Perkins & Will Reviews | Glassdoor

Perkins & Will Reviews

Updated October 16, 2018
195 reviews

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3.5
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Perkins & Will President and CEO Phil Harrison
Phil Harrison
113 Ratings

195 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "I have found so many incredibly supportive people who have genuinely cared in various ways including mentorship and work/life balance" (in 10 reviews)

  • "Good exposure to projects and nice work environment" (in 14 reviews)

Cons
  • "Dedication to difficult projects can throw the work life balance off balance" (in 7 reviews)

  • "Terrible management who may be good designers but no idea how to run a business in New York as well as in upper management" (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Arch I"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Architect I in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Architect I in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Perkins & Will full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    This is a great office to work at – I’ve recommended this firm, and specifically this office, to my friends, and will continue to do so. There is a mix of personalities, strengths, and interests, which can be great if you look at it in a positive and open manner, rather than a negative bump in the road. I’ve worked at some really awful firms due to the 2008 recession and stuck with them for the sake of a paycheck, so I can honestly say that this office has been too good to me. I have found so many incredibly supportive people who have genuinely cared in various ways including mentorship and work/life balance.

    The Managing Director doesn’t play the favorites game, but he does genuinely care, as he’s often caught me in the halls and asked me how I’m doing in life and at work and if I’m on projects that are beneficial to my career. In general, leadership, including the MD, recognizes when someone works extremely hard. While everyone loves to talk and complain about the negative, which is expected at a large firm, there is often a lot of positive feedback that circulates around the office as well. If you’re a team player, you WILL get treated well. I’ve done small favors for various projects – like helped out a Senior Designer with a last minute photoshoot (which isn’t typical) and helped a Principal take a photo of a recently finished space that wasn’t professionally photographed yet, etc. and all of these people remember that and have returned the favor by being supportive in some form.

    After being at various firms, I do have the pet peeve of bosses taking credit for your work, but I find this office really frowns down upon this situation which makes me respect the firm. Because I’m a pretty ambitious and transparent person, I find that this office respects and appreciate this, and responds to my favor. A Principal or PM will often hand me something that will push my abilities as an architect, will allow me to figure the task or situation out, but will be there for me when I express doubt or the need for help. While this may not work for everyone, but it definitely works for me!

    I also find that if you want something and the idea has been shut down by one person or group of people, that’s your time to be creative and figure out another path to pursuit your idea. Thankfully, there are enough personalities, so someone will eventually be supportive of a crazy idea. I found this to be the case in regards to ideas I had for an Innovation Incubator, but found a different path within the firm to make it happen.

    Fortunately, I can really be taken seriously, but I can also jovially joke around with my coworkers, including those in leadership. This dynamic makes working at a firm 100x’s more enjoyable, and encourages you to represent the firm as best as possible.

    There has also been the opportunity to get to know other P+W employees in other offices. It’s always fun to collaborate in this manner.

    Last bit: During the 2008/9 recession, when I was laid off from my first job, I decided to dream big and applied to Perkins + Will, but I also applied everywhere I could. As corny as this sounds, this job has been a dream come true, and I am looking forward to continue growing my career with this firm.

    Last last bit: And of course, there are the great perks that people take for granted: bonuses, professional development, ARE study guides and support, lunch & learns, lunch time yoga, and most importantly: APPRECIATION AND RESPECT when it’s earned and deserved.

    Cons

    I find the office culture in terms of your career great, one of the other things that I initially found exciting about the firm is the office culture in terms of social. I’ve always seen this firm in the light that not only were they creating interesting design and pushing the envelope in innovation, but were able to do so because they actually enjoyed each other’s company - it was a “family.” There is a lack of office events and a lack of diverse people volunteering on community service projects – it’s typically the same 10-15 people. While this is labeled as a con, I believe with time, this can change – it could be circumstantial as we’re incredibly busy at the time. I do wish leadership spearheaded this aspect a bit more.

    Also, I really wish more people knew Revit WELL.


  2. "Junior Architect"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Junior Architect in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Junior Architect in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Perkins & Will full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    A good platform to set off a professional career, which helps you to get a good sense of what architects' responsibility is and what's going on in this industry. In a word, a big firm like Perkins Will provides you with an understanding of "typical environment of an architecture company".

    Cons

    bureaucratic, low efficiency, lacking office courtesy sometimes.

  3. "Mismanaged company and toxic work environment"

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

    I have been working at Perkins & Will full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The subsidized MARTA card is the only good thing. The physical office space itself is also pretty nice.

    Cons

    Where to begin:

    This company is horribly mismanaged and our fees are too high to compete. We constantly lose projects.

    If you are thinking about hiring Perkins+Will, don’t. The company charges way too much for the services they provide. You project will be mismanaged, and they will spend your fee on expensive dinners and trips to Paris for the directors.

    If you are thinking about working here, don't. The salaries at Perkins+Will are nowhere near competitive. In fact they are some of the lowest in the Metro Area. Go to literally any other firm to work as an architect.

    The work environment is toxic. There are affairs happening all over the place. Upper management harasses lower tier workers. HR does nothing about it because they have also had affairs with one of the directors.

    Advice to Management

    If your job is business development and you don't bring in work, you should be fired. If you get our firm fired from projects then you absolutely should be fired, not paid a quarter of a million dollars.

    There are still a handful of good people left. They should be promoted, not driven out.


  4. "Interior Designer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - ID3 in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - ID3 in San Francisco, CA

    Pros

    Nice office and colleagues, interesting projects

    Cons

    Upper management changeover, studio fell apart


  5. "Great, progressive place to work."

    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 Perkins & Will full-time

    Pros

    Great hard-working atmosphere, especially in the Design and the Interior studios.

    Cons

    There is not enough of a mesh of resources across the other studios.

    Advice to Management

    Break down the silos of studios...and create project-based teams, instead of studio-based teams.


  6. "Urban Designer"

    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 Perkins & Will full-time

    Pros

    People are friendly. Annual event

    Cons

    Reasonable working hours. Big team size


  7. "Project Architect"

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

    I worked at Perkins & Will full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Small-Mid size office, Some flexible schedule.

    Cons

    Revolving door. Trouble securing projects.

  8. "Great Firm"

    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 Perkins & Will full-time

    Pros

    Great atmosphere and people
    Flexibility in work
    Opportunities to grow

    Cons

    Growth method can make consistency in work methods difficult


  9. "Falling apart"

    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 Perkins & Will full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I made some great friends who I still keep in touch with (most of them who have left at this point but some who are still there)

    Cons

    Mass exodus from the New York office of anyone under 35 and is driven. Terrible management who may be good designers but no idea how to run a business in New York as well as in upper management.

    Advice to Management

    Middle management needs to mentor... upper management needs to change. If key people cannot bring in work, they should be fired.


  10. "Smart Talented People"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Architect in Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - Architect in Atlanta, GA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Perkins & Will full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Excellent opportunities to grow and connect with inspiring projects and great people across North America and worldwide

    Cons

    Corporate policies and internal barriers limit innovation and growth.

    Advice to Management

    Go back to the start-up culture roots and incentivize people to work together across disciplines and offices.


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