Equator Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

Equator Reviews

Updated Oct 28, 2019

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3.3
52%
Recommend to a Friend
77%
Approve of CEO
Equator CEO John McLeish (no image)
John McLeish
12 Ratings
  1. "You get what you put in"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Glasgow, Scotland
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - great opportunity for development - wide range of clients - People - exposure to different aspects and roles of working in a digital agency - benefits - pay - hard work is appreciated and leadership want to hear what you have to say

    Cons

    - sometimes the time it takes to make a decision - consistent communication

    Advice to Management

    - be clear on what you expect of your team and get them motivated behind a shared vision - You are doing lots of great things, shout about it and make sure everyone knows

    Equator2019-10-28
  2. "Excellent launchpad - has its issues."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Web Developer in Glasgow, Scotland
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Equator full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - Great place to learn, there are a lot of knowledgeable developers who are willing to help - Great to have on your CV, you will gather attention from global brands - Modern technologies

    Cons

    - Salaries are low, adverts suggest mid level developers can get up to 40k. I did not come across one mid level developer that earned this. - A lot of pressure put on developers and creatives in general - Timekeeping, you must log every minute of your day. 30 minutes of 'general admin' e.g. toilet and making tea. - Lack of progression, folk only seem to progress if they are a 'favourite' not necessarily based on... skill - Toxic environment with cliques dotted over the place - Extremely high staff turnover, every month you are there people will leave - Lack of care, projects start off with good intentions then pressure from clients impact the quality of work that is delivered

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    Equator2019-10-24
  3. "Equator: an honest review from a developer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Developer in Glasgow, Scotland
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Equator full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - really great developers, knowledgeable staff - team leads and project managers are often very competent. This, of course, has exceptions at times, but my experience has been overall very positive. - everybody is a delight to work with. If you're more extroverted then me, then you'll really dig the social events and Friday drinks. - Team chat is lively, helpful and fun. Memes for days, ya'll -... deliverables (i.e. timelines) for projects are very reasonable *most* of the time. It's extremely rare to have crunch time or work on weekends or stay late. - If you're a junior dev, you'll have plenty of space and time to get better. You won't feel intimidated for not knowing something. - Equator has a great reputation amongst other businesses and former developers; the bonds you forge here will have lasting effect if you stay in the game long enough - lots of React. If you're not the best at it you'll get there working here.

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    Cons

    - lots of React. This is a very subjective con - so take it with a grain of salt - but I personally find other technologies (i.e. Vue/Svelte) to be better from a development standpoint, but for business reasons they're not gonna budge. It's gonna be React for a while. - along with that, there's a good chance you won't write a lot of original code; you'll either be modifying or fixing bugs most of the time. Not... always the case, and your experience may differ, but it's something to note. - quite a few legacy projects that are not exactly fun to work on. This is unavoidable given the nature of the business, but again - it's something to note - you're gonna be assigned projects that you don't have any context for. This... does kinda suck. It's hard to care about a project that you've never worked on, with code you've never touched or seen before, for a client you don't know and are not invested in. - there's a lot of fullstack and backend developers at Equator. They're often writing most of the frontend code. Sometimes it's not great. If you're a frontend developer, this will inevitability annoy you.

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    Advice to Management

    I don't really have any advice, but I generally enjoyed my time at Equator.

    Equator2019-09-29
  4. "Happy"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Project Manager 

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

    Pros

    Great team, great work, great times.

    Cons

    I can't comment quite yet,

    Equator2019-07-25
  5. Helpful (2)

    "Horrible Agency"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing in Glasgow, Scotland
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Equator full-time

    Pros

    Has some good clients, with decent budgets to work with.

    Cons

    Horrible company to work for with now compassion for their staff.

    Advice to Management

    I worked here for just under a year back in 2015, during this time my fiance of 10 years passed away after a sudden illness. Following this, I had then had to take some time off as you can imagine. In my second week of absense, I was contacted and asked when I was coming back. When I told them I was un-sure I was then asked to come to the office for a meeting where I was then told I lost my job....

    Equator2019-08-09
  6. Helpful (3)

    "I don't rate it. But serve your sentence anyway."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Developer in Glasgow, Scotland
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Equator full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Equator has a few decent clients left on the books. Full of talented colleagues who get on and we have a free gym membership. You will learn how to work faster due to lack of time. If you can last for 3 months here, you are doing well... The longer you are here the more attractive you become to potential employers so it's worth getting in, serving your sentence for at least 6 months and getting it on your CV.

    Cons

    There is way too much focus on getting work done quickly and there is a huge lack of focus on getting the work done to a high standard. "Efficiency", is a word that is used way too much and is an excuse to cut down on non-billable time. Too much admin staff with little knowledge of how things work. usually found trying to cutting down a scope. Sometimes questionable who they are working for. 'self-development'... is cut short. Sure, we have access to online training but we don't have the time to use this to its full potential. The formation of individual 'tribes' (smaller agency groups) within the company makes things difficult for several reasons. At a competitive angle, more focus is put on profits this month rather than quality. When it's busy, you are often under way too much pressure and hitting unrealistic deadlines decided by the client and project managers. When it's quiet, you can find yourself with lack of things to do or poor work to do which brings your billable hours down. Don't expect to be recognised for your hard work. Client services will take praise when thing go well. You will take the hit when things go wrong. Recent changes make things harder... Being punished for going over scope by a couple of hours even when that scope has been squeezed down makes things tricky. Big focus on your billable hours worked even though it's not within your control.

