Outside’s “Best Places to Work” project celebrates the innovative companies setting a new standard for a healthy work-life balance. The list was compiled with the help of the Outdoor Industry Association and Best Companies Group. The yearlong selection process began with an outreach effort that identified a wide range of non-profit and for-profit organizations with at least 15 employees working in an office in the United States. Participating companies were sent confidential employee-satisfaction surveys and employer-questionnaires to collect information about benefits, compensation, policies, job satisfaction, environmental initiatives, and community outreach programs. The experts at the Best Companies Group then analyzed the results and selected the companies that best enable employees to pursue active lifestyles while also supporting their social and environmental contributions.
“It was an honor to receive this award the first time. Five years in a row is a real testament to the power of our mission and the dedication of our staff,” NOLS Executive Director John Gans said. “Our staff intensely share a passion for our mission and for wilderness education. It is that passion that creates high levels of job satisfaction.”
In past years, Outside has highlighted 50 outstanding companies. This year, Best Companies Group determined that there were so many top-quality applicants that the list needed to be expanded. Outside editors agreed, and doubled the size of the list.
“We’re thrilled to celebrate all 100 of these forward-thinking companies,” said Michael Roberts, Senior Executive Editor of Outside. “They believe success depends on helping their employees live more active and fulfilling lives. The kinds of benefits they’re providing—free fitness classes, flexible hours, subsidized healthy meals, lots of time out of the office—result in a more productive and engaged staff.”
NOLS offers a very comfortable, collaborative, and interactive workspace. Dogs are permitted at several locations; footwear is sometimes optional. The various branches around the world play volleyball, cricket, kickball, ultimate Frisbee, croquet, soccer, go rock climbing, biking or skiing together and have daily office workouts. All branches have outdoor gear free for employee use. In the Pacific Northwest qualified faculty can take the keelboat on personal trips. New Zealand has staff surf boards. Australia and Alaska have staff mountain bikes. Alaska has sea kayaks. NOLS Rocky Mountain and Headquarters offer discounted weekly yoga classes in our classroom space and free bikes to use for commuting and lunch breaks.
NOLS: Jeanne O’Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org, (800) 710-NOLS
OUTSIDE MAGAZINE: Jada Williams/ Jada@giantnoise.com / 646.649.4933
Founded in 1965 by legendary mountaineer Paul Petzoldt, NOLS is the leader in wilderness education, providing awe-inspiring, transformative experiences to more than 15,000 students each year. These students, ages 14 to 70, learn in the wildest and most remote classrooms worldwide—from the Amazon rain forest, to rugged peaks in the Himalaya, to Alaskan glaciers and Arctic tundra. Graduates are active leaders with lifelong environmental ethics and outdoor skills. NOLS also offers customized courses through NOLS Professional Training, and the Wilderness Medicine Institute of NOLS is the leading teacher of wilderness medicine worldwide. For more information, call (800) 710-NOLS (6657) or visit www.nols.edu.
Outside is America¹s leading active lifestyle brand. For more than 30 years, Outside has covered travel, sports, adventure, health, and fitness, as well as the personalities, the environment, and the style and culture of the world Outside. The Outside family includes Outside magazine, the only magazine to win three consecutive National Magazine Awards for General Excellence, The Outside Buyer’s Guides, Outside Online, Outside Television, Outside Events, Outside+ tablet edition, and Outside Books. Visit us online and on Facebook.
About the Best Companies Group
Best Companies Group works with national and local partners around the country to establish and manage “Best Places to Work,” “Best Companies,” and “Best Employers” programs on a national, statewide, and regional basis. Through its thorough workplace assessment, utilizing employer questionnaires and employee-satisfaction surveys, BCG identifies and recognizes companies who have been successful in creating and maintaining workplace excellence.
About the Outdoor Industry Association
Founded in 1989, Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is the premier trade association for companies in the active outdoor recreation business. OIA provides trade services for over 4000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives and retailers in the outdoor industry. Outdoor Industry Association seeks to ensure a healthy and diverse specialty retail and supply chain based on quality, innovation and service. To this end, OIA works diligently to raise the standards of the industry; increase participation in outdoor recreation to strengthen business markets; provide support services to improve member profitability; represent member interests in the legislative/regulatory process; promote professional training and education; support innovation; and offer cost-saving member benefits. Search for outdoor-industry jobs is at OIA’s career center:www.outdoorindustry.org.