London transport organisation TfL has a better “staff first” ethos than any other major business in the UK, according to a new survey by jobs site Indeed.
Generous holiday allowances and flexible working hours were among the factors that employees most valued at TfL. University of Leeds was second in the rankings followed by Apple. Engineering giants BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce were also on the list, alongside UK retail stalwart John Lewis.
TfL, where frontline staff experience daily doses of commuter angst, particularly as the current train crisis in the south-east in the wake of the 20 May timetable changes continues, saw the news as affirmation of its customer-focused strategy.
Tricia Wright, chief people officer at TfL, said: “It’s great to be recognised as the best place to work for work-life balance, especially since the award is a result of feedback from people who have worked at TfL. In order to offer customers the best service possible, we believe that it is important to have a diverse workforce who feel valued.
“We have a range of opportunities that give staff better work-life balance, from flexible working, to staff network groups, including groups for parents and carers, where our staff can share their experiences and advice. Establishing a healthy work-life balance within any organisation is vital because it means staff will feel supported and motivated to fulfil their potential.”
Created in 2000 by the Greater London Authority, TfL runs the capital’s tube, rail and bus networks and employs 27,000 people.
Indeed said its findings revealed that a good work-life balance incorporated good holiday allocation, sympathetic working hours and the ability to leave work at the office and reinforced its recent survey that found that almost 90% of Brits did not regard salary as the most important factor in their jobs.
Apple, the world’s most valuable firm is in third place. It employs more than 1,400 staff in the UK, with plans to relocate its team here to a new HQ at Battersea Power Station from 2021.
The vast majority of the top 15 – including the top two – were British organisations, with Unilever in fourth place.
There are also strong performances from tuition network Kumon (fifth), the University of Greenwich (sixth) and perennial employees’ favourite John Lewis (seventh), with Thomson Reuters sitting in 11th place, behind the likes of Jobcentre Plus, GlaxoSmithKline and American Express.
In the ratings and reviews, the University of Leeds was consistently praised by staff – past and present – for providing employees with a strong support network and a good working environment. It also offers in-house courses and training to help staff with career progression, and has new job opportunities each month that allow employees to move around within the organisation.
Reviews posted on Indeed frequently described the work environment as friendly, supportive and flexible. The University was also praised for having a diverse workforce; with staff from all over the world, employees have the chance to experience different cultures and customs.
Bill Richards, UK managing director at Indeed, said: “There is much to be gained both for employers and employees from encouraging a healthy work-life balance so all companies in this list should be applauded for already offering more to their staff than just a salary, none more so than Transport for London for leading the way.
He added: “Millennials in particular are aware that they are likely to have to work for longer than previous generations, so they appreciate the need to enjoy what they are doing as well as where and with whom they are doing it. There is a healthy mixture of employers on the list from a wide variety of industries – within both the public and private sectors – which demonstrates that offering a good work/life balance is by no means exclusively the domain of trendy tech startups, but is in fact something all smart employers should be doing.”
The work/life balance list in full
- Transport for London
- University of Leeds
- University of Greenwich
- John Lewis
- Jobcentre Plus
- American Express
- Thomson Reuters
- University of Southampton
- Lloyds Banking Group
- BAE Systems