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A deep dive into Azavea’s employee benefits: why we prioritize offering top-tier benefits as a small business


As a small business, our employee benefits are an important component of Azavea’s identity.  According to feedback received by our People Operations team each year, our employees are big fans of Azavea’s benefits package. When I connect with former colleagues, our employee benefits are often one of the first things they mention missing about their time at our organization. This blog highlights the benefits we offer and outlines why offering top-tier employee benefits aligns with our mission. 

Our offer letters have not always fully conveyed the full range of our benefits, so this past year we set out to reformat them to include not only salary but also the total compensation value of our offer. We know how stressful looking for a new job can be, so our offers now include both the employee handbook and benefits guidebook so prospective employees can make a well informed decision about joining Azavea.

While every prospective employee’s situation is unique, Azavea’s offers provide our most common benefits scenarios for their reference:

  • Employee with no dependents 
  • Family of 4 with one child in daycare (See our Childcare Support benefit for a full breakdown)
Azavea’s most common employee benefits scenarios.

Employee Benefit Package Highlights

Health Insurance

Getting sick is hard enough – no one should have to worry about how they will pay for healthcare. At Azavea we believe providing access to excellent healthcare is a non-negotiable part of our total compensation package. 

For our local employees, Azavea offers Health Insurance and Prescription Drug coverage through Blue Cross Keystone Health Plan East, a Gold level DPOS plan. The health care plan covers the employee, a spouse or domestic partner, and dependent children; all at Azavea’s expense. Remote colleagues have a very similar plan through Blue Cross Personal Choice which provides a national network and flexibility.

For individuals that already have health insurance and don’t need to take advantage of Azavea’s coverage, they’re eligible for an alternative benefit. If prospective employees have existing coverage through a spouse or parent, Azavea adds $250 per qualified adult to your paycheck for passing on the health insurance.

Health Reimbursement Account

Even with the best of insurance plans, it can feel like you are constantly getting “nickel and dimed” every time you visit a doctor’s office or pharmacy. Azavea offers a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) to help offset those costs. 

Many people are familiar with HSAs or FSAs which requires an employee to make contributions from their paycheck to a pretax account. Azavea’s HRA account is special because it is completely company funded. No pesky deductions on payday or guessing just the right amount of money to contribute required. We provide our employees with a debit card that they can use for anything from prescriptions to co-pays to sunblock (Yes, sunblock! Just make sure it’s over 30 SPF; we are not here to help you with your tan). Each employee can charge up to $2000 per calendar year towards their HRA. This benefit is even provided to our employees who decided to forgo our health insurance coverage. 

While we hope to avoid it, sometimes major health issues can arise. Azavea wants to support our employees during these difficult times, so we offer an additional $8000 HRA for when life throws us those curveballs.

Dental and Vision Insurance

Recognizing the cost of specialized care at vision and dental providers, Azavea provides supplemental insurance to offset those fees.

Life and Disability

Azavea provides life and accidental death insurance policies for all full-time employees. This benefit pays out two times your basic annual earnings (up to $250,000). We also offer long term disability that will provide 60% of your monthly, pre-disability earnings.

Childcare Support

Kids are expensive. This is not news, especially for those of us who are already parents. Recognizing the financial implications of having younger children running around the house, Azavea has a few employee benefits aimed at our younger friends.

We offer a $250 per month subsidy for each child under 6. This is to help with those childcare costs leading up to Kindergarten. We also provide a Dependent Care Account. This is a pretax, employee-funded account that is used to pay for care. By funding the account pretax, we are essentially helping parents at Azavea to get a 20-30% discount on their childcare costs. As this is your money, if you find you do not need the full amount you’ve stashed away it will roll over to be used in the next year.

Training and Learning

Azavea’s education assistance program encourages personal development through formal education so that employees can maintain and improve job-related skills. For eligible employees we will provide up to $5,250 in tuition assistance per calendar year.

Transit and Bike Benefits

For Philadelphia area employees, we have 2 benefit options to support the commute to work. Azavea will provide up to $270 per month to support public transit costs. For our more local employees, Azavea will reimburse employees up to $20 per month if they regularly use a bicycle for a substantial portion of the travel between the employee’s residence and place of employment.

Remote Office Setup

Half of our employees hired in the past 2 years are located outside of the Philadelphia area. Recognizing the need to support their remote work, Azavea now offers 2 options for these colleagues.

Azavea will provide remote workers up to $2000 to set up their home office. This is separate from the standard equipment we provide all new employees: laptop, monitor, keyboard/mouse. We will also pay for 50% of their monthly internet cost (up to $50). For those that prefer working in an office space, Azavea will provide support for up to $500/mo in co-working desk reservation fees.

401k and Student Loan Match

Azavea’s 401k savings plan enables employees to decide how much of their salary they want to contribute and direct the investment of their plan account. This allows employees to tailor their retirement package to meet their individual needs. Azavea will match at a 100% rate on the first 3% of employee savings and at a 50% rate on the next 3% of savings; a total of up to 4.5% matching on 6% or more of savings.

Want to focus on paying down student loans? No problem – Azavea offers a student loan assistance program and will match up to 4.5% of your salary in support of payment of student loans. Our employees have the opportunity to mix this with their 401k match (up to 4.5%).

Why we prioritize top-notch employee benefits as a small business

We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback with the introduction of these new offer packages. Candidates appreciate the transparency and detail, and we love being able to communicate some of the most enticing parts of working at Azavea in order to find great candidates for our open roles.

Providing top-of-the-line benefits is a priority for our Azavea team, and these benefits are just one component of the values we exemplify in order to maintain our B Corps status.

If you’re interested in learning more about what it’s like to work at Azavea, check out our Careers page now or reach out to our team to ask any questions.

Brigid Woolery