6 SF Tech Companies that Put Employees First

How these tech companies are making sure employee benefits and perks are part of the long-term mission.

Written by Taylor Rose
Published on Mar. 29, 2024
6 SF Tech Companies that Put Employees First
Brand Studio Logo

It’s no secret that happy employees are better employees, but translating that into a reality is often difficult for many employers. 

Some aspects of employee happiness should be a given — things like a living wage to meet their needs and insurance to provide them with healthcare. There are other, more nuanced, factors contributing to employee happiness that an employer can offer, as well. For example, a 2022 International Labor Organization report noted that flexibility plays a big role in employee happiness. Things like remote work, flexible work times and shift sharing tended to improve happiness and led to more productive workplaces. 

Companies in San Francisco have a particular challenge when it comes to employee satisfaction. NBC reported that 34 percent of downtown San Francisco office spaces are empty — a commonly cited reason for the supposed “doom loop” that the city is caught in with rising homeless rates, underfunded mass transit and budget shortfalls, according The San Francisco Chronicle.

It’s not all bad news for Silicon Valley though. Generative AI startups are growing rapidly in the area: the volume of office space leased by AI companies surged 46 percent in 2023, according to Quartz. Built In also reported that San Francisco’s top five tech funding rounds came out to $1.4 billion in February this year. Not to mention that Glassdoor reviewed which cities had the most satisfied workers, according to reviews left for employers on the site, and found that San Francisco landed in the top 25, at number six. 

So what makes a happy employee at a San Francisco tech company? Built In found six companies that are making a conscious effort to make sure the company mission includes putting employees first. 


What 2K does: 2K is a studio that develops and publishes video games.

Work and learn: International gaming company 2K prides itself on having an inclusive work environment and a “come as you are” company culture. Early-career professionals are especially invited to join the “come as you are” company culture with two grad programs, one in game development and one in publishing. Both programs run for 21 months and provide new graduates with the space to learn and make valuable connections in the gaming industry.



  • Performance bonus
  • Job training and conferences
  • Onsite gym
  • Commuter benefits
  • Free daily meals



What Chime does: Chime helps members avoid bank fees and save money automatically.

Giving back: Fintech company Chime launched a nonprofit called Chime Scholars Foundation that provides scholarships to students who need assistance paying for post-secondary education. 

The foundation is closely related to Chime’s mission, which is to “unite everyday people to unlock their financial progress.” The fintech company offers banking products that don’t rely on overdraft fees, monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements.



  • Documented equal-pay policy
  • Hiring practices that promote diversity
  • Partnerships with nonprofits
  • Equal parental leave for primary and secondary caregivers
  • Adoption and fertility assistance through Maven, reimbursing up to $10K each year



What Human Interest does: Human Interest helps businesses of all sizes provide 401(k) benefits and retirement savings plans to their employees. 

Future focused: Human Interest has one goal — to make sure a secure financial future is accessible for everyone. The company website notes that the mission-driven team is full of “smart, motivated, flexible, fun-loving people eager to lead and learn in a high-growth startup.” The team comes together to help the 61.7 million Americans — the number of people who are employed by a small business, according to the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration — have access to a 401(k).  



  • 401(k)
  • 401(k) matching
  • Company equity
  • Charitable contribution matching
  • Financial wellness coaching and support
  • Work-from-home, lifestyle and education stipends



What Simpplr does: Simpplr is an employee experience platform powered by artificial intelligence. Simpplr’s products help organizations deliver personalized experiences to employees.

Clear from the start: Simpplr is one of the companies that Built In spoke with about how to make sure the hiring process is truly engaging. Tactics like clear communication, empathetic connection and transparency are all part of the secret sauce. 

“We want candidates to learn [during the hiring process] that people are the heart of everything we do here,” said People Operations Lead Viviana Serrato. “It’s literally in our name. We are laser-focused on embedding our core values of simplicity, excellence and innovation into our work.”



  • Open-door policy
  • Company equity
  • Mentorship program
  • Lunch and learns



What Opendoor does: Opendoor is an operator of an online real estate marketplace used to streamline the sales process of home buying and selling.

Speed and efficiency: “One of Opendoor’s operating principles is ‘startup mentality,’ meaning we operate with a sense of urgency and bias towards action without sacrificing quality,” Mike Schreifels, staff software engineer, told Built In



  • Company equity
  • Home-office stipend for remote employees
  • Relocation assistance
  • Highly diverse management team
  • Mentorship program



What Ascend does: Ascend provides a platform for data engineers to build, scale and operate continuously optimized pipelines with less code. 

Work smarter not harder: Founder and CEO Sean Knapp told Built In about the product team’s plans for 2024, and much of it is about making teammates’ jobs easier. “At Ascend, we are introducing higher levels of automation to data teams, helping developers spend less time on low-impact maintenance of their data operations and more time building high-impact data assets that drive their organizations forward,” said Knapp. 



Ascend’s values act like a playbook for how employees can support one another. 

  • I-Got-It! — When the team hears that someone else has something covered they can trust that person will communicate clearly if they need help. 
  • One Team One Dream — This speaks to the “win as a team, lose as a team” mentality. Everyone should see wins as a holistic effort and assume teammates have the best intentions of the group in mind. 
  • Evolve with Intent — This value is about being slow and intentional when it comes to change, weighing out all the outcomes first. 
  • Build for 10x, Plan for 100x — Building a foundation that can grow sustainably is another key value. Responses have been edited for length and clarity



    Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images provided by Shutterstock.

    Hiring Now
    AdTech • Big Data • Machine Learning • Sales • Analytics