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Oxford University Press Reviews

Updated May 23, 2018
356 reviews

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2.6
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Oxford University Press CEO Nigel Portwood
Nigel Portwood
107 Ratings

356 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Excellent work/life balance as well as great support from colleagues and management (in 43 reviews)

  • Casual work environment; brand recognition; location; office design; flexible hours; work from home flexibility (in 23 reviews)

Cons
  • Low pay (compared to elsewhere in market), digital developments are slow, can be pressured at times (in 33 reviews)

  • Not a very high paying business or industry and sometimes poor work life balance (in 12 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing Assistant in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Marketing Assistant in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great atmosphere, wonderful place to get experience first job out of college

    Cons

    Low salary compared to trade publishing companies


  2. Helpful (6)

    "Proceed with caution"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Editor in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Editor in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    My co-workers at OUP were the best part of the job. The vast majority of my colleagues were thoughtful, talented, kind, and overqualified for their jobs. I was constantly impressed with the side projects my colleagues maintained outside of the office.

    Cons

    The work is overwhelming and unfulfilling. There's pressure to publish more and more each year with little consideration for the time and work that goes into meeting those goals. Outdated technology makes it even more difficult to meet publishing goals. There's little-to-no focus on career development. Entry level employees are treated as disposable, and mid-level employees are undervalued. OUP is an impressive employer to have on my resume but I left with few concrete skills to help me get the kinds of jobs I want. The pay is abysmal, yet upper management consistently fails to see any connection between inadequate salaries and the depressing lack of diversity. I wish I'd left earlier.

  3. "A good community"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Data Analyst in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Data Analyst in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Oxford University Press full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    OUP is a great company for people who work hard and advocate for themselves. It's full of genuinely kind, intelligent people; I've made some of my best friends here. The managers I've had were very supportive and let me work independently. There are lots of fun and interesting events, including talks by our authors, parties, and lunch-and-learns, where you get free pizza while you listen to someone speak on a topic about publishing at large or OUP specifically. We have many learning resources, so you can take charge of your own professional development.

    Cons

    Publishing salaries are not great anywhere, and OUP is no exception. Not everyone's manager makes a great mentor. You do have to really advocate for yourself if you want to progress in the company.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to the feedback you're getting, no matter what its emotional bent is, and look for patterns in the departments being called out for negative experiences. I have had a positive experience working here, but can only speak for myself.

    Oxford University Press Response

    May 2, 2018 – OUP Glassdoor Account Manager

    Thank you for taking to time to share your thoughts, and we’re really pleased to see that you would recommend OUP as a place to work. We hear so many wonderful comments about our people! It’s also... More


  4. "Managers Make Bad Decisions, Then Blame Employees"

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

    I have been working at Oxford University Press part-time

    Pros

    Coworkers are helpful and want to do good work,

    Cons

    Management does not accept responsibility for their poor decisions.

    Advice to Management

    Don’t hire managers from your competition, who then hire their former coworkers.


  5. Helpful (6)

    "The Handmaid's Tale"

    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

    It was once a great place to work with everyone striving towards the same goal in a congenial setting.

    Cons

    The current company mirrors The Handmaid's Tale. You have a Totalitarian board of commanders at the top (mostly male- the Sons of Jacob) who are generally incompetent but have such great power to even ignore the employee surveys they send out since the feedback is so awful.
    At the bottom you have the handmaids who are the valuable workers who care so much and strive for some individualism and a small voice in the company. And in between are a bunch of Aunt Lydias who are charged with making certain not one single idea from the handmaids is ever considered or implemented. And some of the tactics used by the Lydias are deemed cruel and insensitive, tactics would certainly get them fired in other firms but not here in the Republic of Oxford. And there is no hope...

    Advice to Management

    Fire the Aunt Lydias.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Publicist/Marketing"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Publishing Assistant in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Publishing Assistant in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great vacation days. Decent hours.

    Cons

    Literally everything else. Unless you're extremely passionate about publishing or desperate for a job don't work here. Terrible pay, miserable co-workers, pointless work. This company is barely staying afloat. Don't drown with it.

    Advice to Management

    Quit. Managers here Don't really do any work. They just try to make themselves look busy so they aren't fired.

    Oxford University Press Response

    May 1, 2018 – OUP Glassdoor Account Manager

    We’re sorry to see that you didn’t enjoy your time at OUP, and that you wouldn’t recommend working here to others. We’d like you to tell us more about your specific experiences, so we can see where... More


  7. Helpful (12)

    "PAINFUL"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Editor in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Editor in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Some great coworkers at the entry and mid-career levels

    Cons

    Downgrading my previous review from two stars to one (I would give zero stars if that were allowed). We continue to be stretched further and further - less staff, tighter and tighter budgets, more forms and nonsensical systems - while being asked to create more content in more formats. That alone is difficult to manage, especially for editorial staff that cares deeply about the quality of their work. However, on top of this, managers and directors are harsh and belittle people at their whim. They spend their time building factions and bullying people rather than doing actual work and learning what their teams are actually doing. Responses to suggestions for improvement are met with more ridiculous top-down demands and initiatives. Despite constantly negatively reviews and survey results, management will not really listen. They don't involve their employees in coming up with solutions so they just bog us down further with more recycled bad ideas.

