National Physical Laboratory Reviews | Glassdoor

National Physical Laboratory Reviews

Updated June 22, 2017
33 reviews

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2.5
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National Physical Laboratory CEO Peter Thompson
Peter Thompson
1 Rating

33 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Reasonable"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Teddington, South West England, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Teddington, South West England, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at National Physical Laboratory full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Lots of potential. Great people. Science contributing to society. Intelligent staff.

    Cons

    Unrealistic targets, mixed messages from director level, uncertainty regarding job security - round of redundancies 2016 and no clear communication to know jobs are secure.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Finance Team"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Teddington, London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Teddington, London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Some good people in the team, very helpful, IT Team were very responsive and a pleasure to converse with.

    Cons

    The management had issues that were projected onto the trainees. The strcture of the team kept changing, reasoning for no promotion was to say the least ridiculous.

    Advice to Management

    Re-asses what qualifies for management, invest more in training management and higher levels, only because they are at the top of the chain does not mean that they no longer have to learn or require manners. Stop taking constuctive criticism to heart.


  3. Helpful (3)

    "Awful place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Higher Research Scientist in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Higher Research Scientist in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at National Physical Laboratory full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Co-workers were amazing and that's about it!

    Cons

    Salary is not good for area. NPL do not care about it's employees. Major restructuring in the past 2 years mean that dedicated employees have been made redundant. I worked with people who had been at NPL for 20+ years and they were let go. Loyalty is not rewarded.


  4. Helpful (5)

    "one of the worst places to work as a true researcher"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Some good lab facilities and the surrounding area is nice but very expensive.

    Cons

    Very poor and biased management favouring some members of the same club, outdated senior scientists with inferiority complexes who lost track of new advancements. This place would probably get your scientific career lagging by few years.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "The Pleasures of Employment at NPL"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Junior Scientist in Teddington, London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Junior Scientist in Teddington, London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    The NPL is an amazing place to work, full of brilliant people with minds of excellence coming together to provide a service that evolves technologies, sciences and pretty much everything else you could think of. The site is scenic and beautiful with bushy park at the back and history all round. The atmosphere is very relaxed as it is an atmosphere that suits the work of most people employed there and helps to minimise stress and maximise output. You get a large and loose amount of holiday and the benefits are everywhere in the local area from discounts on gyms to Red Peppers.

    Cons

    To me there were no cons.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "PhD Student based at NPL Full time"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at National Physical Laboratory full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Excellent expertise and knowledge base
    - Brilliant facilities
    - Small but dedicated and friendly group of PhD students
    - Personally, received fantastic support and supervision
    - Good opportunities to attend international conferences
    - Excellent academic ties
    - Good publishing rate.

    Cons

    - Challenges presented in managing academic-industrial supervision
    - Working environment can feel very isolating.
    - Generally low morale, particularly at present with managerial changes and redundancies.
    - Supervisors vary in quality. Some are excellent, others are boarder-line exploitatory with ridiculously high expectations and little support provided. Some students find themselves working long hours and struggle to take breaks or holiday, and still struggle to complete a PhD at the end of it due to results/experimental direction. Please spend some time with your potential supervisor and current students before accepting any offer.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in the new post-graduate insititute. The institue has a lot of potential but management need to ensure that current and past student's experiences are acknowledged and acted upon and that there is general wider understanding and support for the institude by fellow scientists and academics. Focus on staff and student welfare before focusing on promoting bigger events and setting up as an 'institue'.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Poor management and favouritism"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Teddington, London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Teddington, London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Cutting edge research, on-site car parking, L&G stakeholder pension, Bushy Park nearby for a breath of fresh air at lunchtime

    Cons

    Poor pay, non existent promotion prospects, pointless bi-annual appraisals with meaningless targets, bloated corporate admin, middle management often ex-scientists who lack people skills, and sometimes verging on being misanthropic. Blatant favouritism with job creation schemes for those whose faces fit

    Advice to Management

    Try actually asking scientists what they want. Streamline management; too many hangers on. Too many past retiring age denying youngsters jobs.


  8. "NPL - Bringing societal impact through cutting edge research"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in Teddington, London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in Teddington, London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Opportunities to solve real industry challenges through cutting edge metrology research. Opportunities to perform excellent science. Synergistic collaboration with academia and industry. World leading metrology institute. Flexible working hours. Excellent career opportunities.

    Cons

    Very expensive measurements and consultancy services. Large overhead costs. Less focus on curiosity driven research. Less opportunities for teaching. Fewer social events for employees.

    Advice to Management

    Try to decrease the overheads and reduce cost of measurements and consultancy services. Organise more social events for the staff. Improve engagement with Academia. Invite renowned professors (Nobel laureates etc.) for celebrating science lectures to inspire and foster creativity among the scientists.


  9. "Good for early career, and end of the career, but not the middle"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at National Physical Laboratory full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great people to work with
    Career progression is good when you first start out
    Happy to provide you with lots of training
    Good perks for people with families
    Lovely area right next to Bushy Park

    Cons

    Management are not currently communicating their plan for the business very well, and what has been communicated is unpopular
    Career progression can hit a dead end during the middle part of your career, with limited opportunities to move up, this is because many people are in comfortable positions with good salaries and don't want to leave. Would suggest at this point you leave NPL so you can progress further, perhaps come back when you are older.
    Poor pay, especially for London, especially for an expensive part of London!!
    Benefits seem to cater to those with families, would be great to get some benefits for younger people
    Many science teams seem to be badly managed, I think it's just luck

    Advice to Management

    Communicate your plans better, and ask people on the ground what they want and how things can improve
    Offer better starting salaries to young people, the area is too expensive for the salaries you pay
    Offer some benefits that would help out young people
    Offer better training to management so that all teams are happier


  10. Helpful (7)

    "This place is near breaking point"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in Teddington, London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in Teddington, London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at National Physical Laboratory full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Nice place to live. Nice colleagues at lower levels (i.e. scientists). Nice to get the train into London on a weekend and forget the lab!

    Cons

    I've seen many good people leave over the last two years and the rest of us are very concerned about the future. It is difficult to imagine who is posting positive reviews on Glassdoor.
    Metrology is very specialised. You can come here from a university, but returning is nearly impossible. Much NPL funding comes from Europe, so everyone is worried. Management faces look strained and in a bit of a panic, and that may be a reason for some of them voting with their feet. In many ways the problems stem from the decision to remain in Teddington - leafy, expensive and far from industry that needs metrology. As always its the scientists who suffer - more work, higher overheads, more redundancies. I can't see much moving in the right direction here. Staff turnover is increasing. I feel a crunch is coming but I'm not sure what will happen - maybe a big reduction in size or (which would be better) relocation to somewhere cheaper. Certainly its not a place to do good science any more.

    Advice to Management

    No suggestions. I'm sure management know the problems better than we do. I'd suggest less spending on PR and glossy website - past a certain point the difference between this and reality just demoralises staff.


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