Purcell, Partington, LSI, AWW, Scott Brownrigg, Ryder and HLM all pick up regional Best Place to Work awards
The accolades are rated on staff satisfaction, workplace culture, benefits and staff turnover and voted for by employees. Each practice is visited before the winner is chosen
London / South East: Robin Partington & Partners
Staff in its New Oxford Street studio describe this second-time winner as a ‘young and ambitious practice full of fantastic people working hard to create great buildings within an enjoyable environment.’ It scored highly on job satisfaction, salary, staff benefits, career prospects and work produced but its highest score was for working conditions - 100 per cent of staff were ‘very satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’. As one employee who has been with the firm for four years put it: ‘Robin Partington rocks.’
East: LSI Architects
‘Well thought out, sensitively designed architecture and a very enlightened attitude towards employment wellbeing’ makes LSI Architects the best place to work in the East of England, according to one employee working at this old Norwich firm. This AJ100 newcomer, which changed its name from Lambert Scott and Innes in 2002, rated particularly highly in the areas of employee benefits and the work the firm produces. When responding to our survey, another employee confirmed that, at the practice: ‘They do some great work and really look after their people.’
South West: AWW
The fact that AWW has won this award ‘three years running…speaks for itself,’ said one AWW employee, adding that the firm has ‘great staff, great clients, diverse projects.’ ‘Friendly’ is a word frequently used among staff when describing our serial Best Place to Work winner. ‘Without a doubt the most flexible, friendly company I have every worked for’ said one. Another added, ‘AWW makes a big effort to promote good work/life balance and foster a great team atmosphere’.
Scotland: Scott Brownrigg
The practice’s Edinburgh office has only been open since last May but already it has beaten some stiff competition to become Best Place to Work in the region. The practice scores well across the board, with people feeling very satisfied about both their current job situation as a whole and the work they produce as a company in particular. As one respondent said: ‘Scott Brownrigg is producing the best architecture in the region at the scale in which we work.’ Another employee added: ‘Very happy working where I am, part of a large successful practice now establishing itself in Scotland.’
North West: Purcell
For the third year running the practice takes top spot in this region. In fact, employees love working here so much that other firms aren’t likely to get much of a look-in when it comes to recruiting staff from the conservation specialist. ‘I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else,’ said one Liverpool-based employee, who responded to our survey, while another praised the firm for its ‘amazing opportunities for personal growth and support from the team.’
Purcell opened its Cardiff office in January, but has already managed to fend off competition from other well-regarded firms in the region. One employee said they like working there because of ‘the number and variety of projects involving conserving listed buildings of high significance, and the equal ratio of female architectural staff to male architectural staff in the practice’. Almost every Purcell respondent working in Wales was ‘very satisfied’ with their job situation and company benefits, and all were very satisfied or satisfied with their salary, career prospects, working conditions and work produced.
North east / Yorkshire: Ryder Architecture
Our Ryder respondents were unanimous that their firm - last year’s highest new entrant - remains the best place to work. The Sunday Times agrees, naming it one of its 100 Best Companies to Work For for the second year in a row. ‘Great heritage, excellent career prospects and benefits’ said one employee, while others praised it for its use of materials and technical expertise: ‘Every project has a simplistic and thorough approach with careful consideration of materials and detailing.’
Northern Ireland: HLM
The practice, which this year celebrates having been in business for half a century, has a happy Belfast office, where staff members report a ‘great company, which treats its employees fairly.’ Others have praised the firm for its ‘quality and variety of work produced across sectors’ while one employee espoused that working at HLM ‘is rewarding - it’s a joy to work with such talented people.’ Our stats back this up: 100 per cent of HLM Architects’ staff are either satisfied or very satisfied with their working environment and their career prospects.