There is a magic feeling about the firm that produced the Lord of the Rings computer games. Electronic Arts, the world’s biggest independent video game publisher, inspires its 471 electronic wizards in Britain with a passion for work.
Launched in Redwood City, California, in 1982, the firm has expanded to become a fellowship of 4,400 employees across the globe. They generate an annual revenue of almost $2.5 billion (£1.4 billion) and the British operation has gone from strength to strength since it was set up in 1987.
The rewards are generous for employees at the four sites around Britain, including the head office in Chertsey, Surrey, which was designed by (Lord) Norman Foster and features a lakeside boardwalk.
Everybody is entitled to profit-related pay and recent performance bonuses ranged from £303 to £188,537. Almost two-thirds of staff feel well paid for the jobs they do. One recent team bonus was a trip to Disneyland Paris.
The entertainment budget is set at £1,600 per employee a year. However, some staff feel their workload is too heavy, about half feel exhausted when they get home and more than a quarter would prefer a lower workload to a higher salary.
The benefits package is solid, with private health cover for families, life insurance and 23 to 28 days of holidays. Staff can join a gym on site with a one-off payment of £20, or, if they prefer, collect a 15% subsidy for gym membership elsewhere. A share options scheme offers a 15% discount.
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