthened our connections as a team.”

35. Eagle County Paramedic Services

(Courtesy Eagle County Paramedic Services)

Location: Edwards, Colorado
Focus: Health care provider
Number of employees: 79
Average salary: $74,503
Vacation time: Five weeks

Perks: FIR (financial, insurance, and recreation) benefit, with a $1,200 reimbursement for ski, golf, gym, and other fitness/recreation passes, as well as classes for employees only; employee parties, which have included trips to Rockies’ games and a holiday party; meals donated to the stations for various events or simply as a thank-you to paramedics and EMTs.

What makes it great: “ECPS employees not only care about their job but also about their coworkers, which makes it a special place to work. I also love getting off my shift and going hiking, fly-fishing, skiing, etc. It’s a really active place to work filled with active people.”

36. SRG (Sterling-Rice Group)

(Rosalyn Darling)

Location: Boulder, Colorado
Focus: Brand consulting and creative services
Number of employees: 102
Average salary: Not provided
Vacation time: 17 days PTO to start

Perks: Relaxation Row, where employees can work out, get an on-site massage, or meditate; beer and kombucha on tap; yoga at the local farmers’ market; paid fees for sports teams, like kickball, basketball, and volleyball; all-company powder days; summer picnics; cornhole tournaments; virtual companywide Quiplash tournament, cook-alongs, and culinary bingo challenges; a FIKA channel for employees to schedule coffee breaks with one another; and a parent support channel.

What makes it great: “We are committed to creating a sense of belonging for all employees. Our anti-racism, diversity, and inclusion commitments guide us as we strive to be a part of the end to systemic racism in and outside of the workplace. At our core, we are a group of people who support and inspire one another while doing great work for our clients. This shows up in initiatives like our new onboarding sidekick program and mentoring program, created on a belief that employees are limitless, unstoppable, and uncapped. Our mentors and mentees are paired across teams to foster cross-team collaboration, learning, and a chance to get to know others within the company.”

37. Hailey Sault

(Courtesy Hailey Sault)

Location: Duluth, Minnesota
Focus: Health care marketing
Number of employees: 36
Average salary: $75,000
Vacation time: Two weeks PTO to start, four weeks after five years

Perks: Fitness room for meditation, yoga, and workouts; open-plan office with plenty of room to distance, natural light, and unbeatable top-floor views of Lake Superior.

What makes it great: “The feeling of being valued, respected, and heard is organic here. People know we have each others’ backs and have opportunities to talk about needs and concerns in small and large meeting settings or in one-on-ones.”

38. GetUWired

(Bobby Valentine)

Location: Dahlonega, Georgia
Focus: Advertising, marketing, public relations
Number of employees: 36
Average salary: Not provided
Vacation time: Five days PTO to start

Perks: Quarterly team-building events, flexible scheduling and working from home, dog-friendly office, mindset training, leadership training, 401(k) matching, core value cookout and awards, fitness challenges, annual appreciation gifts, and a commute that goes against the flow of normal workday traffic to Atlanta.

What makes it great: “Our people. We have a rigorous hiring process so that we know the people we’re bringing into the fold can both mesh and add to the company culture. Our ‘CabinPunk’ culture encourages folks to work smart and play all the time. Not to mention our office is a cabin located in the middle of nowhere while still having a high-speed technology setup, so folks can enjoy living in the beautiful North Georgia mountains while enjoying the perks of a big-city career.”

39. TDA_Boulder

Location: Boulder, Colorado
Focus: Full-service advertising agency
Number of employees: 21
Average salary: Not provided
Vacation time: Three weeks PTO to start

Perks: Full day off for summer Fridays; $1,000 stipend to set up a home office; virtual happy hours, including margaritas delivered to everyone; bingo with prizes; birthday celebrations; cold brew, beer, and kombucha on tap in the office.

What makes it great: “We love to celebrate our employees and the beautiful state we live in. We give everyone a day off to take advantage of powder days or hike a 14er, then donate $1,000 to a charity of choice.”

