3.8 out of 5 stars.
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Royal Botanic Gardens Kew Employee Reviews

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United Kingdom33 reviews

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3.8Work-life balance

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Great place to work but lack of job security

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Great place to work and amazing team and colleagues but a lack of job security in the science dept. Lovely to be able to take breaks in the gardens though!
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An ethical organisation doing amazing things. Business side stuck in the last and paperwork heavy.

What is the best part of working at the company?The gardens are stunning. Kind and inspirational staff. What is the most stressful part about working at the company?A lot of needless paper work and slow to get things done. Some staff stuck in the past.What is the work environment and culture like at the company?Quiet offices with many staff at home still. Governance heavy.Some teams very busy, others not. Much talk.What is a typical day like for you at the company?Lots of meetings, followed by a lot of paperwork.
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Insights into Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

Based on 9 survey responses
What people like
  • Feeling of personal appreciation
  • Energising work tasks
  • Supportive environment

Okay job

Pro: Full sick pay, shopping discounts, some managers are organised and helpful, colleagues are mostly friendly, they take health and safety seriouslyCons: Low pay, possibility of experiencing bullying from managers which you will be told to just accept them as they are, lack of direction from some managers, no collaboration between departments so you tend to only learn how to do very limited jobs within your area
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Dont bother

Just toxic, from the management, to the older colleagues, the equipment, the wages, poor communication, terrible expectations and lack mental health support
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Great place to work, staff are friendly. Induction is clear and you know what is expected of you. The grounds are beautiful and if you start work before the public it feels like you have the whole place to yourself
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Expected to work in poor conditions.

Not being provided adequate clothing.Management don't listen and are sarcastic.Few good souls but ruined by big cheese running it all. Many cuts and soon be made redundant.
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Great place to work

great place to work, friendly staff, managers are understanding and take time out to speak to you and really spend time to get to know yourself, recommend
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I had various science jobs over 30 years. There are some toxic and terrible managers, if you get one of them you will get no help and it will ruin your life and career. There are also some of the most wonderful and amazing people, although sadly the restructuring of 2015-2018 saw the loss of many great people and a loss of the network of people working together, replaced by a competitive system where individuals need to survive cuts by looking better than everyone else. Some good people who survived restructuring have since left due to overwork and unhappiness. Senior managers get huge pay packets, the average 'worker' does not earn enough to live in London.


Wonderful if you love me and live botany


Destructive if you get bad management
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The company doesn't live by their values.

The company doesn't live by their values. They don't care about employee retention and focus only on the competition and making money. They invent a lot of lies about their finances while supported by the Government with taxpayers money and expect employee to lie to the customers to make more profit. Greedy institution, unfair and hiring the most toxic leaders
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Toxic environment and too many toxic Managers

Location is nice but the working environment is toxic. Too many toxic Managers, interdepartmental hostility and not very rewarding. Your manager does not care about you and if you complain or raise an issue you will have a target on your back. Very stressful and depressing, I don't recommend Kew as a healthy place to work, they do not care about wellbeing.


Nice location


Toxic Managers
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Poor management and toxic culture

The atmosphere started off really awesome, until it wasn’t! They want people to believe that Kew is one of the best places to work, but it's actually one of the worst.Micromanaging and giving pedantic and contradictory “coaching” on a regular basis. There is not enough staff so you constantly have angry and abusive patrons. The systems are horrendous and never work. Management could not care less about mental health and will actively do everything they can to make your health worse and then penalise you for it.


The great outdoors


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Supportive and amazing location

An inspiring and relaxing location to work. The job was fairly straight forward but rewarding to work with an international public, especially in the busier summer months.
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*Millennium Seed Bank *

I worked at the Millennium Seed Bank for just over a year as seed processing assistant. I previously studied conservation ecology and have an interest in botany having done my dissertation on a rare plant. I think this really helped me secure the job. The role was centred around processing seeds from around the world ready for storage in underground freezers, we would also test sub samples to check they’re still alive by growing them on agar. It was interesting at first but quickly became very monotonous. However it was an interesting experience but I didn’t see much progression there. Pay was 20k in 2017/18 which wasn’t quite enough but did reflect the level of responsibility in the role. Colleagues were very much older and I didn’t find the social aspect particularly fun. There would be more opportunities at Kew Gardens but jobs are hard to come by.


