In Glassdoor’s 2020 rankings of the best employers to work for, tech companies have come out on top, with software company Salesforce being named as the best place to work in the U.K.

Despite the strain of increasing unemployment and the economic stress caused by the coronavirus lockdowns of the last year, the national tech industry has continued to grow. With the UK tech industry receiving over £10.8 billion of investment in 2020, and with no signs of slowing down as the economy reopens, many people are considering a move into the sector.

The job security that the tech industry offers, as well as many companies offering in-demand perks such as having the option to work from home, means it’s no surprise that the industry dominates the end-of-year list. 

When looking for a new job, it can be hard to work out which companies are worth working for, and who should be avoided. Glassdoor gives anonymous current and former employees a place to leave honest reviews about their workplaces, giving potential employees an invaluable resource for learning about important aspects such as work-life balance and office culture.

The fact that tech companies dominate Glassdoor’s top ten list is proof that the industry is growing from strength to strength, and that a career in tech is something to seriously consider. With this in mind, here are ten of the best companies to work for in the UK. 

1. Salesforce

As more businesses have started operating remotely over the last year, this American cloud-based software company has been able to grow on an incredible scale. In December 2020, Salesforce announced that it was buying the popular workplace chat application Slack for over $27 billion, one of the largest software deals in history. Salesforce boasts a customer base of over 100,000 customers, with its customer relationship management (CRM) service being an industry leader, and over 60,000 employees in its offices across the world.

Many employee reviews describe a positive work environment at Salesforce; an emphasis on the Hawaiian concept of ‘Ohana’ drives a workplace culture that values employee well-being, scope for career development and generous benefits packages that are particularly appreciated. The company’s successful streak doesn’t look like it will be ending any time soon, and since over 90% of British reviewers say they would recommend working there, this industry leader could provide you with the career of your dreams. 

2. Microsoft

Microsoft is still holding its ground as a tech giant more than 45 years after its founding. The company has a foothold in a range of tech industries, from software development to computer hardware to video games, meaning that no matter what your interests in the sector are, you are almost guaranteed to find a role you love with Microsoft. With over 160,000 employees worldwide, including those in its four U.K. offices, its commitment to diversity and inclusion is a defining aspect of the company culture. 

Microsoft reported a net income of more than $44 billion last year, a record high following a dip in 2018, meaning that like many tech companies they have emerged from the coronavirus pandemic relatively unaffected. Although they had a hiring freeze earlier in 2020, software engineers and roles working with its cloud computing products have remained in demand.

Microsoft also encourages its employees to gain further training and volunteer their time through its employee giving program, supporting them to pursue their professional and personal development. Even as one of the biggest technology companies in the world, a career with Microsoft offers a genuinely worthwhile experience.

3. Abcam 

Abcam is a global life sciences company that develops protein research tools, and is a member of the UK BIA Antibody Taskforce, a leading biotech consortium that in October last year announced the identification of antibody therapy candidates that could provide a treatment in the fight against coronavirus. In 2020 they reported an annual revenue of £260 million, and are aiming to generate over £450 million in revenue by 2024.

The growth of Abcam and the biotechnology sector more generally doesn’t look like it will end any time soon, especially as scientists warn that future pandemics are likely due to the impact of climate change. Technological experts will be in increasing demand in response to this, so if you are keen to combine an interest in health science with a career in tech then Abcam may be the company for you.

Current and former employees describe a range of perks to working at Abcam, such as having access to a benefits package that can be specifically tailored to the needs of the employee, including enhanced parental leave, and having the opportunity to gain free company shares after a few years of service. With access to these benefits and the potential to use technology to assist with groundbreaking medical research, Abcam provides a wealth of opportunities for those who want to work in a field that is always changing.

4. Google

Google offers more than just a popular search engine. The company also specialises in advertising technologies, cloud computer programmes, and a range of software and hardware options such as the popular Chromebook. Although it was number one on Glassdoor’s top ten companies to work for in the UK last year, having been knocked off the top spot this year by Salesforce, it’s 4.4 out of 5 rating from its employees is still commendable.

Its parent firm Alphabet also owns the video-sharing platform YouTube and the fitness company Fitbit, so its investment in a wide range of technology sectors could appeal to prospective employees who have a variety of technology interests. 

Its wealth of international offices, with three in London alone, offers prospective employees a great opportunity to work for a multinational company which creates and implements technology that is used across the world. Furthermore, its user base is one that very few other companies can compete with: eight of its products have over one billion worldwide users each.

Like many other companies on this list, it also offers very generous employee benefits, such as the ‘20% time policy’ that allows them to use 20% of their working time for side projects. With this kind of personal development being encouraged, it’s not hard to see why Google is one of the most popular technology companies to work for. 

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5. Softcat

Softcat describes their goal as ‘to be the leading voice in the IT infrastructure, product and services industry’, by offering a scope of services across a variety of sectors. For example, they provide solutions for hybrid infrastructure and cloud technologies, cyber security and digital workspaces to name a few.

They also boast several partnerships with other industry giants including Amazon Web Services, Adobe and HP. Over the 2020 financial year, their revenue grew by 9% to reach a sum of over £1.077 billion. Even with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, this steady growth is a promising sign that this British IT infrastructure provider is here to stay.

