Oxford University Press Reviews | Glassdoor

Oxford University Press Reviews

Updated February 13, 2019
424 reviews

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2.5
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Oxford University Press CEO Nigel Portwood
Nigel Portwood
152 Ratings

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Pros
  • "Great work culture and great work life balance" (in 49 reviews)

  • "Casual work environment; brand recognition; location; office design; flexible hours; work from home flexibility" (in 25 reviews)

Cons
  • "Low pay with high demand workflow" (in 36 reviews)

  • "Senior management are now corporate bores who care about one thing and one thing only: keeping their jobs" (in 26 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great Company!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Oxford University Press full-time

    Pros

    Fun atmosphere, attentive upper management, great coworkers

    Cons

    I have absolutely NO cons!

    Oxford University Press Response

    Nov 13, 2018 – OUP Glassdoor Account Manager

    Thanks for sharing your feedback and we’re so pleased to hear that you have no cons about working at OUP! We’re always so proud of our amazing people and the brilliant environment and atmosphere they... More


  2. Helpful (8)

    "A dysfunctional, toxic joke"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Marketing in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Oxford University Press full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Nice co-workers at entry level, a couple of good managers.

    Cons

    Prepare to be ridiculously overworked and laughably underpaid. Upper management alternates between cruelty and indifference. HR is a total joke.
    I’ve personally witnessed the following: a senior manager making a new assistant cry; blatant sexual harrassment of a young woman by an old man; blatant sexual harrassment of a young man by an older man; racist comments by management; sexist comments by management; and public humiliation of an employee at a group meeting.
    Unless you are completely desperate for a job, look elsewhere—you deserve to be treated with respect, and you won’t find it at Oxford.

    Advice to Management

    None. The culture has been this way for years and is unlikely to change.

  3. Helpful (7)

    "Beware"

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

    I worked at Oxford University Press full-time

    Pros

    Nice co-workers at the staff level and free bagels on Fridays.

    Cons

    Some of the worse upper-level managers you could ask for. While everyone slaves away these people (when they bother to come into the office) sit around and push through one disastrous new initiative after another while they yell at staff. Complaints to HR about the same toxic managers are ignored for years until everyone leaves and the cycle starts over again. It's just sad they can't see this since it's been right in front of them forever now.

    Advice to Management

    I fear it's pretty much hopeless now. If you haven't addressed the obvious issues about your toxic managers, you never will. A once-great business is spiraling downhill fast.

    Oxford University Press Response

    Jan 22, 2019 – OUP Glassdoor Account Manager

    Thank you for your post, your views are really valuable to us in understanding where we need to improve things. It is concerning to hear your feedback around management and HR and we would welcome... More


  4. Helpful (13)

    "Low pay, low morale, low prospects for improvement"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Oxford University Press full-time

    Pros

    I couldn’t ask for better or more supportive co-workers; I like the work I do and believe in OUP’s overall publishing goals

    Cons

    Objectively bad managers in every department; lack of real support from higher management/HR when problems are reported; terrible implementation of changes; high turnover; enormous workloads; little room for career development.

    Oxford suffers from deep-rooted lack of transparency and faulty organizational structure. From the top down, there is no clarity and little training when any changes in processes or procedures are made, and little training for new hires in general. High-level personnel changes this year initiated an-ongoing and brutal torrent of workflow changes and new systems that directly affected the jobs of entry-level workers most severely to save a few bucks. Ultimately, a lot of these changes failed and OUP had to admit their short-sighted planning and revert their bad choices. This of course doesn’t speak well for their business strategies or their efficiency with funds. The barrage of poorly-strategized new processes caused so much anxiety, resentment, and discontent that morale plummeted throughout the entire NY office.

    Every time employees make suggestions, complain, report serious issues to HR, and identify all of the systemic problems OUP has and maintains in an endless cycle, they are either simply placated or actually penalized themselves. And nothing changes.

