back to article How the mighty have fallen: Anglian Water knocks Google off perch as UK's best workplace

It would appear that the kickback against big tech continues apace as Facebook has dropped out of a list of the top 50 best places to work in the UK and Google has been knocked off its top spot... by a water company. That's according to the results from the 2019 Employee's Choice Best Places To Work list, which is compiled …

  1. gcla72

    Was this a press release or was it leaked?

    Mine's the one with the ridiculously expensive water bill in the pocket.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge

      At least they aren't drip feeding us the results.

      1. Korev Silver badge

        We should tap into their expertise...

    2. DJV Silver badge

      Oh pipe down all of you!


    3. big_D Silver badge

      At least you know where they are splashing your cash.

  2. MrMerrymaker

    Surprising placements

    Microsoft #11? Maybe they could afford to get a bit more draconian judging from these Windows 10 builds..

    Apple #43, chuckle.

    No IBM? Colour me... Well, not blue!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Surprising placements

      Maybe not surprising - I've worked for a business chasing a high rating (albeit in the Sunday Times "best places to work" ranking) and the assessment criteria were known, so it became mainly an exercise in how much effort the business will apply to tick the necessary boxes. I'd liken the effort required to responding to a detailed commercial RFP - so you really need a cross-business team who's objective is to gain a high score, and executive sponsorship to both get the necessary co-operation, and ensure there's the budget for the various criteria, that can include having an active D&I programme, active H&S including mental health, decent numeric scores for management "diversity", overall safety and sickness, regular staff surveys (and again, decent numbers for employee engagement scores) etc.

      Worth noting that in other ranking surveys, I've encountered the organisers being very clear that they would discount high scoring entrants unless they bought multiple ten seat tables at the events ceremony, meaning you had to perform to a very decent level, create the case and find the proof for your bid, and then to confirm your winning status you had to find a minimum of £15k for tickets at the event.

      In this case, the question is raised as to how Glassdoor make money, and whether that might have some bearing on matters.

  3. Keith Oborn

    SAP and Salesforce?

    Proves that product quality and employee satisfaction are not cognates--.

    BTW, how would El Reg fare ;-)

    1. ArrZarr Silver badge

      Re: SAP and Salesforce?

      So, you're asking an El Reg journo to go from biting the hand that feeds IT to biting the hand that feeds it?

      Mine's the one with a note in the pocket to say that the joke only works if I use the gender neutral pronoun.

  4. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    lies & damned lies

    I have very little faith in a metric that shows such huge swings in value

  5. King Jack

    Truly the Best

    Anglian Water are great. Some muppets cut through the mains several streets away. I had no way of knowing this, until they (AW) phoned me to tell me there was problem. It was a robo woman but wow, that is customer service. I got another call with estimates of when they expected things to return to normal and safety instructions to flush the pipes before drinking. They came in well before the estimate. I wish all companies would treat their paying customers like this. I bet they save a fortune on people ringing them to ask what's happening. All for the cost of a robotic phone call.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Truly the Best

      My Eon/grid electricity supplier did that last week. Nice to know it's a general feature. Didn't stop some neighbours calling them on their mobiles because their registered landline number didn't have any mains-independent wired handsets.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Truly the Best

      Counterpoint: Anglian Water's business services are the worst I have ever seen in almost a decade of energy management. Their bills are complete gibberish - riddled with errors, incomplete or inaccurate data, consumption that doesn't match the meter advances and charges that don't match the contracts. On several occasions they've estimated consumption so badly that they think a five-digit meter has lapped within six months and charged literally hundreds of thousands of pounds for it, and their transition to the revised rateable value system has been completely botched. My advice would be to avoid them at all costs.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Truly the Best

        "My advice would be to avoid them at all costs."

        Apart from moving house to a completely different watershed, is that really possible?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Apart from moving house..."

          Erm, yes? My employer is based in Scotland, and switched to AWB a few years back. I don't doubt that businesses in East Anglia can swap to Scottish Water if the deal is better.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Truly the Best

          "Apart from moving house/business to a completely different watershed, is [choosing who provides your water bills] really possible?"

          Excellent question, and, unsurprisingly given the context, the answer depends on whether your supply is for a business or a home, and whether it's in Scotland or somewhere else (But the other AC seems to have omitted these minor details).


          "Scotland is the first country in the world to offer non-household customers choice in their water supplier.

          Since 1 April 2008, all 130,000 businesses, public sector, charitable and not-for-profit organisations in Scotland have been presented with a variety of suppliers to choose from.

          Business water rates are now competitive, and the introduction of competition in the water industry in Scotland has brought wider choice and more tailored services, and is leading to lower prices."

          Meanwhile in England and Wales it's still business as usual - your residential water supplier is (in general) determined solely by your address, and until very recently the same applied to most non-residential supplies in England.

          "In April 2017, the largest competitive water retail market in the world opened for business, bringing the biggest change to the water sector since privatisation.

          This new market means 1.2 million businesses, charities and public sector organisations in England are no longer restricted to buying water services from their regional monopoly. Instead, they can shop around, renegotiate, and find the right deal for them. If customers don’t like the service they get, they can take their business elsewhere.

          This market could deliver lower bills, help people use less water, lead to improved services, and see new offers and bundles emerge."

          And business pigs could fly. If there were such a thing as flying pigs.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "Excellent question"

            And excellent answer. Thanks for the information.

  6. Waseem Alkurdi

    May I direct your attention to

    This BOFH episode:

    Especially the beginning.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: May I direct your attention to

      And also this banking episode:

  7. Pen-y-gors

    Major companies only?

    I assume this is limited to 'best employer' with a value over $1 billion, and generally rubbish moral standards?

    There are tens of thousands of small businesses which offer a better place to work than any of these.

    My employer (me) has an office ten yards from my front door. No fuss if I'm 'late' in. Great coffee and use of fridge for snacks whenever. No problems with bringing my cat to work. Holidays whenever I like. The right to turn down jobs I don't like the look of. Only downside is the wages, but money isn't everything. That beats all the ones mentioned.

    1. LucreLout

      Re: Major companies only?

      My employer (me) has an office ten yards from my front door. No fuss if I'm 'late' in. Great coffee and use of fridge for snacks whenever. No problems with bringing my cat to work. Holidays whenever I like. The right to turn down jobs I don't like the look of. Only downside is the wages, but money isn't everything. That beats all the ones mentioned.

      It's just a shame your boss is an asshole.

  8. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Make sense

    Googlers joke that the key to blissful happiness is drinking the specialty spring waters stocked in the lobbies. Organic Strong Ginger Ale _-7

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Doesn't it depend on the type of employee?

    A retail giant like Walmart has no chance, because retail workers are low paid and have little control over their job, and that's the overwhelmingly majority of their workforce. Goldman Sachs probably outsources all the crappy jobs like janitor and IT call center, so being well down the list despite that probably doesn't mean as much as it might appear. Some companies are a mix, Apple has a lot of the high paid jobs people like, but also a lot of retail jobs in the stores that would knock them down the list versus a Google or Microsoft that doesn't have a retail arm.

    Show me a company where all the jobs under $100K/year are outsourced, and I'll show you a company that ranks pretty high in job satisfaction.

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