Snow joke: Capital One wins best big company to work for

The credit card company is one of three firms to be named the greatest places to work in the UK. Partly because of its (ice) cool employee benefits...

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 14 Jun 2013

What makes a company the UK’s best place to work? Free private healthcare? Receptive managers? General solvency? How about a ‘snow room complete with an igloo, light house and beach huts’?

The results of the annual ‘Great Place to Work "Best Workplaces" Awards’ (not to be confused with the Sunday Times’ ‘Best Companies to Work For’) are in, and topping the list(s) this year are Nottingham-based credit card company Capital One in the 500+ employees category and management consultancy Impact International in the 50-499 employees category. Propellernet (a search marketing agency. Not a social network for pilots) came top of the rankings for ‘small’ companies.  

A quick look at the finalists suggests that being a trendy tech company helps your chances – about 10% of the 80 finalists were in the tech sector. Weirdly, fast food companies also fared well, with McDonald’s and KFC ranked among the top large firms. Brings a new meaning to the term ‘McJob’...

Marketing firms were also well-represented. Dunhumby ranked among the large companies, while Impact, Brand Learning, Ketchum and Fishburn Hedges numbered among the medium-sized winners.
But while Great Place to Work chief exec Tom O’Byrne commended all its finalists for being ‘champions of trust-driven employee engagement’, true winners go that extra mile. Capital One said it was commended on its ‘great facilities’, including that light house/igloo/beach hut combo (not actually as cool as it sounds. A spokesperson for the company told us it’s just a room shaped like an igloo. ‘There are no sub-zero temperatures,’ she added), as well as a ‘fully equipped music room’ and a ‘free on-site gym’.

Most entrepreneurs tend to rely on the fact that their companies are exciting places to work to attract the best employees - but for their larger counterparts, perhaps it’s just a question of how employers sell themselves: after all, KFC and McDonald’s both have their own on-site snow rooms. They just refer to them as ‘the fridge’.

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