    We are stuck with managers who receive no training and generally can’t manage well or efficiently. We report bad and abusive managers by name to no avail. We stand up for ourselves as much as we can in unfair power-dynamics against managers who are manipulative, disrespectful, and unprofessional. We try to help new hires and hope that in the roulette wheel they’re faced with coming into this job, they end up with the least worst manager. We point out problem after problem, all with reasonable solutions. But nothing changes.

    It’s kind of funny if you don’t have to live it.

    Advice to Management

    Everyone I work with is talented and intelligent, I only wish the company that hired them cared even a little bit about retaining them or treating them well. Fighting for anything to change for the better feels futile and exhausting, and all of the strange dynamics we are faced with each day are absolutely absurd. Companies don’t work if the weakest links are simply asked to do an impossible amount of work or take on new projects “as favors” and without adequate compensation. Companies shouldn’t be run like a giant boy’s club.

    Oxford University Press Response

    Dec 21, 2018 – OUP Glassdoor Account Manager

    Thank you for taking the time to provide such as detailed review, and we’re really sorry to hear that you are not enjoying your time at OUP. We would like to reassure you that we are already taking... More


  5. Helpful (10)

    "How to Lose A Team In 8 Months"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing Assistant in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Marketing Assistant in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Oxford University Press full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The people were the only pros there and even that may be a stretch. I loved the team that I got to work with, however; it was a pleasure being a member of it and helping it grow when I could.

    Cons

    OUP did very little to support employees, save for the free bagels on Friday and the M&Ms they continue to stock the kitchen with. Within my year of working there, I watched my team dwindle continuously as each left to a better position due to either being underpaid or overworked, as the hiring freeze did not allow us to hire replacements at the time. The top-heavy management style was horrible, with directors consistently telling you to try new and innovative things without offering the assistance or technology to do so. Continuing to work in a NUMBER of outdated software with an IT team that offered no assistance whatsoever. OUP claims to be invested in the growth and development of their employees, yet pay no attention to the fact that they are losing employees to multiple competitors and that goodbye happy hours are merely celebrations for those who get to leave the depression and meaningless work behind.

    Advice to Management

    Be better to your employees
    An additional 300 dollars a year is not a raise -- it's just one more happy hour to muse about how nice it would be to afford a therapist to talk to about why you can't afford one because of the salary you have to live on.

    Oxford University Press Response

    Jan 8, 2019 – OUP Glassdoor Account Manager

    Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We appreciate your feedback and are sorry you didn’t have a better experience of working with us. We particularly note your thoughts on workload and... More


  6. Helpful (13)

    "Could have been so much better!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Oxford University Press full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great location and informal dress code

    Cons

    Lots and lots of talk with no action!
    I received one performance review in my three years and not due to a lack of constant follow up with my manager and their manager.
    There is always too much drama and anxiety for any real work to be done, which is unfortunate since most people are decent hardworking folks who are spending too much time on unnecessary repetitive work.
    Very poor technology support that just adds up to the poor employee experience.

    Advice to Management

    Please take care of your talent: pay them decent wages and take the exit interviews seriously.

    Oxford University Press Response

    Dec 11, 2018 – OUP Glassdoor Account Manager

    Thank you for your review, and we’re sorry to see that you wouldn’t recommend working at OUP to others. We’re also sorry that you felt the culture of OUP detracted from your work, and that you didn’t... More


  7. Helpful (12)

    "Overworked, undervalued."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Oxford University Press full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    —Pleasant co-workers
    —Office location is fairly convenient
    —Coffee cart outside

    Cons

    —Huge workload, with few resources to help
    —Clunky, outdated computers, printers, and systems
    —Abysmal salary
    —Condescending and hostile upper management
    —No training; it’s “sink or swim”
    —Little chance for advancement

    Advice to Management

    Here’s an idea: pay people more.

