The best places to work in the UK

The best places to work in the UK

You can’t avoid working, so you might as well ensure that you spend your time working for a decent company.

John Fitzsimons

Saving and Making Money

John Fitzsimons
Updated on 11 January 2023

One way to tackle the ongoing cost of living crisis may be to find a new job.

There is certainly no shortage of vacancies at the moment ‒ according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics, with 1.187 million vacancies currently.

But if you want to move to a new job, you want to make sure that you’re heading somewhere that’s pleasant to work.

So how do you go about working out if that prospective new employer is for you?

A new study by jobs platform Breakroom offers a useful insight.

Breakroom has published the results of feedback it has received from hourly workers on their experiences with various employers, covering things like pay, benefits, shifts and management over the past year, to name the best and worst places to work in the UK

The feedback was used to give each employer a score out of 10. Here’s how the best and worst shape up according to the Breakroom study.

Best companies to work for 2023


2. BAE Systems

3. Unilever

4. Hitachi

5. RSA Insurance

6. TransPennine Express

7. Bentley Motors

8. Cummins

9. Greater Anglia

10. South Western Railway

Worst employers

1. Comfort Call

2. Eden Futures

3. Tim Hortons

4. Max Spielmann

5. Bodycare

6. Poundstretcher

7. Choice Care

8. Victoria’s Secret

9. Valorum Care Group

10. McColls

Getting an insight into what you can expect from an employer from people that actually work there is obviously enormously valuable, though it’s worth bearing in mind that Breakroom only handles shift workers.

If you’re in an industry that works in a different way, then it won’t be too helpful.

Finding a great place to work

An alternative option is to check out the report last year from Great Place to Work about ‒ you guessed it ‒ the best places to work.

It is essentially a certification scheme ‒ businesses put themselves forward, but then their staff are surveyed on what it’s actually like to work there, followed by a ‘culture audit’ where businesses have to provide details about their culture, practices and programmes. 

Only the best firms that manage to achieve certification then make the annual list of great places to work.

The results are broken down, based on the number of employees in the business, with separate lists for small companies (20-50 employees), medium companies (51-250 employees), large businesses (251-1,000 employees) and super large firms (those with over 1,000 staff members).

What makes a great place to work?

Before we get into the results, it’s worth noting that according to the organisation behind the report there are certain qualities that help businesses stand out from the crowd as being a great place to work.

They include:

  • Benefits tailored to employees’ needs and wants;
  • Genuine thanks and recognition;
  • Opportunities for fun and social engagement;
  • Great employer branding that attracts and retains top talent;
  • Opportunities for professional growth;
  • Emphasis on creating and maintaining holistic employee wellbeing;
  • Strong focus on diversity, equality and inclusion;
  • Values-led behaviour at all levels;
  • Clearly embedded organisational strategy, effectively communicated from the top;
  • Outstanding communication channels that allow staff to ask questions, give feedback and share ideas.

Ultimately, there are a few key themes running through this.

Staff want to feel valued by their bosses, and that covers everything from their remuneration to being recognised for their achievements. They also want to know that their voice will be heard.

And then there is the question of respect. If you trust your bosses to do the right thing and behave responsibly, then, of course, you are going to enjoy your place of work more.

The best places to work

The full version of the report is available on the Great Place to Work website, but we are going to focus on the top five businesses for each size group, and their industry, starting with small businesses:

Small businesses






Financial services and insurance



Education and training


Uptake Strategies

Management consulting


Pen Partnership

Management consulting



Online internet services

Medium businesses






IT software


Cvent Europe

IT software


Goodman Masson




IT consulting


Intuit Quickbooks

IT software

Large businesses








The Sovini Group

Property management



IT consulting



Management consulting





Looking at these tables, it’s pretty clear that working for an IT business can be incredibly rewarding, irrespective of whether it’s a small startup or a giant, well-established name.

There are also a few management consultancies on the list, again of varying sizes, which is notable.

Finding a good employer

It’s important to remember that this report is based on businesses that have already put themselves forward for a ‘great place to work’ accreditation.

There will undoubtedly be other great employers who haven’t heard of the scheme, or simply aren’t interested in getting this little bit of recognition.

In other words, just because a business isn’t featured in the report, it doesn’t mean that working for them will be a miserable experience.

There are plenty of ways to research what it’s going to be like working for a particular company, beyond these sorts of reports. 

Obviously, it helps if you have friends or colleagues who have worked there, but it’s also worth checking their reviews on sites like Glassdoor and of course Breakroom if you’re a shift worker.

Some websites that review employers produce reports on the jobs ‒ and employers ‒ which are the most rewarding, both in terms of satisfaction and pay.

We broke down the results of the most recent report in our article on the best and worst-paying jobs in the UK.

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