AKQA Reviews

Updated 11 Sep 2020

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3.7
70%
Recommend to a Friend
81%
Approve of CEO
AKQA CEO Ajaz Ahmed
Ajaz Ahmed
305 Ratings
Pros
  • "Great agency with great people and exciting clients and projects(in 53 reviews)

  • "Great clients, competitive salaries, and great culture(in 33 reviews)

Cons
  • "When you're striving for excellence it can mean long hours but that's the nature of the industry and we all work together to try and solve for this(in 60 reviews)

  • "Work/life balance close to non-existent(in 55 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. Featured Review

    "Pleasure to work for."

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Infrastructure Senior Technical Analyst in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AKQA full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Being part of the infrastructure team within a highly regarded enterprise organisation like AKQA is a pleasurable experience. From the outset, staff are treated with respect and responsibility. The on-boarding from HR, Studio Services and my own team was superb. The studio has a great spirit with a strong shared identity. The leadership team are visible and active with all staff, and all departments contributing to an enjoyable working culture.

    Cons

    A relatively slow turnover of staff may prove a barrier to rapid progression, and internal infrastructure roles are notoriously 'business as usual' focused. But AKQA is a cutting edge agency with staff supported on solid foundations.

    Continue reading

    AKQA Response

    Managing Director

    Thank you for making a difference. Thank you for your energy and leadership as we unite to look after our teams and clients. If there's anything we can push further together, looking forward to getting after it. 🙏🙏🙏 Ron, MD, ron@akqa.com

  2. "Grateful to be part of AKQA"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Account Director 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AKQA full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    [Staying in touch]: For the people reading this wondering if sending another follow up or waiting on a recruiter to get back to you, I'm proof that patience is key and AKQA is great at keeping your name on file. My journey to AKQA wasn't quick and it took about 3 years of staying in touch for me to finally land a role that is right for me. Writing this now, it's about 5 and half years since my first conversation with AKQA and I still feel as fortunate and excited as I was during that first introductory phone call. Plus, it took that long of a time to find the right role, team and experience that is best suited for me. [Different Studios]: I'm lucky enough that I was able to start my career with AKQA at one studio (US) and I'm currently working and living with one of their European studios. Not a lot of companies offer that opportunity, but if you perform and continue to overdeliver within the AKQA standard, the opportunities to see the world via AKQA's different studios is something definitely worth pursuing. [Openness with executive, leadership team]: I can honestly say that I'm lucky enough to have direct contact and communication with all the managing directors I've worked with. I also e-mail Ajaz the founder, here and there and he continues to respond and e-mail me back. Just knowing that the exec team is there to listen is a great feeling. [Open to Ideas] I have to caveat that not all ideas will be accepted, but as long as its improving the business, whether that's an improvement on process or ways of approaching a challenge or handling a team, AKQA will always let you try. Something I'm thankful for each and every day to have the permission and autonomy to try things.

    Cons

    [Different office, different rules] Due to the vast footprint of AKQA globally, each office and each culture is managed differently, it creates a bit of inconsistency at times with global messaging. Everything is still delivered within an AKQA standard, but internally to get there is a bit challenging. [Resources] understanding the amount of employees and amount of talent we AKQA has, there has to be a better way to resource/assign people on projects from a global effort/level.

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    AKQA Response

    Managing Director

    Great ideas, thank you. Have always found the AKQA culture to be unique and special. It's a tremendous idea to codify and amplify that strength consistently across. Love that things like the AKQA Framework transparently provide our open "blueprint" to all employees, while inspiring additions like our Chief People Officer, Amy, unite us even further. Much more to come! Great ideas and thank you for all the contribution and being a part of the journey. But...future improvement opportunity for us: we should aim to have had you land that role sooner! :) Thank you, 🚀 Ron


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Top down"

    2.0
    Former Employee - Strategy 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at AKQA full-time

    Pros

    - amazing clients - nice offices - can do career defining work

    Cons

    - perfection expected, and when you're working 1000 miles per hour, just isn't possible. and when you don't meet it, you feel the wrath - working hours are ridiculous so you get burn out competitive colleagues, and not in a nice way

    AKQA Response

    Managing Director

    We love perfecting the details. Obsessing them. Each of us drawn to them in our nature. Because we recognise it's the details that elevate 'good' to the 'extraordinary'. We also love the care, the respect, and the honest intent to uplift and elevate every thing and every person, no matter what. We are committed to that uplifting, positive spirit of betterment to each other always. Thank you for being a part of our journey, Ron MD

  4. Helpful (2)

    "A wonderful company to work for, as long as you’re not working in finance"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at AKQA full-time

    Pros

    It’s evident that the other departments in the business have a much more positive work environment. People are genuinely friendlier and approachable. The company offers great benefits including a fantastic pension scheme and complimentary breakfast once a month.

