ZGF Architects Reviews | Glassdoor

ZGF Architects Reviews

Updated June 7, 2018
35 reviews

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3.8
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Ted Hyman
8 Ratings

35 Employee Reviews

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  1. "LA Office - Great people, Great atmosphere, Opportunity for Growth"

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

    I have been working at ZGF Architects full-time

    Pros

    - A lot of opportunity for growth and experience.
    - Great mentorship & patience with young professionals.
    - Willingness to tackle big firm-wide goals: sustainability, education, diversity, etc.
    - Great people who work hard and care about each other. More collaborative than competitive.
    - Upper management is willing to work with you if you state your goals and intentions clearly

    Cons

    - ZGF could get involved with more diverse project types. It would be great to see ZGF take more risks in the type of work they go after.


  2. "Good company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at ZGF Architects full-time

    Pros

    Nice office space, kitchen area, outdoor areas, operable windows, green office.

    Cons

    Benefits are less than what you might expect for a company of this size and number of employees.

    Advice to Management

    Work on developing all of the employees and give everyone the chance to get some training opportunities.

  3. Helpful (15)

    "Most toxic and immature environment I've experienced since grade school."

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

    I worked at ZGF Architects full-time

    Pros

    - The firm has an honorable mission. They've done some truly amazing work, and are working on more great projects.

    - There's a few really good people in the company. People who believe in working hard, making a difference, and changing the world for the better.

    Cons

    I can only attest to working in the firm-wide PR and LA marketing teams, in which I was subjected to passive-aggressive hostility, alienation, and outright dishonesty. This treatment went entirely unexplained, for they avoid open and honest communication at all cost. I know for a fact I'm not the only one treated this way.

    When I once asked a team leader how to help the other members improve in their performance, the response was, "Those people will weed themselves out. We just need to wait."

    This is just one of many examples that highlight just how reptilian these "leaders" are. They absolutely refuse to address issues in the open. Instead, they let ill will foster up until it completely blows open, and undeserving people who are doing their best with what little guidance they get suffer negative consequences for it. I listened to leaders talk so much trash about their own team and their abilities, yet did absolutely nothing to steer them towards improvement. I can't express enough how despicable it was.

    In addition to the two-faced nature that is the PR/marketing culture, project management is a disaster. No one owns anything that has clear and measurable results, and so results on a lot of things is incredibly poor. I feel bad for the partners--I don't think they realize what little value they are receiving for what they're getting billed.

    Outside PR/marketing, I have to concur with previous reviews that this company is pretty cliquey. I witnessed a lot of gossip and rigid social dynamics. I felt exceptionally isolated there.

    Overall, easily the worst so-called professional experience in my life. It's actually going to take me time to recover psychologically from the whole chapter.

    Advice to Management

    Communicate, don't lie, and learn basic human decencies. Some of you are parents... It terrifies me to think some of them might take in your predatory tendencies. I don't think you realize just how unacceptable your conduct is. You all should know better.


  4. "Achitect IV"

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

    I have been working at ZGF Architects full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great project. Great studio culture. Great opportunities for growth.

    Cons

    studios are separated- communication barrier


  5. Helpful (3)

    "2.5 Stars"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at ZGF Architects full-time

    Pros

    Most people are nice. Professional environment.

    Cons

    There are a lot of politics amongst employees as well as the Partners. Partners can't seem to get along and every office has its own culture and agendas so high level decisions are not made quickly. Upper management historically has not done a good job at giving employee feedback and communicating expectations and company updates has been light.


  6. "great work life balance"

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

    I have been working at ZGF Architects full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good exposure to projects and nice work environment. Very flexible, great benefits and work-life balance

    Cons

    Not much career advancement, most people are just going with the flow.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Your experience may vary. 3.5 stars would be my true rating."

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

    I worked at ZGF Architects full-time

    Pros

    Strong focus on integration of sustainability into projects.
    Great resources with model shop, 3d printing, VR technology is being explored.
    Dedicated. talented visualization crew to help concepts look awesome.

    Cons

    Politics between offices was an issue.
    Disagreements between partners and divisive behaviors that was visible to staff.
    This means there are disconnects between experiences at each location and tensions between how resources are shared, where the profit flows from/to, etc
    PDX is still somehow considered the center, but LA runs DC and NY. SEA is it's own entity in many ways, and tries to exert strong influence over the partnership with ZGF Cotter in Vancouver. A few years ago, ZGF hired a CFO to make the firm run more efficiently, but it also led to some bloodletting with loyal seasoned employees. The big family vibe no longer exists at ZGF.

    Advice to Management

    Don't forget where you came from. Older partners that helped build the practice should not be maligned. It's great to hire a CFO that helps make the business most profitable, but it won't be sustainable if the individuals who do the work are treated like a number.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Good design - lots of changes"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at ZGF Architects full-time

    Pros

    Good design
    Great firm wide support

    Cons

    Lots of turn over
    Difficult work environment


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Great firm, great potential"

    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 ZGF Architects full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Highly qualified and talented staff, great projects and clients

    Cons

    Communication can be challenged at times, firm has had growing pains

    Advice to Management

    Continue to invest in and foster talented staff, ensure people want to build careers, keep focusing on design


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Big fish in a small pond"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Architect in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Architect in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at ZGF Architects full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great people, generous and patient. Projects locally and nationally.

    Cons

    Large firms will suck your soul out of your body unless you set limits, especially with your own expectations.


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