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Microsoft rewarded for work-life balance effort

Software giant wins award for encouraging employees to limit the time they stay at work
Written by Emma Britton, Contributor and  Andrew Swinton, Contributor

Asda has won the title of best company to work for in the UK in a survey carried out by The Sunday Times.

Success for the supermarket proves that money isn't the best perk of all. A typical starting salary for shopfloor staff at Asda is just £9k, but it still beat Microsoft into second place, where a typical starting salary is £45k. Hi-fi retailer Richer Sounds was a newcomer to the survey in third place.

According to the survey, one of Asda's best benefits is the 'star points' scheme, where staff are rewarded for boosting sales of unpopular products through their own initiative. The national winner gets the keys to a Jaguar for a month. Older staff also enjoy the 'Benidorm break' option, of taking three months unpaid holiday in winter.

Asda is currently recruiting nationwide for jobs ranging from opticians and pharmacists to checkout operators and head office staff.

Last year's winner, Cisco Systems, fell to seventh place.

The need for staff to balance their work and personal lives was recognised by all of the best 100 companies. Microsoft, winners of the special award sponsored by Flexecutive, was judged to have achieved this most successfully in the past year.

The software giant is recognised for encouraging its employees to limit the time they spend at work and keep their evenings free. There is a 9-5.30 club that gives 10p to the NSPCC as a reward every time they work these hours.

For more details on the winners visit the Sunday Times.

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