40. New Belgium Brewing Company

(Courtesy New Belgium)

Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
Focus: Brewery
Number of employees: 694
Average salary: Not provided
Vacation time: 14 days PTO to start

Perks: 12-pack of beer every week, and a free 12-ounce draft beer every day after shift end; 100 percent coverage of employee health care premiums (medical and dental); complimentary on-site health and wellness clinic; limited-edition bicycle on one-year work anniversary; all-expenses-paid trip to Belgium on five-year anniversary; four-week paid sabbatical on ten-year anniversary; $1,000 travel voucher on 15-year anniversary; six-week paid sabbatical on 20-year anniversary; return trip to Belgium on 25-year anniversary; wellness reimbursement; adoption assistance program; company volleyball tournaments; employee assistance program to help during times of need; and an on-site workout facility.

What makes it great: “The culture at New Belgium never ceases to amaze. From brewing beer in our founder’s basement to becoming the fourth-largest craft brewery in the U.S., we set out to build a craft beer revolution. Every day, we strive to use business as a force for good, and our coworkers lead by following these four principles: we make world class beer for everyone; we do right by people; we inspire social and environmental change; and we have a hell of a lot of fun.”

41. Spawn Ideas

(Courtesy Spawn Ideas)

Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Focus: Full-service advertising agency
Number of employees: 30
Average salary: $83,000
Vacation time: 13 days PTO to start

Perks: Employee stock ownership program; a day off on Juneteenth; regular activities with family and friends, like the “Peak a Week” hiking program and ice fishing; “Pawternity leave” to bond with new pets or grieve when one passes; and a $200 annual bonus to put toward state park passes, ski passes, and race entry fees.

What makes it great: “Perks are one thing, but our overall intellectually curious culture sets the tone and retains staff. We call ourselves wayfinders. Excellent clients and a ‘comfortable with being uncomfortable’ perspective help us reimagine ourselves to meet today’s needs and those we see on the horizon. Most of all, our people, our friendships, and our Spawn family make it a great place to work.”

42. C1S Group

Location: Dallas, Texas
Focus: Engineering, construction, and sustainability consulting
Number of employees: 23
Average salary: $83,250
Vacation time: 15 days PTO, plus an additional day for each year of service

Perks: Remote work options during the pandemic, office opened for limited occupancy, school-age kids can come to work with their parents to do virtual school at C1S, virtual happy hours, team trivia competitions, date night with wine and cheese pairings, taco Fridays, catered Monday lunches, crawfish boil, annual chili cook-off, Halloween costume contest, and a running team.

What makes it great: “Working at C1S is challenging, with a fun, family atmosphere. Our core values define who we are and how we do our work, so we have a team that’s committed to safety, integrity, passion, resourcefulness, dependability, and fun. When you prioritize these beliefs and use them to guide your business, then work becomes something that gives you energy, as well as a sense of pride.”

43. Charles Cunniffe Architects

(Aubree Dallas/CCA)

Location: Aspen, Colorado
Focus: Architecture
Number of Employees: 20
Average salary: Not provided
Vacation time: Varies

Perks: Free ski pass to Aspen’s four mountains, weekly flextime for powder days or midday bike rides, work-from-home or satellite office option to reduce commute time, 401(k) matching, company Subaru for site visits, yearly pro bono work for nonprofits, wide array of philanthropic outreach, and design charrettes to keep the creative juices flowing.

What makes it great: “It starts with our team. We carefully select team members for not only immense design skills but also those who share our values and work ethic. Our team of fun and crazy-talented designers collaborate and share a passion for the outdoors. Weekly flextime and a flexible schedule allow us all to get outside to refresh and renew. We are a family, and we extend that dedication to our own families, and we schedule our work to allow for community and family engagement.”

44. Skratch Labs

(Courtesy Skratch Labs)

Location: Boulder, Colorado
Focus: Food and beverage
Number of employees: 25
Average salary: Not provided
Vacation time: Unlimited PTO

Perks: Employee profit sharing; cooking lessons; daily recess knockout games; bike repair station; indoor bike racks; beer, wine, coffee, and tea; stocked kitchen; deals on outdoor gear; on-site massage chair; free Skratch for employees and their friends; dog-friendly office; kid-friendly office; basketball hoop; and TRX, kettlebell, and medicine ball workout stations.

