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- Comp & Benefits
- Work/Life Balance
- Senior Management
- Culture & Values
- Career Opportunities
I worked at AKQA full-time (more than a year)Pros
One of the best, if not only things that AKQA has going for itself is it's talented team members and high profile clients. You get to work with really bright creative and technical folks producing relevant work seen by millions. Working with talented folks lends itself to growth in skill sets and great work experience.Cons
Unfortunately despite the pros, there's a lot broken with this workplace both culturally and institutionally.
For starters, there's no work life balance in what's a very "heads down" office culture. By heads down I mean folks aren't especially friendly, mostly due to preoccupation with workloads and the lack of cohesion within the office, relationships within teams or across disciplines are not fostered (and in some cases discouraged). Furthermore, relationships are strained and internal politics are overwhelming -- internal politics being one of the biggest hurdle for producing great work and also mostly attributes to stress within the workplace.
Institutionally the management hierarchy and their oversight is either a burden to you or simply non-existent . While it may be apparent who your day-to-day manager is, anything beyond this is simply a mirage. The senior management team can be both completely hands off or incredibly intrusive if there's an issue. Accountability only matters when there's an issue, which is an unfairly selective notion for a very thankless work environment. There is no investment in employees, especially for the long term.
In regards to the thankless work environment, great work is rarely recognized, postmortems and retrospectives are even rarer due to the pace of work. There is no bonus structure here, so don't expect any additional compensation for late nights, weekend work, or over the holiday -- this is on top of wages being below market despite very large margins of billable rates vs salary.
Working at AKQA may open a few doors in the future, but not much of an advantage taking into account the above.Advice to ManagementAdvice
Try building an environment that not only fosters great work, but invests in your employees and compensates them appropriately (either through recognition, monetary, or career advancement). Provide more oversight and structure to the discipline and account leads.
Senior management, no one knows what you actually do.Doesn't RecommendNegative OutlookNo opinion of CEO