Which UK companies offer the best work-life balance?

Since the pandemic and the emergence of home/hybrid working, a better work-life balance has become more important for much of the UK workforce. So, for this week’s Business Leader Top 12, we’ve looked at the highest-ranking UK companies for work-life balance using new research by company review platform Glassdoor.

This list is in descending order, starting with the company that scored the highest work-life balance rating according to Glassdoor.

Office for National Statistics

Founded in 1996, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is the executive office of the UK Statistics Authority. Responsible for collecting and publishing statistics relating to the UK economy, population and society, there are more than 3,302 employees who, according to Glassdoor’s research, enjoy the best work-life balance amongst any UK company; the ONS achieved a work-life balance rating of 4.58 out of five.

Softcat

Marlow-based IT infrastructure provider Softcat was founded in 1993 by Peter Kelly and has grown to have offices in nine UK locations, including Leeds, Bristol, London, Birmingham and Glasgow. Nowadays, the company even has its own podcast: Explain IT.

According to Glassdoor’s research, the company’s 1500 employees benefit from a very impressive work-life balance rating of 4.48 out of five.

Arm

Founded in Cambridge in 1990 and led by CEO Simon Segars, the semiconductor and software design company is most well-known for the design of ARM processors, a type of central processing unit (CPU).

Arm was taken over by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group in 2016, but in September 2020, it was announced that Nvidia was set to acquire the tech firm for $40 billion. Despite the semi-regular changes in management, the company’s 6,250 or so employees benefit from a work-life balance rating out 4.47 out of five.

Sky Betting & Gaming

Headquartered in Leeds, the online gambling and gaming company still goes by the name Sky Betting & Gaming despite no longer being owned by Sky plc. Sky and majority owner CVC Capital Partners, who Sky had sold an 80% stake to in 2015, sold the company to The Stars Group for £3.4bn in 2018.

Achieving a work-life balance rating of 4.46 out of five, more than 1,600 Sky Betting & Gaming employees appear to enjoy a better work-life balance than most.

Bank of England

The UK’s central bank and the first finance company to appear on this list, the Bank of England is responsible for setting interest rates, maintaining the UK’s financial stability and is also the custodian of the UK’s gold reserves.

Whilst the current rates of inflation they are offering are unlikely to fill anyone with much joy, the 3,721 people who work for the Bank of England reportedly have a great balance between worktime and leisure; according to Glassdoor, the UK’s central bank scored 4.42 out of five on its work-life balance rating.

FirstPort

Leading residential property services provider, FirstPort has been operating for more than four decades. Although, the company only became FirstPort after a rebranding of several property management companies, including Peverel, OM and Solitaire, in 2014.

Seeing as Peverel previously received widespread allegations of excessive fees and poor service back in 2011, it might come as a surprise that FirstPort scored so highly on the work-life balance rating (4.39 out of five). But to be fair, a lot can change in 10 years.

Sage

Sage, the Newcastle-based multinational software company, was founded back in 1981, and has grown to a company with more than 6.1million customers and offices in 24 countries. It’s thanks to such figures that the software giant has held the position of the UK’s second-largest technology company since 2017.

Scoring 4.34 out of five on the work-life balance rating, Sage offers a great mix of work and play for its 12,000 employees.

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC)

The branch of the UK government responsible for collecting taxes, those in the UK should be familiar with Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC). If you’re not, there might be cause for concern if you’re audited anytime soon.

Formed after a merger between Inland Revenue and Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise back in 2005, HMRC current has 57,943 employees who, hopefully, enjoy the many benefits that should come with a work-life balance rating of 4.32.

Anglian Water

Formed in 1989 after the partial privatisation of the water industry, Anglian Water takes care of water supply, sewerage and sewage treatment responsibilities in the East of England. The company currently provides water for 2.6 million properties, covering an area of 27,500 km2.

Currently employing 5,000 people, the water company landed itself on this list after scoring a remarkable 4.3 out of five on the work-life balance rating.

Radius Payment Solutions

Payment and fleet services company Radius Payment Solutions was founded in 1990. Its company headquarters are in Crewe, but it has a technology centre in Manchester along with offices in Singapore and Malaysia, giving the company a presence in 29 countries around the world.

According to the company’s website, Radius has over 2000 employees, 750 of which work out of their Crewe HQ. With a rating of 4.27 out of five, its staff appear to enjoy a quite enviable work-life balance.

The Very Group

The Very Group was founded as the Shop Direct Group when it was formed 16 years ago, after the merger of the former Littlewoods and Shop Direct companies. Based in the Speke area of Liverpool, the group is mainly known for its two main retail brands: Very and Littlewoods.com.

The group rebranded itself in 2020 and currently employs more than 3100 people. Scoring 4.24 out of five for work-life balance, this makes the company the highest scoring retail giant for work-life balance on our list.

Barratt Developments plc

One of the UK’s largest residential property developers, Barratt Developments plc owns three consumer brands: Barratt Homes, David Wilson Homes and Barratt London. Headquartered in Coalville after moving its HQ from Newcastle, it has been on the London Stock Exchange since 1968.

As it stands, there are 6,655 people employed across the company, who benefit from what appears to be a very respectable work-life balance: Glassdoor gave the property developer a score of 4.22 on its work-life balance meter.

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