What makes it great: “Everything at Skratch is aimed at getting better. As an organization, we don’t always have all the answers, but we listen and we act. We do so through our mistakes and also from the feedback we get from our customers and one another.”

45. First Descents

(Courtesy First Descents)

Location: Denver, Colorado
Focus: Outdoor adventure programs for young adults affected by cancer
Number of employees: 20
Average salary: Not provided
Vacation time: 26 days PTO

Perks: Full-time remote work flexibility, socially distanced team happy hours and lunches in different parks around Denver, monthly health and wellness stipend, partial cellphone reimbursement, paid parental leave, and pro-deal gear discounts.

What makes it great: “First Descents is unique in that we’re not just an organization in a cool industry with sweet perks. We’re also a tight-knit community of individuals who have been brought together by hardships and sickness, with a devotion to service, gratitude, and living life to the absolute fullest by pushing our boundaries and those that the world inflicts upon us. In other words, creating opportunity for healing through community and the outdoors is at the heart of what we do, and therefore is at the heart of every individual involved, which makes the bond we all share a strong one. The community of First Descents extends well beyond the four walls of our office (or these days, the virtual walls of our Zoom calls), making it feel like so much more than just a job, but rather, a way of Out Living It in the world.”

46. Geographic Expeditions (GeoEx)

Location: San Francisco, California
Focus: Adventure travel company
Number of employees: 50
Average salary: Not provided
Vacation time: Three weeks PTO to start

Perks: Virtual yoga classes, socially distant bird walks, beach picnic lunches with views of the San Francisco skyline, flexible schedules to support participation in civic engagement, familiarization trips to GeoEx destinations, and offices in San Francisco’s Presidio National Park.

What makes it great: “On familiarization trips, you could find yourself hiking trails in Patagonia, exploring centuries-old temples in Bhutan, trekking to mountain gorillas in Rwanda, or kayaking past icebergs in Antarctica. Around the office, we have a beloved cocktail cart that makes the rounds where we’re often found swapping travel tales. The views of the Golden Gate Bridge from our offices are a nice perk, too.”

47. i2 Construction

Location: Denver, Colorado
Focus: Construction
Number of employees: 45
Average salary: $88,056
Vacation time: 15.5 days PTO per year

Perks: 100 percent employer-paid health care, dental, and vision; $50 per month Thrive Pass allocation for health-based activities; paid gas and e470 tolls; snacks and beverages at the office; flexible schedules; ping-pong tables and Golden Tee golf; dog-friendly office; quarterly bonuses; community service opportunities; and monthly companywide happy hours.

What makes it great: “i2 Construction is a place that truly puts company culture at the forefront of their mission. Their success in maintaining prosperous client relationships is a result of the way in which they care for employees. Team members feel that the culture is genuine and family-centric, which results in a positive work environment centered around work-life balance and community involvement.”

48. ThrivePass

(Courtesy ThrivePass)

Location: Denver, Colorado
Focus: Technology
Number of employees: 38
Average salary: Not provided
Vacation time: Unlimited PTO

Perks: $300 annual stipend for learning and development; money each month in a Thrive Account for employee well-being; frequent happy hours and team events; company volunteer days; 401(k) match; competitive health insurance plans, plus a health reimbursement account; one-month sabbatical after five years of employment; snacks galore; professional and leadership development opportunities.

What makes it great: “ThrivePass is more than your average tech company. We offer awesome office perks, but our real passion is around employee growth and development. Here, we support and empower our employees to be their best selves. Opinions and ideas are valued and encouraged at every level of our company. Driven by courage, authenticity, resourcefulness, and excellence, we pride ourselves on embodying these core values in every aspect of our business.”