Great experience, cool to have stored seeds in the vaults


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A productive and fun place to work

I would do general gardening duties such as weeding ,planting ,leaf clearing pruning and mulching also using various machinery. I learnt a great deal from my manager and more experienced gardeners.The work place culture was casual and full as well as professional.Planting tree at Kew was one of the enjoyable parts of the job and returning after I left to see it maturing.


Friendly colleagues


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Be part of the bigger picture

I have worked here for about a year and a half, and everyone at Kew is so different in relation to backgrounds, culture, knowledge and experience that it makes every single person there interesting. Everyone is so friendly, we are surrounded by the most beautiful plants in the world, all in once place and you work alongside the heroes who rescue them and you can be part of that by spreading the word in terms of the research and conservation that is done here. Absolutely phenomenal. If you are ready to absorb it, it just doesn't feel like any other job.


Be part of saving plants, see the bigger picture


wages could be a bit more...
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Lovely place to work, with lovely people.

Lovely place to work, with lovely people. It was very busy, but my colleagues were wonderful, really helpful.Top management are all very approachable. It is a very postive working environment.
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Professionalità e competenza. Passione per l'ambiente e la natura.

Ambiente professionale, stimolante e in diretta connessione con la natura, con la quale lavora. Passione e impegno per la competenza svolta.
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I am currently completing a science-based Curation Internship at Kew Gardens, where I am working for the Identification & Naming departments - Africa Team Monday to Thursday and on Friday I am involved with Mycology work. Now I am databasing fungal vouchers at the Fungarium using Herbtrack (with rotting fungi) and I am carrying out various curation projects at the Herbarium (focusing also on Mozambique TIPAs). I feel that although my degree is already completed my current mycology, chemistry and botany studying skills are also relevant to your needs. My key relevant skills gained through the current Internship include - botany, mycology & herbarium curation, research, databasing using Herbtrak, HerbCat, Brahms & CRIS, data collection, data analysis, mycology lab work and scientific report writing. My main day to day duties are: - Collecting specimen in the field - Using microscopes properly - Preparing wet-mount slides - Keep equipment in a clean and serviceable condition - Recording and interpreting results to present to senior colleagues - Conducting searches on identified topics relevant to the research - Following and ensuring strict safety procedures and safety checks - Auditing family indexes in the Herbarium - Curation of specimens collected in Mozambique - bar-coding, labeling, databasing (BRAHMS) - Databasing fungal vouchers at the Fungarium - (Herbtrack) - Photographing specimen, cataloging, use of Digifolia - Preparation for mounting plants
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fun place to work

it was good and i was taught well, I worked very well and enjoyed it, it kept me fit and helped me to burn fat and gain muscle, i enjoyed the tasks and met some very nice people


1 hour lunch break
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Great environment to work in. The staff always offered support to further your career and knowledge of plants and there was always opportunity to learn
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Pleasant environment that promotes career development

Very motivating job with periodic team stand up meetings to discuss highlights of previous and future jobs. This was helpful so that we do not operate in silos and were kept aware what changes other members of the team were involved in that may affect your work. A typical day started with checking monitoring tools for any alerts, check my support job queues for high priority jobs and deal with them, read emails and attend to project work and then BAU. Management promoted personal growth and always made me feel I was part of the organisation's triumphs and tribulations. To top that Kew offered a good environment to work in, with garden walks at lunch time, just pleasant to work in. I also learnt to only reboot a critical system as a last resort. In most cases looking through the logs, processes and resources, restarting individual services resolves most problems. Having a systematic approach to dealing with issues is key. The hardest part of my job was troubleshooting external hosted services where I did not have access to the system logs, diagnosing and eliminating internal systems as being the cause. I learnt how to use various diagnostic tools such as Wireshark and port mirroring during the process. The most enjoyable part was when that very difficult problem is resolved and the management and the business acknowledge your input followed by a day out with my colleagues to celebrate. Very good career development opportunities through external and in house training.


Staff discounts for myself and family


Long travelling times/congested transport
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Overall rating

Based on 38 reviews

Ratings by category

3.8 out of 5 stars for Work/Life Balance
3.1 out of 5 stars for Salary/Benefits
3.2 out of 5 stars for Job security/advancement
3.6 out of 5 stars for Management
3.7 out of 5 stars for Culture

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