BuroHappold

  www.burohappold.com
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BuroHappold Reviews

Updated Jun 12, 2014

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3.0 34 reviews

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Roger Nickells


57% of employees recommend this company to a friend
34 Employee Reviews
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Mixed feelings

    Business Services (Former Employee)

    ProsGreat in terms of culture, which is creative, relaxed and non-hierarchical. Had a lot of opportunity to work closely with Partners and influence some change.

    ConsUnable to make tough decisions at times. Two examples witnessed where promotion interviews were never followed up with any feedback. Lack of appreciation of sacrifices staff made as a result of poor resource management. Loyalty tested to breaking point. Felt let down by a business I cared about and invested a great deal of energy in, through some difficult and challenging periods.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPractice greater humility towards those contributing to the success of the Partnership. Ted Happold is rarely celebrated or discussed, which I think would be welcomed by employees newer to the business and less familiar with him. Make the tough decisions, when it's the responsible thing to do.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    It's OK

    Senior Structural Engineer (Current Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsGreat projects, nice people, good learning curve for graduates and engineers

    ConsMoney, career progression, too much politics, too little value for hard work and skills, too top heavy, a lot of projects are under resourced, too many people attending meetings, not enough designing

    Advice to Senior ManagementThey should make an effort to keep people instead of watching them leaving in a complete careless way

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    A job well done

    Graduate Engineer (Current Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsGreat projects, amazing and inspired people. Excellent prospects for the future and a real can do attitude among staff. Investment into their staff happens on a daily basis.

    ConsMaybe not a downside; but as a graduate a more defined training path would be really good to mould them into the right sort of engineers. People generally seem to be dissatisfied with the amount they are paid. People work very hard and are not always given the credit they deserve, often a new recruit is brought in to fill a role rather than looking to promote someone from within the business.

    Advice to Senior ManagementYou have an excellent company full of the best people- look to get more high quality, profitable projects to get these people the wage they deserve

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Disorganized, frustrating mess!

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGood to work here as a contractor as they keep very little tabs on your hours so you can easily work lots of overtime if you wish. Not much pigeonholing, so you can move between different projects quite easily for different exposure. Have good exposure to middle east projects so if you wish to gain experience of working with projects in Saudi Arabia, UAE or Qatar then BH are a good option. Contract rates on offer are in the top 20% for industry so they pay pretty well.

    ConsNo standards at all for design software such as 12d model, ACAD C3D or PDS. No standards at all for drafting software such as ACAD. Everyone draws/designs on different layers with different naming conventions; drawings are not even named in a sensible or logical fashion. IT updates are not synchronized so everyone works with different level updated software. Do not have A1/A0 printers so have to pay a company down the road to go get your prints!!! File structure for projects is also not in any template format so each project layout is saved differently making it near impossible to find any files when trying to work. Also a lot of people save files through email and on their personal desktop so cannot find relevant files on the server. Their servers are split by region; so you will have 'mirror' projects in one office compared to the other i.e. a Bath file and a London file of the same project, this leads to needless duplication and disorganization and painfully slow network speeds. Redundant phones are left about the place as are keyboards. Phone lync networks regularly fails and does not work meaning I often have to field phone calls personally on my personal mobile in order to contact people. Paper filing from the 1980s still hovers in unused desk space. Leadership is fractured with numerous 'partners' owning the company and hence it lacks any coherent strategic direction with in-fighting of management very common. General staff morale is very low; extremely high turnover; apathy of management; lots of dead wood in management; general incompetence and lack of enthusiasm for the tremendous profession of engineering. If I wasn't a contractor earning big bucks off their lack of organization resulting in huge OT; I'd have been out the door in 10 mins! If you are a permanent employee run for the hills!

    Advice to Senior ManagementPull your finger out! You're a disgrace to the Engineering profession and quite frankly I'm amazed this company can even make slim profit margins of 1-2%!

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
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    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    A company that looks better in retrospect

    Associate (Former Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsVery relaxed atmosphere. Benefits of being a partnership without the pressure of shareholders. Some very bright people. Good benefits package compared to industry norm.

    ConsLacks professional behaviour and strong management. Staff seems to get away with anything. Needs firmer control.

    Advice to Senior ManagementRoot out the rubbish and get rid of them. Reinforce the fact that this is a business not a holiday camp. Continue in the current direction of increased commerciality.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to work

    Structural Engineer (Former Employee) Glasgow, Scotland (UK)

    ProsFriendly atmosphere, lots of interesting projects to work on, management seem down to earth.

    ConsPay not the best, too dependent on public sector and middle eastern work.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Could be great. But let down by the people

    Director (Current Employee)

    ProsAmazing projects. Strong History. Still well regarded in the market.

    ConsThe senior partners and directors fight like feudal kings. Positive co-operation and culture is much talked about but rarely lived. Full of clever individuals who talk a good game but only feed their own self interest. I was deeply unhappy at Buro Happold.

    Advice to Senior ManagementEmploy an outsider (preferably a non-engineer) to run the firm. Create some governance for decision making. Decide on the strategy and direction and allow individuals the space to meet the objectives. Manage performance.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    not recognised anymore

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsMore opportunities to work on iconic projects although they are getting less. Colleagues are generally nice.

    ConsSenior management is poor and getting worse and worse. Basically everyone works on their own without support. Salary is relatively low. Promotion is not always fair.

    Advice to Senior ManagementListen to your employees and get appreciation on how hard they are working and how much pressure they are taking. Please try to improve business / project management.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
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    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    A decent comapny to work for................

    Engineer (Current Employee)

    ProsWork with very talented people and have some great projects.
    A good team spirit despite recent hardships.
    There are some very inspiring partners and directors.
    Get to work in very stylish offices in good locations.

    ConsBelow average salary and lots of dead wood at the top.
    The support structures and staff are of poor quality in comparison to the technical staff and services.
    Too many non work winners/ fee earners to support.
    Poor promotion opportunities.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIf somone is employed as a director or above they should be winning work and paying for themselves, thnot relying on the techincal staff to support them with their work wining efforts.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Titanic heading for the iceberg

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsFull of clever people who have sincere motivations and aspirations.

    ConsThey will tell you all about how it was founded by a Quaker and how ethical they are. They are not. There is an excess of arrogance and insecurity, to the detriment of staff, business and the bottom line. Some senior partners are loose canons and no one seems to care how much this damages the business.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop thinking you know everything. Stop invoking Ted Happold when he would no longer recognise the company he founded, or the behaviour it engages in now. Control your partners before they sink the ship, if it's not already too late.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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