Opower

www.opower.com

Opower Reviews in Arlington, VA

Updated 3 February 2015
Updated 3 February 2015
50 Reviews
4.3
50 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Opower Founder & CEO Daniel Yates
Daniel Yates
50 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • This is a fun place to work with a ton of really smart people (in 11 reviews)

  • Probably the "coolest company" in Virginia if you're looking for a Google-esque company culture (in 6 reviews)


Cons
  • Bad Work-Life-Balance - ongoing issue that is constantly raised by employees and Management does not seem to care (in 9 reviews)

  • None to speak of - long hours come with the territory but aren't a con, they should be expected when one has the desire to work in this space (in 6 reviews)

More Highlights

50 Employee Reviews Back to all Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Fast paced cloud company with a real mission

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA (US)

    I have been working at Opower full-time

    Pros

    Great place to both learn and implement the things one already knows. Young people get a chance to tackle complex issues in ways I have not seen before. The culture is strong and vibrant with a real sense of purpose. Closest thing to SF in DC...

    Cons

    With the fast pace, you often find yourself working at that speed, which is great because you get to see things happening right in front of you. It does pose a time challenge every now and again, though.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue with the radical transparency also after having gone public.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 11 people found this helpful  

    Love-Hate Relationship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA (US)

    I have been working at Opower

    Pros

    When I started the people were completely amazing - smart, passionate, ambitious. The culture is great, and I love that I get to work at a company that uses behavioral science to make the world better. You have to be type-A to do well at Opower, but if you fit the personality type, it can be really exciting. You will never be bored.

    The company also cares deeply about what employees think - feedback (in aggregate) is taken very seriously. And Alex Laskey is wonderful! Does he still know everyone's name?

    Cons

    There are some serious gender bias issues. It often appears that men are promoted based on their potential (ex: I have a great idea) whereas women are promoted based on performance (ex: doing one job + another job and demonstrating that you're great at both, and having great ideas). As a woman, it's frustrating to look at people at the director level and higher. There are only a handful of women - this says to me that there's not much of a future here for me.

    In the past year or so, many of the really amazing people have left. As we've grown many of the newer hires aren't quite as inspiring. Opower is a young company that has grown really quickly. So, there are a decent number of growing pains in figuring out how to increase efficiency, reduce redundancy, and maintain the culture. But we really need to figure it out. We need to make sure that the people who built this company feel that it's worth sticking around.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I really love Opower, and so do most people who work here. I want Opower to be a leader in energy efficiency & behavioral science, but also as an employer. Make it worth staying here for a while through 1) compensation, 2) straight forward career trajectories, 3) manager improvement (or removing ineffective managers).

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Opower Response

    Feb 24, 2015SVP, People (Sandy Hynes)

    Thanks for taking time to leave us a sincere review and offer your perspective. We love hearing how much you enjoy the people at Opower. I couldn’t agree more. The future is bright for Opower as we ... More

  3. 7 people found this helpful  

    Smoke and Mirrors Hide the Unpleasant Reality

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Director, Client Solutions in Arlington, VA (US)
    Former Employee - Director, Client Solutions in Arlington, VA (US)

    I worked at Opower full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    - There are some very bright people
    - EE and conservation are critical societal goals

    Cons

    - Arrogant, dismissive attitude towards market and utility clients...and some colleagues sadly
    - Limited opportunity for professional development
    - Corrosive internal politics
    - Many of the leaders are very reactionary, play obvious favorites
    - Work life balance is poor

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Treat clients and employees with respect and openess
    - Set expectations and hold to them
    - Don't reward backstabbing, petty politics

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Opower Completely Spoils Me

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA (US)

    I have been working at Opower full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Opower culture is the best part of working here. You work with smart people who do what they say they'll do and care about the planet. The company is not shy about spending money on morale. There seems to be at least one company-sponsored lunch, happy hour, or event a week, in addition to Friday lunches, massages, snacks, etc. In general, management will support you and help you grow your career. There is decent work-life balance here, although facetime is valued more than at other engineering organizations I've worked for.

    Cons

    We're still figuring out how to scale, so processes are in flux. The company has a very young culture and, although it doesn't seem to have a sexist culture, the Engineering and Product directors are all male (except one) and upper management includes only one female, so that seems to speak for itself. I believe they are working on this.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good work and promote your savvy female employees.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Opower is a Slam Dunk

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA (US)

    I have been working at Opower full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Opower truly is a great place to work. We have dogs in the office, food that is stocked everyday in the kitchen, massages onsite once a week, happy hours, and we get to work around some of the smartest people in the DC area. Generous equity and PTO. Plus we get off for a "winter break" it's like being in college all over again! The work is challenging, and if you are not challenged, there is always more work to be done. Another thing that I personally love is the people. People here are willing to lend you their knowledge if they have worked here for a while, and you have questions. Overall, I think it is an awesome place to work in the DC area and the best place I have worked for in my career.