    Oxford University Press Response

    Apr 20, 2018 – OUP Glassdoor Account Manager

    We are sorry to hear that you have had a negative experience at OUP. We’re really keen to hear more from our employees to understand where we can make improvements, so encourage you to get in touch... More

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Former employee"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Genuine, smart, and hardworking colleagues
    Lunch and learns; after-hour events (mixers, trivia nights)
    Many teams participate in summer Fridays

    Cons

    Low compensation, even for the publishing industry
    A few bad apples in management

    Advice to Management

    Standardize compensation brackets and offer transparency. Continue responding to feedback from current and former employees on how to improve.

    Oxford University Press Response

    Mar 16, 2018 – OUP Glassdoor Account Manager

    Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. It’s great to hear that you enjoyed some of the perks we offer in our New York office. If you’d like to share any further feedback, then please do get... More


  9. Helpful (8)

    "Do Not Work Here"

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

    I worked at Oxford University Press full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Average workers were great to work with, for the most part. Location was convenient for trains, buses, subway.

    Cons

    What was once a great place to work has become untenable due to myopic and ineffective "leadership." Quality of product, both editorially and in production value, has gone down to lower than that of a pulp paperback house. Prodcution has been off-shored to India, but with no mind to quality or vendor management. Instead, it's like a sausage factory now. Money is spent on change programs that elicit no real or effective changes. Management in the UK is very top-heavy, and has no communication with US office. Divisions of company are forced to work together on projects despite very different sales models, all in aid of lean spending. But, in the end, the divisions still do what they want. Senior management in Academic division acts as if it's a playground, always trying to one-up each other or get one over on the other, making those in back office jobs live a nightmare. There is NO work-life balance in any position, which is rich given the abominably low pay and continued trimming of benefits as a cost-cutting measure. HR bullies mid-level managers into hiring inexperienced staff (if there's no hiring freeze on) in order to save money, and is sexist, homophobic, racist, etc., yet functions solely to prevent lawsuits on the part of employees who have legitimate complaints about things like sexual predation. IT is just as ineffective as HR, as it's been outsourced to a company via a cheap contract with no quality assurance or vendor management. Layoffs several years ago forced out the best talent in the US because it was easier than letting go deadwood in the UK office due to consultation laws. "Globalization" is far from that as it's about UK ways being best, despite the fact they often are not the best (though sometimes they are). Mid-level managers in the UK who've never traveled to the US not understanding how things work, or the marketplace, are allowed to run roughshod, and never held accountable for their decisions. Many managers are responsible for functions on both sides of the Atlantic, but travel has been curtailed to nil. That is unless you work for the right senior manager, which is exemplary of the entire budgeting process across the Academic division. It's about who you work for or who you know (or who doesn't like you in some cases), and not the function(s) you provide to the larger business. Talent is leaving left, right, and center, to get away from the toxic community that has become OUP globally (at least in the US and UK).

    Advice to Management

    They won't listen, so why bother. They've in effect said to the staff that the results of the latest global employee survey were disturbing, but won't be addressed. The main thing being lack of communication from executive and senior management down to the common worker.

    Oxford University Press Response

    Apr 10, 2018 – OUP Glassdoor Account Manager

    We regret reading that you had such a negative experience at OUP. Your review is, we believe, not one that the majority of our employees across the world would view as reflective of their time here... More


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Everyone is overworked; environment can be toxic"

    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
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The majority of colleagues are nice; sometimes there's free pizza/snacks; once upon a time, I enjoyed coming to work.

    Cons

    Although most colleagues have been great, some are very toxic and when flagged to managers/HR, nothing is followed up. Mismanagement is rampant in almost all departments. Miscommunication/lack of communication is the norm. No work/life balance. Extremely low morale. Lack of strategy and focus (many times a manager/director will tell you to focus on something, then a week later the complete opposite). Lack of training for people with direct reports (and it shows). High turnaround. Terribly slow systems. Very little flex work (for certain departments). Unfortunately, over the years, the updates and restructures have been ineffective, and has caused more stress/work for those doing the day to day tasks.

    Advice to Management

    Very basic - value your employees; invest in them; provide essential resources. The buck stops here, so take some accountability and enact positive change!

    Oxford University Press Response

    Apr 5, 2018 – OUP Glassdoor Account Manager

    Thank you for taking the time to share your views. We’re really sorry to hear about your concerns, and that you are no longer enjoying your work at OUP. It's so important that all of our employees... More


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