    Oxford University Press Response

    Dec 10, 2018 – OUP Glassdoor Account Manager

    We’re sorry to hear that you feel overworked and undervalued, and are concerned by a number of the points you raise in your review – particularly around workload, management, reward and learning and... More

  8. "Great work environment, strong efforts to improve process"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Oxford University Press full-time

    Pros

    Great benefits
    Flexible work hours
    Excellent work reorganizing tasks to help improve efficiency
    Strong communication from managers

    Cons

    Need more lateral movement for employees
    Some communication can get lost in the mix since some of your colleagues are in the UK

    Advice to Management

    N/A - I have always felt that management would listen and communicate effectively.

    Oxford University Press Response

    Nov 13, 2018 – OUP Glassdoor Account Manager

    Thank you so much for your feedback. We’re really pleased to see that you have benefited from some of our perks, such as our flexible work hours and benefits, and that you’d recommend OUP as a place... More


  9. Helpful (20)

    "unlikely to ever improve"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing Coordinator in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Marketing Coordinator in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Oxford University Press full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    One star because a lot of the younger people in entry level are cool, intelligent, and nice. There were a few office committees and events which provided a much needed opportunity for social decompression. Second star because the second manager I had was a vast improvement on the first, although I still didn't receive much help with moving up in the company, and the president of the NYC office is as earnest as he is charming (really though - he was the only mentor I did have).

    Cons

    There's absolutely no diversity, the managers are incompetent at best and downright abusive at worst (it was mostly worst). I was yelled at, gossipped about, left off of emails and meetings, not because I ever received a poor performance review (I didn't, rather all my reviews were glowing), but because the editors and upper management are egotistical, self-centered, bratty, and resistant to feedback. I spent many, many days crying or having panic attacks at or after work. The office is permeated by white feminism, cisheteronormativity, and a flagrant condescension that floats through the air in a WASPy mist of passive aggression. Naive post-college kids, armed with fancy publishing course certificates and Daddy's extra income, come in week after week being told that they will move up, that being good at their jobs will take them far, that if they don't want to take the job for peanut salaries, then some other rich white kid living in Chelsea will be right around the corner and one day become the next star editor of Nobody Reads These Books, published Spring 2032. In reality, no one is promoted, the pay is beyond laughable even if you do move up, and the amount of money you'll spend on therapy to feed your emptied soul negates it anyway. No, in reality you'll spend a few years being verbally abused by crusty Eurocentric editors, each more pseudo-liberal than the last, before you realize you DESERVE BETTER and get out fast as you can for a real job.

    Advice to Management

    Rather than spend a few weeks touting all the improvements you plan to make re: employee surveys, ACTUALLY MAKE THOSE IMPROVEMENTS. Promote people who are talented. PAY PEOPLE MORE. Hire people of color and from other marginalized communities (the company does not need more white women). Pay those people more.

    Oxford University Press Response

    Oct 30, 2018 – OUP Glassdoor Account Manager

    Thank you for sharing your feedback, though it is disconcerting for us to read. Some of the issues you raise—especially regarding the diversity of our workforce—are ones we’re actively addressing and... More


  10. Helpful (16)

    "Last resort"

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

    I have been working at Oxford University Press full-time

    Pros

    Great work life/balance, friendly people, and really do care about "ethics"

    Cons

    Low pay, and if you're not in the UK side of things, forget having any say in things. They care maybe a little TOO much about ethics, and not enough about valuing employees, and rewarding/recognizing them. Very little chance for upward mobility.

    Lousy vacation time, and managers are way too corporate. The company itself seems to be more about "ethics and doing the right thing" than ever thinking about actually investing in growing the company/making money.

    The IT department is a JOKE. They outsourced things to India, and it takes forever to get anything actually accomplished. I have to restart outlook 5-6 times a day, and nobody can tell me why/how to fix it.

    Advice to Management

    Pay people more to attract talent. You're a non profit, I get it, but we're way underpaid, and undervalued.

    Oxford University Press Response

    Oct 11, 2018 – OUP Glassdoor Account Manager

    We’re glad to hear that you benefited from our people and our flexibility – and that you recognized our commitment to operating ethically. However we’re concerned about some of the challenges you... More