Words & Numbers

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Words & Numbers Reviews

Updated Jul 24, 2014

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All Employees Current Employees Only

2.9 16 reviews

25% Approve of the CEO

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Glenn T Evans

(4 ratings)

50% of employees recommend this company to a friend
16 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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    So Far, So Good

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsI haven't been working there long, but my favorite part about W&N is the amount of communication. I am encouraged to ask for more work, to ask for different kinds of work, and to let people know if I don't think I'm being challenged enough. I also love the schedule flexibility.

    ConsIt's hard to get to know people because everyone is in cubicles and because a lot of people work remotely. However, I'm sure that's true of a lot of companies. That's one of those things where I just have to work harder to put myself out there. They are very conscious that it is hard to meet and get to know coworkers, and they try to have events that encourage people to get together.

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

    3 people found this helpful  

    A perfect example of how NOT to run a company

    Editor (Former Employee) Baltimore, MD

    ProsFrankly, the only good thing was that there is the freedom you have in terms of schedule. There's no real management structure so employees have the freedom to come and go/work from home as they please. Most of the management is absent/working from home all the time so you don't have a lot of micromanagement, which is nice. There are people in the office who have never met their managers, even though they live in the same town as the office.

    ConsToo many too count.

    The first con is really about how the company is run. There's no visibility or honest communication from management to mid/lower level employees. The employees have a strong feeling of distrust of the management. There's a general understanding that management does not care about the employees whatsoever and this is reinforced by their terrible wages and refusal to give salary increases (or even real health benefits) to employees who have worked there for 1-2 years or more.

    The company culture is really non-existent. The office is awkward and quiet all the time. People rarely speak to each other outside of quick work-related questions - most of which take place over Skype or email even if we sit just a few cubicles away. Everyone is always looking over their shoulder and there's a general uncomfortable/ominous feeling over the whole office

    The pay is ridiculously low. There is a Royal Farms about a half-mile from the I would recommend to anyone that they apply there first instead of Words and Numbers. You have to fight tooth and nail to get a raise, and then if you do, it's barely noticeable on your paycheck.

    The job market is pretty bad, especially in this industry so management knows they've got 100 applicants that would be happy to take any job right out of college, and their attitude towards their employees reflects that. Everyone is basically replaceable in their eyes. There are some poorly-executed attempts at recognition for peoples' good work, but it's really all just a drop in the bucket and everyone sees through them.

    Finally, I would bet my life savings (which is admittedly low after working with this company for over 3 years) that most/all of the good reviews posted on this site are fabricated and written by upper management. After 3 years of working there, I knew basically every employee and NO ONE would write a 4 or 5 star review.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBe honest with your employees. Listen to their concerns and treat them like you care about them. If people think they're valued by their company, they're going to work harder. Employees get burned out so quickly when they feel like management does not care about them whatsoever.

    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
    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Why bother if don't follow your own rules

    Slave Worker (Former Employee) Baltimore, MD

    ProsTrying to remember as there were plenty of reasons to walk away.

    ConsManagement not able to stick by their promises

    Advice to Senior ManagementNo need since they don't care.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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

     

    Great Company

    Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsFun, challenging, creative work with great people, happy hours, ball games, fantasy football, NCAA tournament competition,tuition support, company-wide training, book clubs, flexible hours, onsite day care, and much more! I've been here a while and while no company is perfect, they do have a lot going for them.

    ConsEducational publishing is not a market to get rich in.

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

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

    4 people found this helpful  

    If you're looking for a fair pay, opportunities to advance, or an ethical management team, look elsewhere.

    Assistant Editor (Former Employee) Baltimore, MD

    ProsOne of the few positive sides of working at Words & Numbers was the flexibility to work from home, or take off a day if necessary. Of course, for full time "contact" employees, including ALL Assistant Editors & Editorial Assistants, this meant no pay.

    Perhaps the only other pro I can scrape up is that the grueling work gave me the opportunity to build a robust portfolio to land employment where I could have growth (both professional and salary) opportunities.

    ConsEditorial Assistants and Assistant Editors are considered "disposable employees." Not only are these staff payed an hourly wage that can't even compete with your local gas station cashier, but employees are given no benefits at all. You can opt in for health insurance - if you can afford to sacrifice 25% of your waves. The company usually hires these staff members in waves, when they anticipate heavy workflow, which means starting your first day with a punishing deadline hanging over your head.

    If you can't take the heat, not to worry - there are almost no distractions in the building. Cube rows are silent as the grave, and staff interactions are limited to Skype messaging system, even if your colleague is only one cube away. Simply put, the company culture is terrible.

    W&N doesn't invest in their junior employees because they expect these positions to have a high turnaround. The research and writing is so endless and monotonous, with deadlines so punishing, that employees tend to burn out within a year. Some take their poverty level wage (did I mention you need a college degree for these positions?) and land a fair salary and other local publishing companies. Others are not so lucky: if work is slow, W&N has no qualms about "laying off" employees. As a contract worker, they are not obligated to give notice or compensate you in any way.

    When I was offered my position at W&N, I was told there would be opportunities for growth within the company and signed a contract that would be "up for review in three months." I assumed this would mean possible full-time employment status-- but after 3 months, there was no conversation, and after 12 months, there was not even a raise.