    Cons

    - no 401k match
    - priorities change often

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Mission driven, fast paced - buzz words but true!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA (US)

    I have been working at Opower full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    The passion that drives what we do is contagious. It can make some of those long days feel worth it and brings some of the most unique, creative individuals to Opower. The work is demanding but rewarding and if you are looking to make a career move this is the place. You will learn things faster and be a part of monumental change.

    Cons

    It is a post-IPO start up organization so things can change on a dime. It's not necessarily a con if you know how to deal with it and keeps you on your toes. You just have to be the type of person that enjoys change and can "live in the gray".

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Opower Response

    Dec 08, 2014Employer Brand Manager

    Thanks for your perspective and your loyalty to Opower. We appreciate you taking time to share!

  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    Lots of opportunities, lots of issues

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Engagement Manager in Arlington, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Engagement Manager in Arlington, VA (US)

    I have been working at Opower full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Career growth opportunities, high level of personal autonomy, talented and highly motivated colleagues. Opower is a great place to learn how to work with different kinds of super-smart people all while working for a noble cause.

    Cons

    While the people are talented, a collaborative and constructive team culture is noticeably absent. When faced with challenges, the first reaction most often encountered is "how did this happen" rather than "let's find a solution", especially when working across different departments. The strongest leaders in the company are those that adopt a solution-oriented approach, but there are too few of those in the middle and upper management ranks.

    Professional development culture is basically non-existent. Opportunities exist as the company is growing, but upper management doesn't place a priority on people development. As a result honest feedback is hard to come by, finding mentors is difficult and most bosses don't take an active role in developing and creating opportunities for their reports.

    Finally, Opower's people practices are incredibly poor. The HR team seems to exist primarily to protect the companies interests rather than keeping employees happy. The fact that pay and benefits are slightly below average doesn't help, especially as Opower is no longer a hip startup but a public company whose challenges attracting talent will only grow.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in caring for your people, delegate more decision-making authority and really listen to clients and their needs.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Opower Response

    Dec 09, 2014Employer Brand Manager

    Thank you for sharing your insight. It’s always helpful to hear things from a different perspective. That said, I’m sorry to hear you are feeling this way. Earlier in 2014, we brought on our first ... More

  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great people, great mission

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Arlington, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Arlington, VA (US)

    I have been working at Opower full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    The people are the most talented I have ever worked with. I have learned so much after working here, and I am still constantly challenged to do my best.

    Cons

    It's a very challenging environment, and for some, this may be a turn-off.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Opower Response

    Nov 03, 2014Employer Brand Manager

    We appreciate you taking the time to leave a review. Thanks for being an O!

  10. 12 people found this helpful  

    Wasted potential

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA (US)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA (US)

    I worked at Opower full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Opower has high hiring standards in most areas, and it's nice to be around so many talented people. It's also a company where people become close friends with their coworkers.

    The mission is legit. You feel like your work is meaningful because it saves people money and reduces carbon emissions.

    Cons

    Compensation is always the lowest possible amount HR thinks they can get away with. People get huge counteroffers, and most of them leave anyway because they were insulted. Of course, if management and HR thinks they can string someone along with the promise of a possible raise in a few months, they'll do that instead of a firm counteroffer. Always the lowest compensation possible.

    The CFO runs the company and refuses to invest in R&D. Teams go underfunded, maintenance gets neglected, quality slips in embarrassing ways, revenue is lost, and then there's a bunch of meetings where management thinks really hard about how to solve all these problems in ways other than hiring people to work on them. There are armies of people at Opower who analyze processes and organizational efficiency, though.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Opower Response

    Oct 16, 2014Employer Brand Manager

    We appreciate your feedback and are sincerely sorry to hear you feel this way. Fortunately, the concern about compensation was identified in the recent Oployee survey and an action plan is already in ... More

  11. 9 people found this helpful  

    Great people and a worthwhile mission, but there is an incredible amount of tech debt. Also, the software stack is too complicated for its own good.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Operations Engineer in Arlington, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Operations Engineer in Arlington, VA (US)

    I have been working at Opower full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    The people. There are some incredibly smart and interesting people at the company, and the mission is something that people rally behind.

    Cons

    Being an engineer on the operations side is soul sucking.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Just hire a CTO all ready. Also, please stop calling the only product that makes you money, and the thing that all your clients are using "the legacy application". You are driving great engineers away with the crazy tech debt, the over-complicated software stack, and the dirty hacks "for now" that persist in production.

    Also, pay your operations people. Why do you pay $90k - 180k to engineers to work in a vacuum and eventually crap out the next version of abandonware, while operations engineers who are on call for this garbage make $60k - $100k?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Opower Response

    Oct 15, 2014Employer Brand Manager

    We're so sorry to hear you feel this way and appreciate your feedback greatly. We've forwarded your concerns to HR leadership. Also, we expect to be sharing our compensation philosophy by the end of ... More

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