    Cons

    Finance falls short of great leadership and support. Senior staff treat their direct reports with very little respect and I have seen colleagues being bullied and nobody batters an eyelid. This environment is extremely toxic to work in and evidently shows with the high staff turnover.

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    AKQA Response

    Managing Director

    Hi, thank you for your note. Our Finance team, (as every team in this studio), is made up of a group of incredibly special individuals. We wouldn't be where we are without them and continue to be humbled at how each person on this team has gone above and beyond during exceptional years like this one. If you or anyone ever encounters or witnesses any sign of bullying or any concerns, please let me know details direct at ron@akqa.com and we will address it. We are about creating a fair and respectful workplace with the right intent, care, and empathy to look after each other, improve ourselves, and be there for each other. Together, we will keep rising. Thank you for being a part of our journey, hope you are safe and loved ones well, Ron, MD

  5. "Inovative, fast paced and energetic"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Department Head in London, England

    I worked at AKQA full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Lots of hugely talented people on staff, expects innovation and creative, focussed on high quality work and client service

    Cons

    Clarity of structures, direction and career paths hard to find

    AKQA Response

    Managing Director

    Thank you for making us better, levelling us up another notch, and looking after the teams 🙏🚀, Ron, MD

  6. COVID-19

    "Rise like the phoenix"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Prefer Not to Answer 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AKQA full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Having been with the agency for several years, working closely with all disciplines, I can see that the studio is rising like the phoenix, ready to soar high up in the coming months and years. It’s refreshing to see how recent strategic hires have not only brought a sense of optimism and belief, but also inspired work output to really be proud of e.g. Blockdown. The team is strong, with a great work ethic, and an obsession to deliver for our clients. The Gartner quadrant leader positioning doesn’t lie! The solidarity amongst the team is commendable, across the studios that make up the region. Leadership is kind and humble, but also smart and responsible. Team first culture that I see examples of every week. Some I can’t say, but others include little things like thank you seeds in the post as we work remotely, which evoke that sense of hope, in flowers that will bloom very soon! Employee benefits are the best in the industry, and the studio is a lovely workspace that I hope we can return to soon. In summary, it’s a family I’m very glad I’m part of.

    Cons

    No cons (that I haven’t already raised with the MD – that’s how it should be, don’t just complain, get on and influence change!!). If pushed I'd reveal that some of the team miss the drinks trolley, but hasn't that made us healthier and wealthier?

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    AKQA Response

    Managing Director

    🦅💫 We'll aim to keep focussing on the long-term over the short - in work and in mindset. Still lots to learn; excited by the new additions to the team....Thank you you being a part of this - we really couldn't do it without you. Ron, ron@akqa.com, MD

  7. Helpful (4)

    "Terrible Place to work, No life balance & lack of support from managers"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Finance 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at AKQA full-time

    Pros

    Most of the people are great to work alongside Free Breakfast once a month

    Cons

    Work life balance is atrocious Lack of support from managers to progress Lack of change and ability to improve processes HR did not seem to want to help with issues

    Continue reading

    AKQA Response

    Managing Director

    Thank you for being a part of the journey. Lots to learn every day, we'll keep working hard to improve every touch. If you or any team-member ever feels lack of support to learn, just let any one of us know, we're here to help and make it happen - it's important. Thank you for making us better, Ron, MD, ron@akqa.com

  8. "No better team in the world"

    5.0
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Receptionist in London, England
    Recommends

    I have been working at AKQA full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Great agency with amazing people and exciting clients and projects

    Cons

    Nothing bad to say

    AKQA Response

    Managing Director

    Thank you for all the care and energy to our teams, our partners, and our home. Your details are what's making the difference! It's appreciated 🙏 Ron, MD, ron@akqa.com

  9. Helpful (1)

    "Inspiring, innovative and always challenging"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England

    I have been working at AKQA full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    AKQA is a unique place to work- the teams are made up of brilliant minds and talented people, and everyone is treated as an equal. We also have some of the most amazing clients who come to us looking to genuinely innovate and deliver measurable value to their audiences and customers. To be part of that journey with them is a humbling and unique opportunity that I've relished during my time here.

    Cons

    When you're striving for excellence it can mean long hours but that's the nature of the industry and we all work together to try and solve for this.

    AKQA Response

    Managing Director

    Thank you for inspiring our teams (all of us), and our clients. 🙏 ron@akqa.com, MD

  10. Helpful (1)

    "Amazing energy"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Group Account Director in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AKQA full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Good humans with true respect and care. Ambition of doing the best work and attention in detail. Truly love the energy in the office and entrepreneurial style.

    Cons

    We can't have any alcohol in the office, it would be great to gather the teams around some drinks after work.

    AKQA Response

    Managing Director

    🙏 Thank you for helping us all look after each other. Believe energy is the ingredient force that will make us achieve what we could never do alone. Looking forward to the team being back in-person, safely, after remote-working ends and let's get those in-person after-work culture sessions immediately in place. Thank you for the feedback, Ron, MD

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