Five Illinois Companies Make Top Work-Life Balance List

August 24, 2012

Work to live, or live to work? The former is a broadly-acknowledged philosophy at 25 American companies that rank highest for their emphasis on work-life balance. Glassdoor.com, an online career community, culled employee feedback from the past year to identify those companies that prioritized their workers’ needs nearly as much as the organization’s.

Five Illinois-based companies made the second-annual list, with CareerBuilder breaking into the top five. Orbitz (12), Discover (16), Morningstar (17), and Navteq (23) are also ranked. In fact, Illinois features more companies on the list than any other state. California and Texas clock in with four companies each, and Massachusetts follows up with three.

For the employees at these companies, perks range from telecommuting options to flexible hours. To find out more about their commitment to work-life balance, we asked employees at the five Illinois companies the same three questions. Their answers are below.

Why is work-life balance important at your company?
Robert Weiss, Discover spokesperson: Discover believes work/life balance is essential to creating personal and professional happiness. That’s why we offer a complete range of programs and options to help our employees make the most of all aspects of life.

Chris Chiames, Orbitz spokesperson: Technology companies operate in a very competitive marketplace and employees have skills wanted by many employers. A focus on work-life balance allows us to recruit the best candidates and keep them once they get to Orbitz so that we have a strong, motivated and talented workforce.

[ibimage==18608==Large==none==self==ibimage_align-center]
Cathi Rezy, director of HR in the US at Morningstar, Inc.: We believe that providing an environment that supports work-life balance leads to happier employees, greater productivity, and retention. Our employees are passionate about their work and dedicated to Morningstar’s mission. Providing work-life balance is one great way to recognize and thank our employees for the work they do.

Matt Ferguson, CareerBuilder CEO: Employees who have a good work-life balance tend to be more productive and drive better results.  Our employees bring a lot of value to our organization.  We believe in creating a work environment that supports both professional and personal growth.

Stefanie Schumann, Marketing Communications Manager at Nokia Location & Commerce (formerly NAVTEQ): The well-being of our employees is important and also fundamental to the Nokia Way. We as an employer recognize the importance of the balance between work content and personal interests and needs, as well as the impact of that balance on employee well-being.

Why do you think you made the list?
RW: Discover is proud to be a leader in the financial services industry. We’re also proud to offer the kinds of balance and benefits that help our employees get more out of life. It’s all a part of Discover’s unique culture based on leadership, innovation and rewards. Discover employees have flexible scheduling options, up to 25 days of paid time off upon hire, and a focus on individual career development.

CC: At Orbitz, we seek to maintain a strong package of pay, benefits and policies that reward our employees financially and professionally, yet also allow them to take care of their families and enjoy their time away from the office.

CR: Our employees are passionate about what we do, and we aim to create an environment that allows them to do their best work. We have a set of six core values that lie at the heart of everything we do: Investors First, Great Products, Great People, Uncompromising Ethics, Entrepreneurial Spirit, and Financial Success.  

We welcome new ideas, promote collaboration, and put investors first.  We support our employees through our benefits, perks, and flexible work environment but we also like to have fun too!  Company celebrations, parties, and community involvement are also ingrained in our culture.

MF: Whether it’s alternative work arrangements, telecommuting options or half day Fridays during the summer, flexibility is an important part of the CareerBuilder work culture.

SS: We believe our values differentiate us from other companies: They provide a sense of direction for consistent behavior as employees and citizens of the world, and in our quest to be a great internet company. We are committed to four fundamental concepts that underlie everything we do: engaging you, achieving together, passion for innovation and very human. These values reflect changes to our business and in the way that we work.

[ibimage==18610==Large==none==self==ibimage_align-center]What type of employees do you recruit?
RW: Discover Financial Services is a direct banking and payment services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S. financial services. We are determined to hire the most qualified people to perform the many jobs necessary in meeting the varied needs of our clients. Recognizing the talents and abilities of people from all backgrounds, and ensuring equal employment opportunity for all present and prospective employees is integral to our continued success.

CC: Our employees are diverse in educational background (technology, finance, business, graphic design) as well as personal background (ethnicity, religion, hobbies and interests).  By recognizing that employees need to have a life outside of the office, we cast a wide net and find the best and the brightest and a motivated workforce brings a high level of energy to the office setting.

CR: We aim to hire smart, curious, and creative people who love what they do and are passionate about our mission of helping investors. We trust our employees to manage their work independently, work well with others, and adhere to uncompromising ethics.

MF: We look for employees who are innovative and passionate about making a difference.   

SS: We are committed to providing equal and diverse opportunities for development and growth, both personally and professionally. The Nokia Way brings together talented individuals who share our four principles of: engaging you, achieving together, passion for innovation and very human, and therefore share success.

Orbitz photo courtesy of Trevor Kight; Discover photo courtesy of Robert Weiss.

Chicago startup guides

LOCAL GUIDE
Best Companies to Work for in Chicago
LOCAL GUIDE
Coolest Offices in Chicago Tech
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Perks at Chicago Tech Companies
LOCAL GUIDE
Women in Chicago Tech