Best Places to Work 2022

Fifty companies doing a standout job. Ad Age examines workplace factors that separate the best from the rest

By Bradley Johnson. Illustrations by Queenbe Monyei
Published on January 24, 2022

How do the best places work? You’ve got to pay to play: It all starts with good compensation and a solid benefits package.

Ad Age Best Places to Work 2022 honors 50 companies that did a standout job last year as the ad business rebounded, the talent pool tightened and the specter of COVID-19 remained omnipresent at work, at home—and at work at home.

The winning companies outranked other workplaces in factors ranging from pay and benefits to corporate culture and leadership.

The winners—top companies with more than 200 employees and top companies with 200 or fewer employees—reflect the highest overall scores based on an analysis of questionnaires submitted by employers and survey responses from employees.

What separates the best from the rest

Pay and benefits are paramount.

Employees at winning companies felt better about their overall compensation package than did employees at companies in the competition that didn’t make the ranking. 

For employees, the best places over-indexed on the survey’s two most basic statements on pay and benefits:

  • “My pay is fair for the work I perform.”
  • “Overall, I'm satisfied with this organization’s benefits package.”

The winners outperformed on specific pay-and-perks points including:

  • “I'm satisfied with the tuition reimbursement benefits”—the survey statement that had the biggest delta between winners and employers that didn’t make the ranking.
  • “I’m satisfied with the retirement plan benefits”—the second-biggest delta on pay and benefits topics for the best versus the rest.

The Ad Age Best Places to Work 2022 ranking was produced by Best Companies Group, a research firm specializing in identifying and recognizing great places to work. Ad Age partnered with Best Companies Group on some past Best Places reports, most recently in 2017.

Best Companies Group conducted the surveys, analyzed the data and determined the winners.

Who made the grade

The 50 winners include a strong showing of digital agencies (14), ad tech ventures (13) and health care agencies (six)—three thriving disciplines that must compete in a tight labor market to retain and recruit the specialized talent needed to support their growth.

The list also includes ad agencies (seven), media agencies (five), marketing agencies (two), a branding agency, an event/experiential marketing agency and a public relations agency.

How employees rate their employers

The employee engagement and satisfaction survey included a set of statements that employees responded to (from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree”) along with some open-ended and demographic questions. This made up 75% of the overall score.

Beyond positive perceptions about pay and benefits, employees at winning workplaces gave their companies high marks on statements including:

  • “Staffing levels are adequate to provide quality products/services.”
  • “If I do good work, I will be rewarded.”
  • “Deadlines at this organization are realistic.”
  • “This organization provided as much initial training as I needed.”
  • “I have a good understanding of how this organization is doing financially.”
  • “This organization provides as much ongoing training as I need.”

The employee survey covered pay and benefits and seven other core focus areas. The best companies did better than the rest in all of these areas.

Pay and benefits were the biggest differentiators based on employee responses in those areas, with a nearly eight percentage point advantage in the percentage of positive responses for winners (92.5%) versus companies in the competition that didn’t make the ranking (84.8%).

The best places outscored other workplaces by about five percentage points in five areas based on employee responses: training, development and resources; corporate culture and communications; leadership; role satisfaction; and overall engagement.

The two remaining areas—work environment and relationship with supervisor—were comparatively small differentiators for the best companies versus others.

How employers get the job done

The employer questionnaire covered a company’s policies, practices, benefits and demographics. This made up 25% of the overall score.

On this questionnaire, the winning companies outscored other entrants in such areas as:

Pay and benefits:

  • Allowing employees additional paid time off for community service activities or volunteer work.
  • Matching employee contributions to an employee retirement plan.
  • Tuition reimbursement.

Recruitment, training and development:

  • Recruitment and retention programs for veterans, older workers, employees of varying ethnic and cultural backgrounds and employees who may require accommodations for mental or physical limitations.
  • Productivity or time management workshops, seminars or classes.
  • Ongoing diversity training.