    To round out another chilling aspect of company ethics: the Words & Numbers senior management staff has talked a great deal over the last few years about an increase in topline growth, but unless the word "Executive" is attached to your title, you won't reap any benefits. The company is also very proud of their "offshore initiatives" which translates to sending graphic and web design work to India so that they can pay these "offshore" employees a minimum wage that falls even below the bottom of US standards, taking potential jobs away from domestic employees.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIf senior management is unable to find it within their budget to staff positions with fair salaries and benefits, perhaps they could siphon a little off the top of their well-known six figure salaries?

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

    Words & Numbers Response

    Oct 2, 2013Senior Manager

    Words & Numbers’ graduate intern program has provided entry-level college graduates an opportunity to learn the educational publishing business in an aggressive time frame. In this program, entrants ... More

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

     

    Excellent assistance and cooperation

    Freelance Writer (Current Employee) Baltimore, MD

    ProsWell-defined project
    Great assistance
    Cooperative and receptive staff
    Excellent feedback
    Scope for growth

    ConsAs I was a remote worker, I feel that issuing invoices for each of the assignments was cumbersome.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    Words & Numbers Response

    Mar 30, 2013Senior Manager

    Thank you for your review. We will look into the invoicing process to determine if it can be improved.

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

     

    Flexible, Family Oriented, Great

    Employee (Current Employee) Baltimore, MD

    ProsI am a working parent and I cannot tell you how impressed I am with how flexible this company is. I see children openly accepted, rather than shunned, when there are snow days, or crazy dismissal days. If I have to take off all of a sudden due to family illness, or other emergencies, this is allowed with no problems. Working from home is very doable and the managers, staff, and company are very flexible. There is even an onsite childcare, which the company has invested in, which tells you what they value - work balance and family. The other thing which is great is that plenty of people who have worked at Words & Numbers and chose to move on, still stay in touch. Many come back knowing now that the grass is not necessarily greener on the other side. Many continue to to part-time, freelance work, and it goes to show that people feel they can continue the relationship with the company very easily which is pretty cool. Some have left and became clients, still sending work back to Words & Numbers! How cool is that?

    ConsAs with all companies, this one is no different in that they are evolving to the new economy and struggled a bit in the past two years. This meant that we have seen changes, some positive, others not as much, but I give them credit for trying new things and keeping doors open for communication. I think if you want information, you can get it.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThere are plenty of things going right at Words & Numbers - It is a great culture, and the work is creative and important to education. Over communicate and let the people there know that you are there if they need you.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    Words & Numbers Response

    Mar 29, 2013Senior Manager

    Thank you for your review. It is always great know about positive experiences and we will continue to work on communication.

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

    3 people found this helpful  

    Simply Put: A Mess

    Assistant Editor (Former Employee) Baltimore, MD

    ProsThere are some smart people there with good ideas. Sometimes they mean well.

    ConsManagement is in the toilet. The company seems to restructure every six months or so. The departments differed in their levels of chaos when I left. I would say science was probably the best run (and was also the smallest), followed by humanities, and math is far behind both. Or was--the departments have restructured again since I left, so things may have changed.

    The company tends to put far too many people into management positions who are severely underqualified. Employee trainings are often a joke (three copyediting trainings in the space of six months?).

    Feedback is rarely given for work produced, usually because supervisors are overloaded with work and don't have the time or management training to give appropriate, constructive feedback.

    People are also assigned to projects seemingly at random, with no regard for the past experiences of these employees or thought given to what they might either want to do or be good at doing.

    Advice to Senior ManagementRead the above "cons" above, study the resumes of potential employees and put more thought into hiring (especially in this job market where there ought to be loads of qualified applicants), listen to your employees, don't take employee feedback as a personal attack, and focus on giving more meaningful training to a workforce largely untrained in educational content development.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    Words & Numbers Response

    Mar 29, 2013Senior Manager

    Thank you for your thoughts. As a services-based company, we need to be flexible in organization to meet client and market changes. We believe the best training for managing projects is on-the-job ... More

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

    3 people found this helpful  

    Temp to perm employment offer not a well thought out experiment, be forewarned!

    Assistant Math Editor (Former Employee) Baltimore, MD

    ProsFriday 1pm meetings to review new projects were great. Schedule flexibility was also. Mathematical expertise of some staff was superior. Competence of adminstrative staff was superior. There's plenty of work to be done.

    ConsCandidates who applied for math editor positions were contacted and offered temp positions that might become permanent positions instead. Although the website states that "Qualified applicants will be asked to take a writing/editing test," none was given. Instead, after completing HR forms, temps were introduced to project managers and 'hit the ground running.' At least one secondary math text project had no staff with classroom teaching experience.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDepartment managers should take the time to meet and interview new hires, even temps. Know what your website specifies as far as qualifications for positions. Explain your decision to deviate from these published specifications by clearly definimg your goals, including deadlines, to new hires.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    Words & Numbers Response

    Mar 29, 2013Senior Manager

    We appreciate your feedback. Because educational publishing is a new field to many new hires, we often bring people in on a trial period which allows potential employees to determine if there is a ... More

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

     

    Awesome Experience

    Executive Assistant (Current Employee)

    ProsBeing a part of The Words & Numbers is a fantastic experience. I highly recommend this company.

    ConsNo downside for me, I love this company.

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

    Words & Numbers Response

    Mar 29, 2013Senior Manager

    Thank you so much for taking the time to share your positive experience with us.

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