There are a number of factors that can affect VPN slowness. Most (if not all) are out of your control. If your connection is fine outside of a VPN connection, what does that tell us about VPN? Either we have a software issue (a configuration setting, potentially conflicting software, maybe a software firewall or a over-eager security app.) or we have some sort of network slowness. Beyond the local workstation and connection, there are other major factors. While ISPs will deny this, VPN traffic can be demoted... especially if you're not paying for a business connection. I may get some arguments from people with that comment, but I've seen it happen first-hand. Also, your Network Admin's VPN could be outdated, overloaded, or simply just not configured as well as can be.
To answer the BandwidthPlace question: No. That's not a good test.
Some VPN connections force users to funnel ALL traffic through the VPN, even locations outside of the destination VPN. In english: If you browse to serverfault.com without VPN: you go from your connection through your ISP to serverfault and back again. Using VPN, if you browse to serverfault.com, you go from your connection through your ISP to your business then to their ISP to serverfault.com and back again. That's a ton more hops! Ask your Network Admin if they have Split Tunneling enabled. This allows some non-business traffic to pass normally and not through the VPN connection.