Work/life balance:

  • Paid sabbaticals.
  • Financial education workshops, seminars or classes.
  • Telecommuting (before the start of pandemic in March 2020). (Nearly all winning companies’ employees worked remotely during the pandemic in 2021.)
  • Employer-sponsored employee assistance program (counseling for marital, parental or financial problems and/or assistance for specific conditions such as substance abuse, smoking and gambling).
  • Fitness and/or wellness programs or practices within the workplace.
  • On-site personal development and/or stress management workshops, seminars or classes.
  • Allowing employees to work flexible hours or a compressed workweek.

Family-friendly benefits:

  • Adoption assistance, such as reimbursement of agency fees, travel fees, legal assistance and paid time off before or after adoption.
  • Lactation facilities for breastfeeding mothers.
About Ad Age Best Places to Work 2022

The Ad Age Best Places to Work 2022 competition was open to agencies, ad tech firms, brand or corporate marketing departments or groups and in-house agencies of marketers.

To be eligible, a company must have headquarters in North America, or have a North America headquarters or main office if world headquarters is outside of North America; a minimum of 15 full-time employees; and be in business a minimum of one year. Adage End Bug

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201+ Employees

Ad Age Best Places to Work 2022: Top companies, 201+ employees
1VideoAmpLos AngelesAd
2PMGFort Worth, TexasDigital
3HeartbeatNew YorkHealth care
4Basis TechnologiesChicagoAd
6WpromoteEl Segundo, CaliforniaDigital
73Q DigitalChicagoDigital
8DemandbaseSan FranciscoAd
9GroundTruthNew YorkAd
10Razorfish HealthPhiladelphiaHealth care
11Goodway GroupNew YorkDigital
12Morning ConsultWashingtonAd
13TatariSan FranciscoAd
14TinuitiNew YorkDigital
15MuteSixCulver City, CaliforniaDigital
16RepriseNew YorkDigital
17CrossmediaNew YorkMedia
18Harmelin MediaBala Cynwyd, PennsylvaniaMedia
20FCB Health New YorkNew YorkHealth care
21Digitas HealthPhiladelphiaHealth care
22Publicis Health MediaPhiladelphiaMedia
23FingerpaintSaratoga Springs, New YorkHealth care
24UMNew YorkMedia
25KeplerNew YorkMarketing
Source: Ad Age Best Places to Work 2022. Ranking produced by Best Companies Group.

Up to 200 employees

Ad Age Best Places to Work 2022: Top companies, up to 200 employees
1ConfiantNew YorkAd
2OrganicNew YorkDigital
3High Wide & HandsomeCulver City, CaliforniaAd
4Stella RisingWestport, ConnecticutMedia
5UndertoneNew YorkAd
7InfoTrustBlue Ash, OhioDigital
8ContentlyNew YorkAd
9Booyah AdvertisingDenverDigital
10Marketing DoctorNorthampton, MassachusettsAd
11Hanson DodgeMilwaukeeAd
12Closed LoopRoseville, CaliforniaDigital
13ReviveNashville, TennesseeHealth care
14BlastmediaIndianapolisPublic relations
15Beacon Media + MarketingAnchorage, AlaskaMarketing
16VidMobNew YorkAd
17Marcus ThomasClevelandAd
18MediavineBoca Raton, FloridaAd
19Mojo SupermarketNew YorkAd
20Adjective & Co.Jacksonville Beach, FloridaBranding
21ShareThisPalo Alto, CaliforniaAd
22GrowNorfolk, VirginiaDigital
23Silverback StrategiesAlexandria, VirginiaDigital
24Fortnight CollectiveBoulder, ColoradoAd
25MASBrooklyn, New YorkEvent/experiential marketing
Source: Ad Age Best Places to Work 2022. Ranking produced by Best Companies Group.
Art direction by Tam Nguyen. Web production by Corey Holmes.