London has long been home to many of the UK’s core business activities, encompassing not just international finance, but world-class retail and a hot startup scene. London is, of course, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world alongside New York and Paris.
This is all great, but what about jobs?
Evidence from Glassdoor’s top 25 best places to work ranking suggests that for the first time (when looking at the 14 British companies on the list) there is an even 50/50 split between employers based in London and those spread across the country.
Notable British businesses that are Glassdoor winners based nationwide include a top five appearance from Schuh in Livingston, microprocessor company ARM Holdings in Cambridge, EasyJet in Luton and the likes of Yell in Reading. This is a huge achievement and suggests that not only are the best employers spread out (albeit, focused more on the south east), but they are sending some of the top talent there too.
Read more: The 25 best companies to work for in the UK
Importantly, these awards are based upon reviews and ratings with no self-nomination process. For this reason, UK companies are finding that recognition based on employees’ choice is a ringing endorsement of company culture. We also know from our own research that companies on our best places to work lists tend to deliver better shareholder value and financial performance, largely because they employ the best and most engaged talent.
The Government’s Northern Powerhouse initiative demonstrates the importance of addressing a “north-south divide” and helping business beyond London thrive. Whilst this year’s Best Places to Work list doesn’t contain any employers in the North, the inclusion of a swath of regional employers offers a first sign that London’s traditional stranglehold is weakening.
What really matters in creating a great workplace are things like good training and development, career progression opportunities, great facilities with a friendly culture and working environment and of course good pay.
Employers outside London like Schuh, ARM, and Oxfam (in Oxford) have all recognised this – if northern employers embrace the same values they should see talented employees flocking to join them to take advantage of the better quality of life and lower cost of living.