Wolff Olins Reviews | Glassdoor

Wolff Olins Reviews

Updated April 12, 2017
20 reviews

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3.4
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3 Ratings

20 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    "Best branding place."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Designer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Designer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Wolff Olins full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great culture, Fun jobs. Great CEO.

    Cons

    Hard work. Long hours. Demanding clients.


  2. Helpful (16)

    "Not a great place to be right now (but still hopeful?)"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great location in the West Village. People are generally pretty fun. Good amount of vacation days, competitive benefits. But the real reason I joined was for the promise of learning from the best and brightest. For a long time, this was the case. I've gotten to help on some iconic projects with great people.

    Cons

    Not sure when the place turned, but I think it was about 18-24 months ago when there was a massive exit of the top people. A few people took advantage of the situation and landed at a place that gave them an inordinate amount of power for the experience they had, especially when it came to managing people and leading teams. This, in my opinion, changed the dynamic of the office. What resulted was a lot of lost pitches because of poor team chemistry, people getting run ragged because of mismanagement, and most disturbingly, those responsible for the mismanagement resorting to intimidation and bullying. While this nastiness only happened to a few people, I think they (the culprits) underestimated how much even witnessing such things affect people. Morale is at an all-time low. There were layoffs but now there are needn't be any more rounds because so many people have left voluntarily. It feels like more are leaving every other week. There are more people wanting to get out than wanting to say where they are.

    Advice to Management

    Frankly, this is my last-ditch attempt at getting someone from London to listen before I give up on the place. New York is falling apart. I hope we can see some real leadership in the coming months so that we can build back this office to be worthy of some of the great people who work here. This means that you (leadership in London) have to make hard decisions and opening your eyes to those who are only focused on managing up rather than being good/fair to the people who report to them. This means actually having a fair review system that holds everyone accountable to each other, rather one or two "Heads" basically having free reign on junior staff. I speak for New York when I say that we are waiting for things to get better, but at some point soon hope is going to run out.


  3. Helpful (8)

    "Great work life balance but unfriendly culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Brand Strategist in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Brand Strategist in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Wolff Olins full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    35 billable hours a week means great work life balance, summer Fridays and lots of vacation time, sexy clients

    Cons

    Surprisingly unfriendly culture, management didn't value motivating team or even treating them with respect


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Amazing creative consultancy that really cares about culture and people"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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 Wolff Olins full-time

    Pros

    Passionate, talented people who care about making a difference in the world and your personal development
    Distributed leadership structure, no managing directors, just coaches
    Great projects with world-class brands
    Opportunity to kickstart internal ventures

    Cons

    Like any organisation, there's politics and favouritism
    More difficult for younger, more junior people to shine
    Behind on technology and digital innovation


  6. Helpful (1)

    "A brilliant and special organization that needs a taste of its own medicine"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Wolff Olins full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Incredible heritage, vision and body of work that you will be proud and challenged to contribute to
    Smart and humble colleagues who care deeply about what they do for it's own sake
    Opportunity to bring change to big/highly visible organizations
    Conceptual thinking and creativity
    Close knit community and good benefits

    Cons

    Reinvent the wheel on every project and process, leading to stress, inefficiency, wasted time and money
    Focus on billable hours and heavy collaboration creates an environment where it is impossible to have your own working style and personal ownership of projects, leading to serious and unhealthy burnout
    Suffering from Omnicom's cost-cutting and old-school corporate management of technology and productivity tools

    Advice to Management

    Invest in serious space upgrades for US offices instead of quick fixes
    Transparency and structure around career growth and management
    Invest in the well being and development your younger and less senior employees
    Promote from within
    Fix your website and marketing


  7. Helpful (1)

    "When they get it right, it's amazing, but when they get it wrong, they really get it wrong"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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 Wolff Olins full-time

    Pros

    Some amazing people to work with - smart and inspiring
    Attracts big interesting clients and briefs
    Learning new things and ways of doing them is encouraged
    Good benefits and lovely offices to work in

    Cons

    Too much favouritism of certain personality types
    Unnecessarily difficult to get promoted unless you're one of the favourites
    Cliquey
    Management not leading with integrity or transparency
    Hard work often goes unnoticed
    Chaotic leadership and lack of consistency

    Advice to Management

    Get back to basics of what makes Wolff Olins special, stop promoting your friends and look at who you really need to lead the business


  8. Helpful (8)

    "In decline"

    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

    I worked at Wolff Olins full-time

    Pros

    People are passionate about their jobs
    Great pride in the work delivered
    Rich history and deep well of knowledge
    Generous amount of vacation/holidays
    Designers get to work on sexy projects
    (Used to have) high-profile clients

    Cons

    Catty/cliquish behavior at all levels
    Culture of favoritism
    Disorganized reporting structure, lack of oversight allowing for a few egos to have gross amount of power
    Abuse of junior staff goes unchecked
    No leadership or direction
    Most management have no people management experience
    Many recent departures of top level talent
    Low morale driven by layoffs/attrition/business decline
    London holding strong--Americas an absolute mess
    Arrogance, myopia, and insecurity characterize working style of some key leaders

    Advice to Management

    Be honest with yourselves. What's worked before isn't working anymore. It's time for a change and to hold people accountable for the mess they've made of things.


  9. "Great work, great & super-talented people"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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

    Pros

    Crazy smart team members
    Clear purpose and vision
    High profile projects and creative ambition
    Lots of room for growth

    Cons

    Not good training support system, better for mid-to-senior people vs recent grads.

    Advice to Management

    Keep aiming high and continue focus on internal culture, the people are the magic


  10. "Great company to work for"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Pay scale is breath taking

    Cons

    Dealing with team members manufacturing


  11. Helpful (6)

    "Living off past glories"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Brand Manager in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Brand Manager in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Wolff Olins full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Clients
    Some stellar individuals who should be running their own agencies.
    Food
    Launchpad

    Cons

    Puffed up with own hyperboli
    Very little commercial experience to back up the corporate arrogance
    Surprisingly old fashioned
    People guard their patch

    Advice to Management

    Get out and get a life


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