What makes it so great?
After Microsoft employees voiced their desire to contribute more to their communities, the software company gifted its workers with 40 paid hours a year to dedicate to volunteer activities -- ranging from working in a soup kitchen once a week to spending a week building an orphanage. Bill Gates' brainchild also supports employees who are new parents: In Norway, where maternity and paternity leaves are quite generous at the federal level, Microsoft hosts a "Junior Lunch" every quarter, allowing new parents on leave to come to the office for a lunch with their children, keeping the working parents in touch with their colleagues and up-to-date with office happenings.
"Microsoft is a place where you can be yourself," says an employee. "It's expected that you have an opinion, and there are multiple opportunities to really make a contribution to the company and to society. Unless you work here, it is hard to believe the passion that people display."