Zen Internet

www.zen.co.uk
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Zen Internet - a leader or a follower?

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Fault Management Consultant in Rochdale, England (UK)
Former Employee - Fault Management Consultant in Rochdale, England (UK)

I worked at Zen Internet

Pros

Environment and people at work who made it a worthwhile experience. The relaxed atmosphere promoted a friendly culture and a fun place to work at.

Cons

Very limited opportunities for training or professional growth due to constant staff shortages, with perhaps one of the highest staff turn-over rates in the industry.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Give the front-line staff more credit, more recognition and the freedom to make informed decisions in line with the company's ethos. Take away the un-needed red-tape that exists within such a young company.

Disapproves of CEO

20 Other Employee Reviews for Zen Internet (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    Relaxed, low stress, good people. Opportunities to develop if you search them out.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Product Manager in Rochdale, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Product Manager in Rochdale, England (UK)

    I have been working at Zen Internet

    Pros

    Relaxed atmosphere, Free Parking, Good People

    Cons

    Salary does not keep pace with market

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    MIddle management circlejerk

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - A Role Within Netoworks and Infrastructure
    Former Employee - A Role Within Netoworks and Infrastructure

    I worked at Zen Internet full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    When I joined Zen back in the early 2000s it seemed like a wonderful place to work. Sure Rochdale isn't the best of locations, but the staff were well cared for and we had plenty of little perks as mentioned in many of the other reviews here. My skills were recognized and I was offered a couple of early opportunities to progress in my career. I was able to learn a great deal in my time there.
    The company was much smaller then, and it felt like we were part of an extended family, we were able to take pride in the fact that we were honestly striving to be the best ISP in the country.

    Cons

    Working hard? Know your stuff? Have a promotion! We will consider your salary when your next 6 month review comes around. Honestly.. We mean it.
    In fact I personally moved up the ladder 3 times in short order at Zen, and never once received an associated pay rise. In my final position we were continually knocked back by HR on the pay issue, with them stating that the scale was on a par with industry standards. Unfortunately they had no idea what our actual job involved, and had gone purely off the job title when working this out. If however you're applying for a role that has the word "Manager" in the title, you can expect to be well paid for doing nothing of any use to anyone.

    In nearly a decade of working there, everything that made it great crumbled around me. The entire operation is now barely held together by a massively underappreciated and often grossly underpaid technical department, while middle management continually find reasons to hire in yet more middle management. They are effectively working as a team to ensure that they spread what little real work they do between as many people as possible.

    Bureaucracy is rife, the middle management circlejerk has done an excellent job of making it as hard as possible for staff to do anything productive without endless meetings and paperwork. Project meetings frequently consist entirely of people why have no idea why they are even in a meeting. When a manager really want something to happen though, you will be told to just do it regardless of policy / change control / the laws of physics / common sense. Senior management only listen to middle management, and middle management do not listen to their staff.

    Many of the perks have gone, you can still get a free cuppa but that's about it.

    Product management consists almost entirely of people who know nothing about the product they're apparently supposed to manage. Heaven forbid that you might find a document rigidly defining what a product includes or how it should be set up.

    The catering on site is atrocious. It wasn't so bad when they moved into the current building, but they quickly got rid of the incumbent catering company and hired in Baxter Storey. Suddenly, instead of large quantities of good simple food at a reasonable price, we're offered fairly sub-standard food in bitesize quantities, labeled with a name intended to make it sound more fancy than it is, at prices that really don't seem to reflect the fact that it is subsidized by the company. Receipt of the weekly lunch menu was often the highlight of a Monday morning, much fun could be derived from trying to work out what the hell the latest ridiculous menu item actually was. These people really are on an entirely different plane of reality.

    When management perceive a problem with the general performance of a department, or in some cases seemingly when they're just bored, they restructure. Cue lots of moving teams around, splitting and joining of teams, moving people to new desks, etc etc. Everyone ends up doing the same job but with a whole new set of issues to get in their way.

    As much as Richard Tang always seemed like a nice enough guy, and indeed in the few times I directly interacted with him it seemed like he was a man with some common sense and intelligence, I feel as though towards the end of my time there he was losing touch with the majority of his employees though. I'm sure it's difficult to maintain as a company grows, but with senior management filtering everything that reaches him now, I doubt he has the slightest idea that many of his most valuable staff are utterly fed up.

    Last but not least, it's in Rochdale. I've never been back there since I left Zen, it's rubbish.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit. Find an actual skill. Get a real job.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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