6 Chicago tech companies taking employee perks seriously

Andreas Rekdal

Considering that we spend a huge portion of our waking hours at work, it's important to find a job that makes you look forward to coming to the office every day. Meaningful work is the most important piece of that puzzle, but great perks can definitely help sweeten the deal, too. These Chicago tech companies pride themselves on offering both. 

 

Label Insight uses data science to bring transparency to the food industry. In addition to a culture centered around a meaningful mission, the company offers lots of flexibility and competitive benefits.

Favorite perks: "Label Insight has an unlimited vacation policy and the authority to use it,” said director of engineering Donald Cook. “In fact, management actually mandates a minimum number of days that employees should take off."

"One of my favorite perks is that Label Insight has a dog-friendly workplace,” said product owner Abbie Bys. “Every Friday, our dogs join their owners in the office which is a really fun way to end the week. It's one of the many reasons Label Insight has happy employees and it has contributed to our strong company culture."

Other great benefits: The company’s employees enjoy flexible work hours, a stocked kitchen complete with snacks and a kegerator, parental leave, mentorship opportunities, competitive salaries and stock options. Label Insight also offers regular team events and catered team lunches, subsidized health insurance, a 401(k) and commuter benefits.

 

ActiveCampaign helps business owners boost their bottom lines with automated email marketing campaigns. The company’s SaaS platform has an intuitive drag-and-drop interface and leverages analytics to deliver effective and targeted emails. ActiveCampaign’s employees have competitive salaries and receive 401(k) contributions, but to some, flexibility stands out as the best part of working there.

Best perk: "We have a strong group of diverse people who complement each other very well,” said Chief Operations Officer Milos Srdjevic. “It is a professional and flexible environment where learning and personal growth is encouraged and where hard work is rewarded."

Other great benefits: ActiveCampaign’s employees have unlimited paid time off, catered lunches every day and completely covered health insurance with a 50 percent subsidy for dependents. The company also offers a fully stocked kitchen, stand up desks and free passes to the CTA and Metra.

 

In the world of independent investment research, no name carries as much weight as Morningstar. But the Chicago fintech pioneer also prides itself on being a good place to work. To that end, Morningstar gives longtime employees six-week sabbaticals every four years to recharge, try something new and grow as people.

Best perk: “To me, Morningstar sabbaticals are a prime example of the company's commitment to its employees,” said writer and editor Ryun Patterson. “I spent my last two sabbaticals doing research for books about spirit mediums and fortune tellers in Cambodia, and being able to unplug from work for six weeks lets me broaden my horizons, recharge my batteries, and take stock of where I am and what I want to do, both at work and at home. That just doesn't happen at most jobs.”

Other great benefits: On top of their sabbaticals, Morningstar’s employees get ample vacation and leave, competitive retirement plans and great health insurance. The company likes to highlight the little things too: casual dress, free beverages, bagel Wednesdays and the open and egalitarian workspace all contribute to making Morningstar a fun and friendly place to work.

 

HS2 Solutions works with brands like Wilson, Dominos and Zipcar to create results-driven digital experiences. The denizens of its sleek offices in Lakeview and Wheaton enjoy unique perks like free craft beer and covered pet insurance, but employees say the coolest part of working there is the people.

Best perk: “HS2 has been a wonderful experience,” said web and mobile developer Ali Moussa. “Our team brings such a variety of expertise and talent that when we come together, the results are powerful. We are a welcoming community and invite those who share that same passion in design and development. I couldn't imagine working anywhere else!”

Other great benefits: With top-of-the-line healthcare, disability and life insurance, discounted gym memberships, flexible spending accounts and 401(k) benefits, HS2 Solutions has all the fundamentals covered. The company also offers “take what you need” vacation, an annual hackathon, lunch and learns, certification opportunities and social events including an annual holiday bash where plus ones are invited.

 

Recruiters help companies find suitable talent, but who helps the recruiters? Yello does. The Chicago-based talent acquisition software provider makes it easier to track great talent, schedule interviews and stay on top of all the moving parts throughout the hiring process. That’s a tall task, but employees say taking on big challenges is one of the biggest perks of working there.

Favorite perks: “At Yello, every team member is empowered to continue learning, solve interesting problems and achieve new career accomplishments,” said Heather Redisch, VP of talent acquisition. “One of our core values is ‘Nothing is Impossible’ and through online courses, lunch-and-learns, industry events and hands-on guidance from company leadership, Yello’s employees continue to learn, accomplish goals and make the impossible, possible.”

Other great benefits: In addition its competitive 401(k) matching program and weekly catered lunches, Yello puts on a weekly birthday celebration where the guests of honor pick the snacks. And to help its employees stay fit and active, the company provides fitness membership reimbursements, discounted Divvy memberships and company-sponsored sports leagues.

 

Smokeball’s cloud-based practice management software helps small law firms streamline their casework and run their offices more smoothly. The company provides more than 6,000 automated forms and a mobile app to make it easier for legal staff to get work done on the go. Smokeball’s employees enjoy benefits like generous vacation and great health insurance, but their favorite perks are the little things that make the office feel more like home.

Best perk: “The monthly massages are great because it’s gives us a nice stress reliever during the day and helps us forget we’re even in the office,” said web designer Megan Pugh. “And if you schedule your massages appropriately, you can also gain another 10 minutes of calmness.”

Other great benefits: Paired with the monthly massages, Smokeball’s free yoga sessions boost the company’s zen credentials. Employees also get free breakfast, an allowance for gym memberships and ample opportunities to volunteer for charitable organizations.

 

Images via participating companies.

Does your company have awesome perks? Shoot us an email or tweet us @BuiltInChicago

Your Guide to the Best Perks at Chicago Tech Companies

These Chicago tech companies take employee benefits and perks to the next level.

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