Show, don't tell: 3 Colorado tech companies with benefits that support a balanced life

April Bohnert

Life in tech moves fast. As best as we try to maintain a healthy work-life balance, the demands of a fast-growing startup can, at times, be all consuming. Of course, hard work is par for the course, but today, tech workers also demand the support to lead fulfilling lives outside the office.

Some Colorado tech companies put their money where their mouth is by building benefits packages that prove they’re serious about work-life balance.

OnDeck empowers small businesses with access to loans via its digital platform. Through its benefits, OnDeck also empowers its employees to work hard and take time to enjoy that hard work with time outside the office. Taylor Buske, account manager and team lead, shared what work-life balance at OnDeck looks like to her.

What does a balanced life look like?

Time management is major when it comes to a balanced lifestyle. My iPhone calendar houses everything I’m doing between my work and personal life, so I keep everything very organized. My goal is to enjoy work while I’m in the office, and leave work at work when I’m at home. Work-life balance to me really means working to live as opposed to living to work.

What benefits does your company offer that support a healthy work-life balance?

On my team, we have the flexibility to work from home two times a month, and our managers are very understanding if we need to fit in an extra day or a morning or afternoon. We have “Summer Fridays” all year round that allow us to get out early based on the number of units we hit for the week and the number of hours we accrued that week. And there’s no PTO required for summer Fridays. My sister lives in New York City, and it’s great to visit her as I get to work from our New York office without having to take any time off. Paternity and maternity also allow you to take up to four full months with paid leave.

What other ways do you encourage your team to lead full and balanced lives?

We have an associate member that allows agents to feel fully covered while they are out of the office. In addition to our associate, we have a “bridge” month (two months allowed per year) that allows you to get a guaranteed bonus, regardless of what you end up hitting for your quota and if you are out for five or more days that month.

We have frequent individual contests – or team targets — that allow us to get out early and take a trip to a Rockies game, play knocker ball in the park or just go to happy hour together. We are a pretty close-knit family, as most of us have been through four offices in less than four years together in Denver.  

 

Amplio Digital helps e-commerce businesses with digital advertising and growth marketing through Amazon Marketplace and other online platforms. The company takes a very customer-centric approach to its work, but that doesn’t mean it’s at the expense of its people. Operations consultant Thomas Gloge explained why employees come first at Amplio, and how that philosophy benefits the company and its clients.

What does a balanced life look like?

A work-life balance is best defined by productivity, happiness and health. Providing the time and flexibility for employees to put life as a priority outside of work pays dividends in terms of the quality of work of employees. Internally, it is important to make sure the work environment is an enjoyable, friendly, open and safe place for employees. Most importantly, I feel as though it is important to recognize that this is not an achievement but a continual process to understand how to adjust to improve all three: health, happiness and productivity.

What specific benefits does your company offer that support a healthy work-life balance?

These are just some of the benefits that Amplio provides that exemplify our priority for a work-life balance: unlimited PTO; flexible working hours; $100 monthly health and productivity stipend per employee (massages, gym memberships, books or other relevant items); flexible remote work (many employees work remotely during an extended trip, when their dog is sick, or for any reason at all); Employee of the Year gets a one-month paid work vacation with one-week paid-off, from a list of cities the company provides; quarterly company outings and off-site events (including remote employees); and paid lunches for any team collaboration (if two team members have lunch together, the company will pay for it).

What other ways do you encourage your team to lead full and balanced lives?

Amplio's overarching company goals are "grow employees, grow current clients and grow Amplio." They are in that order (and priority) for a reason: We believe it creates a waterfall effect. Happy, productive employees result in happy clients, which result in Amplio's growth (referrals, low churn rates, etc.).

In addition to the benefits I mentioned, we also support work-life balance in other ways. We encourage OKR's (Objectives and Key Results) to be a blend of corporate and personal goals. We constantly review employees’ workloads and ask employees to provide "Burden Levels" to ensure they are not overloaded (or underutilized). We use third-party software to help provide anonymous feedback to management. And we consistently review eNPS (employee Net Promoter Score) and Glassdoor reviews to ensure Amplio among the best places to work in Colorado.

 

Stack Overflow offers a community where developers can learn, share knowledge and grow their careers. That commitment to community and personal development carries into the company’s culture. People operations specialist Valerie Thomas gave some insight into the benefits Stack offers to support its employees’ pursuit of a balanced life.

What does a balanced life look like?

Work is important, but work isn’t everything. Being a modern company means understanding that people have lives outside the office walls, and what’s top priority to someone isn’t always a top priority to someone else. Balance starts by having everyone understand this fundamentally, and then building policies around that.

What specific benefits does your company offer that support a healthy work-life balance?

Stack Overflow is a “Remote First” organization. Over a quarter of our employees work remotely. We not only don’t want them to miss out anything, we can’t have them miss out. That’s a big chunk of the company! We tailor our day-to-day activities to ensure remote workers have equal access to everything being discussed in the office — from keeping team conversations to Slack or Google Hangout, to having company-wide meetings where everyone dials in. We even give our remote employees half a day off with a stipend so they can have their own “office party” each year.

We also have a generous parental leave policy. What’s more important than a baby? Primary caregivers can get up to 16 weeks paid at 100 percent, and secondary caregivers can get up to 10 weeks paid at 100 percent. That goes for adoptions as well (for which we also offer financial assistance). New parents are also entitled to a take-out stipend so they don’t have to worry about dinner when they’re caring for a new baby!

We also have a fitness reimbursement that covers up to $150 per month, and the company will also cover 80 percent of team registration fees for an office league sports season. We even give you a cooler with drinks to take to your matches. We’ve had Stackers compete after work in soccer, volleyball and kickball!

What other ways do you encourage your team to lead full and balanced lives?

After five years of employment, we offer a sabbatical. This can be from four to eight weeks (each consecutive year of employment following five years gets you an additional weeks’ credit, up to eight weeks). We want our employees to take the time to recharge and relax, and that way, they come back newly focused.

 

Photos via featured companies. Responses have been edited for clarity and length.

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