Insights / Candidate

Is it Better to Work for a Small Company or a Large Company?

Working for a small company and a large company each comes with its own array of benefits. Whether it's perks, work-life balance, career progression or salary, everyone will have their own preference. In this blog, we will explore the pros and cons of working for both small and large companies, helping you make an informed decision that aligns with your career aspirations and preferences.

Is it Better to Work for a Small Company or a Large Company?


Tech Talent Engine


Let’s say you’ve just been offered a job at two different companies. Both roles suit your skills and expertise, however, one involves working for a small company that’s newly established and the other is for a large company that has been operating for several years.

It’s time to make your decision. Do you choose to work for a small company or a large company?

If you’re looking for a new job or switching roles, you may have recently been stuck in this quandary. But don’t worry, much like the debate around remote working vs being in the office, everyone has a preference.

To help you understand a bit more about working for a small company vs working for a large company, we will cover the pros and cons for each below.

Working for a small company

A small company translates to anywhere with fewer than 100 employees. For example, Sunderland Software City or Sumo Newcastle.


1. Sense of community

Working for a smaller company means that you have a better chance of getting to know everyone on the team. Rather than feeling like just a number, you will be able to add value to conversations and have your voice heard.

This ability to form connections with people on the team may provide a positive sense of self-worth, resulting in improved wellbeing and purpose.

It is also very common to meet and work alongside your boss in smaller organisations, which can be a great way to access better opportunities and coaching.

2. Interchangeable

While you may be responsible for a set of core tasks, it’s not uncommon to take on multiple responsibilities within a smaller organisation. For example, you may work in social media but often help with customer service and feedback.

This ability to work across the company will give you a wide set of skills, allowing you to easily transfer into other roles. There’s a good chance you will get oversight on projects and ask for your opinion from time to time.

Additionally, being interchangeable will allow you to test out different roles and work out where you are best placed.

3. Valued member

If you’ve joined a small company at the beginning of its journey, you will be able to watch its growth and expansion. This extra loyalty to a smaller company may reap many rewards and, as a result, is very fulfilling to see a company grow over the years and be a part of its story.

Knowing you’ve made a real impact is something to cherish, allowing you to feel a sense of responsibility.


1. Less formal procedures

Although some people may prefer how informal procedures may be in smaller organisations, it can be very confusing at times knowing whom to approach regarding HR issues.

This ‘relaxed culture’ can also make it hard to switch off and learn when to say no to things outside of your role.

Overtime and extra pay for working above your hours may be less likely, so burnout is very common in these types of organisations.

2. Fewer benefits

The unfortunate downside of working for a smaller company is the lack of employee benefits and perks, such as gym memberships, food, and insurance.

Often, smaller companies are working with a much smaller budget, so you’re less likely to receive an extensive list of perks.

For example, Opencast is a medium-sized company that offers a list of benefits to its staff, including:

• Cycle-to-work scheme • Free on-site parking • Electric and hybrid company car scheme • EMI share options scheme • Enhanced maternity and paternity pay

Additionally, there are smaller companies that may offer this type of package, but it’s more common in larger organisations.

3. Less security

Unfortunately, smaller companies are more at threat of instability. For example, when COVID hit, a lot of companies suffered.

For a large company, it may set them back only a few months. But for a small company, they may not be able to financially recover.

Working for a large company

A large company is classed as a company with more than 250 employees, such as Sage or Accenture.


1. Perks and benefits package

One of the benefits of working for a large company is the array of benefits and perks. This can include insurance options and extended maternity and paternity leave.

If you are working for a large company, you may also expect to receive discounted rates from hotels or restaurants.

2. Bonuses

The budget is usually higher in larger organisations, which means that there is often more scope for annual bonuses and salary reviews. This could lead to higher pay and access to better opportunities than you would expect from a smaller company.

Thanks to greater access to resources, employees have access to a larger infrastructure regarding training, development, and technology.

For example, if you need a new laptop or monitor, there’s usually an in-house support team or IT team to provide support.

3. Stability

Anyone can find themselves in a position of danger, however, it’s more likely that larger companies will be safer from disruption.

Firstly, larger companies tend to have established operations, a solid financial foundation, and a longer track record of success.

This stability provides employees with a sense of security and confidence in their job prospects, knowing that the company is less likely to face sudden financial difficulties or closures.


1. Red tape

Working for a large company can often come with a higher level of bureaucracy compared to smaller organisations.

Large companies tend to have more rigid policies, procedures, and hierarchies in place, which can result in less autonomy and flexibility for employees.

Decision-making processes may be slower, requiring several layers of approval and there may be a greater emphasis on adhering to standardised protocols.

This strictness can limit individual creativity and innovation, making it harder for employees to feel empowered and take ownership of their work.

2. Less sense of community

In larger companies, the sheer number of employees can make it challenging to foster a sense of community and personal connection.

With multiple departments, teams, and offices, it can often be difficult for employees to interact and collaborate with colleagues outside of their immediate circle. This lack of personal connection can lead to a sense of isolation, reduced engagement, and a lower sense of belonging.

This can be comparable to being a “small cog in a large machine”, making it harder to establish meaningful relationships and feel a sense of camaraderie with their coworkers.

3. Competitive

Competition can be rife in larger companies, especially for promotions and projects. Additionally, advancement opportunities may be limited, and the performance evaluation processes can be rigorous and competitive.

This competitive environment can lead to higher levels of stress as employees may find themselves constantly striving to stand out amongst their peers.

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Making your decision

To conclude, there are many differences between working for a small company vs a large company. However, your decision will ultimately depend on individual preferences, career goals and personal circumstances.

For example, large companies offer stability, established operations and access to greater resources. However, if you are looking for a tight-knit community and the opportunity to have a greater impact, then a small company may be best suited to you.

When it comes down to making your decision, consider factors such as company culture, career progression, perks, work-life balance, and personal aspirations.

Finding the right fit requires thoughtful evaluation, ensuring you prioritise your long-term goals and overall happiness.

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