49. BrainStorm

Location: American Fork, Utah
Focus: Helps large organizations adopt and use software
Number of employees: 132
Average salary: Not provided
Vacation time: 12 days PTO to start, plus three paid volunteer days

Perks: Corporate ski passes to a local resort; bimonthly out-of-office activities, like Provo River floats, volleyball tournaments, or snow tubing; bimonthly service outings to volunteer at animal shelters or clean up parks and rivers; adventure grant opportunities; and a paid sabbatical after ten years.

What makes it great: “We use the phrase ‘OneTeam’ at BrainStorm as a reminder that we rise and fall together, and that it’s only when we’re in sync that we can meet our goals. In 2020, it was never more clear how much the team has taken the spirit of OneTeam to heart. In spite of the pandemic and our physical distance from one another, we’ve never been more aligned in purpose, drive, and dedication. The OneTeam mentality—that commitment to not just the business but each other—is what makes BrainStorm a great place to work.”

50. Realeflow

Location: Parma Heights, Ohio
Focus: Real estate investing software and education
Number of employees: 36
Average salary: $70,000
Vacation time: Unlimited PTO

Perks: Working from home now; half-day summer Fridays; work-from-home flexibility; company outings, like Cleveland Indians games; a three-week paid sabbatical after six years, with two round-trip tickets to anywhere in the world; and a fridge stocked with healthy snacks, local beer, and spiked seltzer.

What makes it great: “There is no micromanaging, and everyone can self-manage themselves. They don’t keep track of personal days, and as long as your work gets done, they don’t care if you’re in office or at home. The more you put in, the more you get out, as far as opportunities and promotions.”

Honorable Mentions

(Courtesy Ascent360)


Location: Golden, Colorado
Focus: Digital marketing and customer data mining

Backbone Media

Location: Carbondale, Colorado
Focus: Brand marketing and PR agency

(Courtesy Best Version Media)

Best Version Media

Location: Brookfield, Wisconsin
Focus: Publisher of neighborhood publications across the United States

Big Agnes

Location: Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Focus: Outdoor gear maker


Location: Denver, Colorado
Focus: Digital advertising software platform


Location: Bozeman, Montana
Focus: Experience-management technology solutions

(Courtesy DPS)

DPS Skis

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Focus: Outdoor gear maker

Duft Watterson

Location: Boise, Idaho; and San Francisco, California
Focus: Full-service branding and advertising agency

Egg Strategy

Location: Denver, Colorado
Focus: Strategy and innovation consultants

Encompass Technologies Development

Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
Focus: Technology


Location: Jacksonville Beach, Florida
Focus: Health care license monitoring


Location: Bend, Oregon
Focus: Real estate marketing cloud

Hanson Dodge

Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Focus: Integrated marketing

IDX Broker

Location: Eugene, Oregon
Focus: Software for the real estate industry

Infinite Energy

Location: Gainesville, Florida
Focus: Natural gas utility company

(Courtesy Insight Designs)

Insight Designs Web Solutions

Location: Boulder, Colorado
Focus: Technology

Montana Wilderness Association

Location: Helena, Montana
Focus: Nonprofit conservation organization

Namasté Solar

Location: Boulder, Colorado
Focus: Employee-owned renewable-energy cooperative

Ninkasi Brewing

Location: Eugene, Oregon
Focus: Microbrewery

Nuun Hydration

Location: Seattle, Washington
Focus: Electrolyte tablets


Location: Denver, Colorado
Focus: Skill development and career services technology

Petzl America

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Focus: Outdoor gear maker

POC Sports

Location: Park City, Utah
Focus: Outdoor gear maker

Powder 7

Location: Golden, Colorado
Focus: Retail ski equipment


Location: Golden, Colorado
Focus: Knife and accessories outlet


Location: Jackson, Wyoming
Focus: Outdoor apparel


Location: Santa Barbara, California
Focus: Eco-friendly apparel


Location: Denver, Colorado
Focus: Software

USA Triathlon

Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Focus: Sports nonprofit

Corrections: (11/09/2021) A previous version of this article incorrectly described Pairin’s focus. The story has been updated to clarify that the company no longer offers professional-development and hiring software. Outside regrets the error.