Perkins & Will Reviews | Glassdoor

Perkins & Will Reviews

Updated August 18, 2018
187 reviews

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3.4
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Perkins & Will President and CEO Phil Harrison
Phil Harrison
107 Ratings

187 Employee Reviews

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Pros
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 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Diversity Leader"

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

    I have been working at Perkins & Will full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Strong female leadership heading offices compared to other firms. firm takes more risks than other firms promoting younger talent to key roles.

    Cons

    a few large firm dynamics, hard to get to know everyone sometimes.


  2. "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.

  3. "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


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Unimaginative, incoherent marketing leadership"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Access to projects all over the world

    Cons

    I worked in the San Francisco marketing department. I found the marketing and design leadership within the office as well as the marketing leadership at the corporate level listless, incoherent, and strikingly unready to cope with the challenges they face. How many times can you get excited about some new database or internal initiative or pursuit that fizzles and goes nowhere?

    In the SF office, it was a very catty and clique-y environment. I heard the human resources person call a highly respected senior employee "sad" (as in pathetic) directly in front of me, and I was struck by racially insensitive comments occasionally made about a foreign coworker by the marketing manager, who seemed mostly focused on finding ways to make every conversation all about herself (foremost), or about the people who are out to get her. Meanwhile, the principals have no guidance on how to achieve their sales goals, the office is losing projects left and right, and no one can figure out why. It's the marketing!

    The SF office is struggling from a lack of design leadership, hemorrhaging skilled and ambitious designers who suddenly realized they'd been pigeonholed into doing CA eternally, losing projects that they either had or should easily have won--and no one can admit that so many of the problems come from the laissez-faire, head-in-the-sand attitude of the marketing team, starting from the CMO on down. Despite all the verbiage about diversity (window-dressing) and social purpose (which is code for pro bono projects where they don't have to waste too many otherwise billable hours), it's an firm that has no coherent vision for how to represent itself. All that really seems to matter to the firm's leadership is whether or not they've moved up in the rankings or are beating their competitors in gross revenue. I know this sounds reductive. It's not. I think they've come a long way from the even more banal work of the 70s and 80s, but along the path somewhere, they seemed to have forgotten that the strength of an organization lies in the integrity and vision of its leaders, and, on that account, this is a very weak organization. Clients meeting with leadership in the SF office would reasonably choose to spend their millions elsewhere--I wouldn't trust these people either.

    Also the health benefits are pretty bad.

    Advice to Management

    Put your aspirations and principles into practice, from the HR department to marketing on outward. Drop the inferiority complex and start giving chances to people who really want to make a difference. Invest in culture and don't be afraid to stick with people who are ready to do the same.


  5. "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


  6. "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.


  7. "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.

  8. "Designer"

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

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

    Pros

    great place to work for everone

    Cons

    there are no cons that I can think of

    Advice to Management

    everyone is great that I can tell


  9. "Arch 1"

    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 opportunities on a variety of project types

    Cons

    Slow promotion rate with small pay increase

    Advice to Management

    Develop strategies and ideas with collaboration as focus


  10. "I love my job!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Interior Designer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Interior Designer in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Perkins & Will full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    I love coming to work each day. We have an inclusive culture that truly makes it feel like “we’re in this together”. Employees build strong friendships and mentor relationships here; advocating for each other is part of our culture. We’re given a lot of trust and responsibility early on, which can be intimidating at first, but ultimately leads to more autonomy and faster personal growth.

    Our structure is fairly “flat” and we’re not organized into studios. All employees have the opportunity to work within multiple market sectors and on projects of all sizes.

    We’re both socially and environmentally progressive. Sustainability is one of our greatest values. We care deeply about our local community and get the opportunity to work on pro-bono projects for organizations like Mary’s Place, Bailey-Boushay House, Union Gospel Mission, and more!

    We have weekly critiques with great conversation, snacks and beer! A killer Party Planning Committee and quarterly chair massages! Some other benefits off the top of my head:
    -$750 given to employees each year for professional development opportunities
    -P+W pays for us to become LEED accredited
    -P+W pays for us to become licensed
    -Free Orca card (bus/train pass)
    -Generous bonus each year
    -Sit-stand desks
    -In house IT, Revit and Printing admin
    -Diversity and Inclusion award
    -Monthly cash award to employees going above and beyond
    -Company phone at Associate level and above
    -Access to expertise throughout entire firm worldwide

    Cons

    The staffing process seems to be something we’ve struggled with for the last few years. It’s slowly becoming more transparent, but has a way to go before it’s great.

    Our performance review process is not structured. It works well for those individuals who are proactive in requesting formal feedback, but is not ideal for those who need a push to schedule a review.

    There is not a consistent process/set of tools for Project Managers. Project Architects are often required to wear both a PA and PM hat.

    Advice to Management

    (see cons)


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