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What They Do
Delivers targeted, industry-specific daily news to 5 million executives and thought leaders through more than 180 trade associations and other entities.
Headquarters: Washington, District Of Columbia
What Makes SmartBrief Great
In brief, SmartBrief knows how to have fun.
As a digital media company formed in 1999, SmartBrief never had a stodgy reputation to overcome. Employees say it has always been fun, hip and on the cutting edge, and most enjoy working in an evolving new media industry.
They also appreciate the hands-off management style and the generous health benefits. And, don't tell Homer Simpson, but there's free beer on site.
"SmartBrief has a fun culture," says one employee of the Washington, D.C.-based firm. "People enjoy coming to work here."
Need a little breathing room? If so, SmartBrief might be a breath of fresh air because micromanaging just isn’t this company’s style. Employees love the autonomy they find here; 91 percent say management trusts them to get the job done without looking over their shoulders. In addition to simply getting their work done, management also counts on employees to think entrepreneurially and listens to their ideas.
“I have plenty of freedom to complete tasks in the way that I feel is best, without being micromanaged, and feel as if I really do have the opportunity to influence the way we do business and our immediate success,” one employee says.
SmartBrief’s trusting management style extends to the way company progress is reported. “I appreciate the respect the CEO shows for us as employees when he gives everyone quarterly revenue reports and company updates, even when they don't directly apply to the work I do,” another employee says.
Working From Home
Because SmartBrief believes in giving its workers their space, it's not surprising that the company offers telecommuting options, which is the company’s most popular employee benefit. And even though a number of employees work from home, SmartBrief workers say they enjoy a strong sense of community. “Telecommuters are treated as part of the team, not as outsiders,” one employee says.
For those who telecommute, management and co-workers “made me feel comfortable despite not being at the office,” one worker says. “Every time I visit everyone in D.C., everyone is friendly, open and ready to work and include you in the group.” Workers feel comfortable at the office, whether they are there every day or not. Ninety-two percent say they can be themselves at work.
Fun At Work
Not only can employees work wherever they want to wander, but SmartBrief also offers extras that make working there fun, such as company-sponsored happy hours, holiday parties, dinner cruises, a beer machine on site, and other regular social events.
“It's great to work for a company that offers perks, but [those] perks are just another reason to join or stay, rather than the only reason,” says one employee of the firm.
In addition to the fun engineered by the company, employees say the people they work with make SmartBrief a great workplace. They describe their co-workers as committed, smart, congenial and creative. Ninety-five percent of employees say the company is a friendly place to work.
While SmartBrief employees appreciate being able to work with so much independence, many would like greater clarity about the long-term vision and goals for the company, and say that increased communication between departments would help them work more effectively. While telecommuting is a great perk for those who take advantage of it, others in the company feel that having so many far-flung home offices makes it even more difficult to maintain organization-wide communication. Some workers feel that compensation should be higher and that the company should offer a 401(k) match.
In the meantime, more than nine out of 10 SmartBrief employees find that the friendly, responsibility-rich environment is also filled with many opportunities to celebrate special events with a fun group of colleagues.
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