Strategy: A recent survey of the happiest companies in the US shows that many of them have 2 key things in common — and it comes down to location and industry

HubSpot

Want to become a happier employee? Comparably's latest results on the happiest companies in the US indicate that you should consider working for a tech company based in California.

  • How can you boost your chances of being happy in the office?
  • The career site Comparably recently analyzed its data to find out what large US companies have the happiest workers.
  • Most of the companies were California-based tech outfits.

Want to be happy at work?

Move out to California and get a job in tech.

Comparably, a compensation and careers site, recently ranked what it found to be the happiest large companies in the US.

It based the results on anonymous employee reviews of companies with over 500 employees posted on its site between September 2017 and September 2018. At least 50 employees had to leave reviews for a company to be considered.

Of the top 25 companies, 12 were based in California. Red Bull GmbH is technically headquartered in Austria, but its North American branch is based in Santa Monica, California.

The Golden State’s splendid showing shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. The vast majority of the happiest companies belong to the tech sector, which is, of course, largely situated in California.

Red Bull, International Flavors & Fragrances, Golden Hippo Media, Starbucks, and Delta Airlines were the only companies in the rankings that weren’t strictly tech-oriented, but even these firms boast a significant tech aspect to their businesses. Eight of the companies that made the rankings create and sell software products. Five — Netflix, Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, and eBay — are well-known consumer-facing tech giants.

So if the domination of tech companies explains why California fared so well, then what explains the fact that tech workers are so happy? The answer is pretty simple, at least in part: tech jobs pay well.

In Glassdoor’s roundup of the 25 highest-paid occupations of 2018, 13 of the top jobs could be considered straight-up tech roles. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average systems software developer earns $127,230 a year in California. And the average wage for a systems software developer in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara area was even higher, coming in at $141,890 a year.

For perspective, the median annual wage for all US workers in 2017 was $44,564.

What’s more, research indicates that it’s not all about the money. Forbes reported on a 2016 survey in which 71% of tech workers said they felt they had a good work-life balance, while 72% of respondents working in tech said they felt appreciated on the job.

So if you’ve got the blues at work, consider brushing up on your tech skills and looking west.

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