Softcat has a 4.4 star rating on Glassdoor, with a 99% approval rating for the CEO Graeme Watt, showing great employee satisfaction all round. They have nine offices across the UK and Ireland, as well as a handful of international locations, meaning that employees have access to all the benefits associated with working for a multinational company.

Many current and former employees mention a strong work culture that encourages development and progression within the company, so whether you are just starting your career or looking for a change, Softcat might be a company to keep an eye out for.

6. GTB

This American marketing agency, otherwise known as Global Team Blue, is the dedicated advertising agency for the Ford Motor Company. It has had an impressive history, having first been established as Ford’s agency-of-record back in 1943. In 2007, it combined with five other advertising agencies under WPP to become Team Detroit, eventually rebranding as GTB in 2015.

Although GTB is based in America, its parent company WPP is headquartered in London, with operations carried out in advertising, public relations, communications and technology across the globe.

As technology developments in recent years have revolutionised the advertising industry, for example with companies now being able to directly advertise on tech platforms, GTB has been able to hold its ground and remain as Ford’s largest single global marketing partner. Employees describe a working culture that supports a good work-life balance and employee wellbeing, as well as the scope for forward progression and training opportunities.

Tech skills are in demand in the marketing industry; issues such as the need to maintain data security for sensitive client information need creative tech solutions, so if this catches your interest then a role at GTB may be for you.

7. Apple

Apple is considered to be one of the Big Five companies of the U.S. IT field, alongside other industry mammoths Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Facebook (three of whom also feature in this list). Apple is perhaps most famous for the distinct aesthetic of its hardware, with many commentators sharing the belief that the iPhone led a technological revolution starting in the late noughties and lasting throughout the 2010s.

Alongside the innovative hardware of the Mac and the Apple Watch, Apple is also responsible for software products such as iTunes and Apple Pay that have similarly had an incredible impact on the technology that we use in our everyday lives. Since its founding in 1976, Apple has grown to become an industry leader that is recognised and respected across the world, meaning that having their name on your resume is sure to impress future employers throughout your tech career.

The retail and corporate branches of Apple mean that there is something to appeal to any prospective employee, whether you want to help people solve their computer issues directly or be a behind-the-scenes pioneer inventing the technology of the future.

Although some employees report an intense and high-paced work environment, flexible working hours and being surrounded by talented colleagues are highly valued job perks. Internal job opportunities offer a chance to work your way up the ranks, so although Apple might be one of the most competitive employers on this list, the pay-off of the experience seems to be worth it.

8. Bella Italia

The Italian restaurant chain might be an outlier on this list, but there is still a place for technology within the hospitality industry. For example, customer payments are normally taken through EPOS systems, which means that data security systems need to be kept up-to-date to ensure financial information is kept secure.

Employee payrolls and stock ordering systems also need people with technology knowledge to guarantee smooth and timely operation. While the hospitality industry might not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of a career in technology, it may be an option worth considering, especially considering Bella Italia’s admirable position in this list of top ten UK companies to work for. 

9. SAP

This German multinational corporation, which specializes in software for customer relations and business operations, is the largest non-American software company by revenue, having generated over 27.34 billion euros in revenue in the last year.

Around 23.23 billion of this came from its cloud and software sales, perhaps a result of the increased demand for this technology in the last year as the pandemic forced millions of workers to embrace working from home, with many companies needing to update their systems to account for this new normal. Since 2019, SAP has made public its plans to focus on cloud-based technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain, demonstrating a commitment to a rapidly developing area of technology that would no doubt provide exciting career opportunities to those looking for a career in this field. 

SAP has recently published a ‘Pledge to Flex’, which promises to ensure that every one of their roles guarantees complete flexibility, so employees can have a combination of both home and office-based working in line with their personal preferences.

Another contributing factor to SAP’s place in the top ten UK companies to work at is its on-boarding and mentoring programmes, which helps staff feel valued and supported. As companies across the world are increasingly embracing a permanent shift towards working from home and cloud-based systems, there will be an increasing demand for the technological expertise that is needed to support these, and a multinational company like SAP might be a good place to start a career in our increasingly globalised economy. 

10. Facebook

The popular social media website has possibly the most impressive user base out of all the companies on this list, with over 2.6 billion monthly active users, of which 1.73 billion are daily users. In addition, around 65% of the world’s internet population uses at least one of its services every month, which include its Messenger platform, Instagram and WhatsApp.

A user base of this size means that over 44,000 people are employed by the company full-time, over 8000 of whom have given it an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars on Glassdoor, thanks to a range of benefits such as a transportation reimbursement programme that offsets commute costs and comprehensive private medical insurance. Their extensive benefits package is one of the most generous in the tech industry, which makes a career with them even more rewarding. 

As well as managing servers and the infrastructure of the site, which requires knowledge of multiple coding languages such as C++ and Java, having control of data security is just as important at Facebook as it is at any other company.

In addition, many sites have the option of signing in with a Facebook login, and Facebook uses this data as part of its digital advertising service. Having access to this valuable marketing information requires compliance with data protection laws, and the knowledge to stay one step ahead of hackers to prevent them from gaining access to users’ information. Therefore, regardless of what area of technological expertise you specialise in, you are guaranteed to find any kind of IT position available at Facebook.

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