Tech companies and startups have dominated a list of the best places to work in Australia, with a number of businesses taking innovative steps to support their team during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Research institute Great Place to Work Australia produces an annual list of the top Australian and international companies with offices in Australia, ranked in terms of their approval ratings based on employee surveys and an evaluation of the employers’ policies and procedures.

This year’s list was compiled from surveys of almost 40,000 Australian-based employees of 124 companies, taking place between September 2019 and June 2020.

The list features many well-known Australian and international tech companies, including several that have made significant efforts to support their workers during the ongoing pandemic, where the majority of workforces have been operating remotely.

For companies with between 100 and 999 employees, multi-service IT provider Interactive was rated as the best place to work.

Coming in at number three was online design and publishing platform Canva, which currently has more than 530 employees.

In the wake of the coronavirus crisis, Canva launched the Keeping the Vibe Alive website, providing a one-stop-shop for important resources to increase the sense of belonging and camaraderie for Canva team members while working from home.

Canva was followed by occupational health and safety technology startup SafetyCulture, which was listed as the fourth best place to work in the category.

The Queensland-based tech company launched initiatives to boost morale and keep its team members mentally and physically healthy during the pandemic, with 98 per cent of employees surveyed saying it was a great place to work.

“At SafetyCulture, we empower frontline workers to improve safety, quality and efficiency in their workplace every day,” SafetyCulture vice-president of people and culture Anna Wenngren said.

“We’re a mission-driven organisation that is made up of people who are drawn to our business because they are passionate about making a difference in the world.

“It is great to be recognised as one of Australia’s best tech companies to work for at a time when the work we do every day has never been more important.”

SafetyCulture also provides meals every day to employees, along with online fitness classes, equity to each team member and an Employee Assistance Program for mental health support, along with 16 weeks of paid parental leave for primary caregivers.

Other tech firms listed in the 100-999 employee category are Adobe at 13th, Envato at 14th, at 23rd and process management and automation provider Nintex at 8th.

“We believe that people are most important,” Nintex vice-president of APAC sales Christian Lucarelli said. “We care for our team members and treat each other with respect and consideration at all times, and it’s also how we interact with every customer and partner who are part of our growing global Nintex community.”

IT and networking giant Cisco was listed as the best place to work in the category of companies with more than 1000 employees, with customer relations management giant Salesforce coming in second place.

This is the fifth year in a row Salesforce has been in the top two, Salesforce Australia and New Zealand CEO Pip Marlow said in a blog post.

“Amid so much change, our strengths are often shown by what hasn’t changed - and for Salesforce, that’s our values,” Marlow said.

“I was most proud of the sustained focus on our core values throughout that challenge - innovative solutions were found to help our customers succeed while prioritising safety.

“We share those values and invite our customers to join us in supporting the community at every opportunity.”

Salesforce has also launched Camp B-Well, a benefits and wellness portal offering resources, information and support for employees, along with advice and tips from leading experts.

For companies with less than 100 employees, Insentra was ranked as the best place to work, followed by SaaS and cloud-based remote connectivity services provider LogMeIn at number five. Others ranked highly in the category included eBay, Sentriant, Macquarie Cloud Services and BigCommerce.

Software giant Atlassian was a notable absentee.