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    Advice to Management

    The more stress that is put on management to perform well just gets pushed down onto the people at the bottom of the pyramid. To take the company to the next level, you will need to seriously work to improve the work-life of those at the bottom. Investigate the recurring issues we deal with and don't just put this in the hands of another person already ignorant of the reality.

    Equator2019-07-16
  7. Helpful (6)

    "Avoid if you can, lack of desire and poor morale"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Designer/Development in Glasgow, Scotland
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    “Bigger” client pool, nice office, good location

    Cons

    Poor morale, no desire to make good work, it feels like your sole duty is to make money for management, you can get lost in the shadows, no briefs / control of projects, JIRA dependant, micro-managed.

    Advice to Management

    Senior management could be involved more,c are about your staff base, stop allowing Cs to run the show - we get it’s what makes the money but penny pinching and micro management of design / dev time is terrifying. Also stop writing fake reviews on here it’s painfully obvious which ones are which and being reported as such.

    Equator2019-06-25
  8. Helpful (1)

    "Some great individuals but not worth the hassle"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Developer in Glasgow, Scotland
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    1. I had the opportunity to work with some great people 2. Fast paced projects 3. Breaking the company into tribes has allowed more people to take ownership of what their tribe is delivering

    Cons

    Cons related to the pros above: 1. a lot of dead weight that are a hindrance to the company making any sort of progress. Old technologies and processes being used because people that have been there forever don't want to move on. Makes the good people's jobs harder. 2. Projects aren't faced pace because they are amazing projects doing innovative things, they are fast paced because someone wants to increase... profit margin, or the client has been promised something without any thought to if it is deliverable. Equator also switch very quickly to blaming individuals when things go wrong. Too often they ask someone without the experience or training to pick something up and then just blame the individual when things go wrong. 3. Each tribe worked in a different way, while the tribe I was in improved our project management techniques and got everyone involved, other people and tribes tried to take advantage of the system, attempting to unload dead weight to other tribes by bare-faced lying and manipulating the system. Other random cons: Weird system of clocking in and out like a call center. Apparently not used to keep track of peoples time in and time out but definitely used for that at times. So focused on billable work and making sure everyone is 100% productive no time for anything else, no learning, no training, no time to build a team. The "famous Equator BBQ" happens on a Saturday to ensure no billable time is lost. Too many decisions made by managers that are not involved in the day-to-day processes anymore. For example changes were recently made to time sheet entry without consulting anyone that had done in a time sheet in 5 years. Too reliant on hiring inexperienced staff and hoping they can deliver anything based on hard work alone. Entire departments have been set up and run by junior people. Constantly assuming what Equator does is so unique they have to invent a new process for it. Time sheet entry, finance reporting, team structure is all just thought about by a small number of people. No one seems to realise there are other design agencies/software companies that might have solved these problems before. Too focused on profit at the expense of everything else. If that is the company goal then fine, but management should be honest about that, not claim it's some sort of creative place to potential employees and then once in the door make them so focused on billable time. A lot of cliques, and business decisions made based on what clique you are in. For example in development some people are given way more freedom to work on R&D or go to conferences, or get promoted easier than others. Too many decisions by management with no empathy shown for how it will come across to people doing the day to day. Recently there was changes to the operating model and during the presentation developers were told if they don't hit a target decided by management that could ultimately lead to their dismissal. It's obvious that if anyone doesn't do their job they could be sacked but to have it in a document and stand up and say that to a bunch of people you are forcing change on struck me as having put no thought into how this would make people feel.

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    Advice to Management

    I'm not sure if it's the quick growth or the attempt to switch to delivering sites to enterprise level customers but something has happened to the culture of the place. People openly talk about how it's not fun anymore, and it's not like the fun agency it once was. It might even be just that your employees have grown up and what was once fun now feels forced and awkward. However you need to try to rescue the... culture of the place for the people that currently work there. Until people start enjoying working there again it's going to be difficult to recruit people that you want.

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    Equator2019-07-18
  9. "Good for fast-learning but low salaries"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Equator full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Fun social life - Friday drinks etc. Variety of clients

    Cons

    Low salaries Slow progression Cliquey account management teams

    Equator2019-02-14
  10. "A great place to work with a brilliant team"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Glasgow, Scotland
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - You get to work with some really big brands - It's large enough that you should be able to move around into different teams and develop your role if you want to - There are some incredibly talented people across the agency and generally everyone is really nice and friendly - I think the salaries are generally good compared to smaller agencies - You'll learn a lot, especially if you're a younger member of... staff - Decent pension scheme compared to other places I've worked beforehand

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    Cons

    - Occasionally there can be a tendency to micro-manage and decisions can sometimes feel a little top-down but probably no more than other companies of this size

    Advice to Management

    Try and act on any key themes coming from staff appraisals etc.

    Equator2019-01-27
Found 34 reviews