Biogen Idec Reviews

Updated April 13, 2015
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3.9
264 Reviews
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Biogen Idec CEO and Director George A. Scangos
George A. Scangos
151 Ratings

Pros
  • Has really good benefits, promotes work/life balance, recognizes good performers (in 25 reviews)

  • Great benefits; really smart people that are great to work with (in 25 reviews)

Cons
  • Lack of Leader communication, work-life balance non existent, un-realistic expectations (in 15 reviews)

  • Upper management has lost touch with the common employees even though you are now located in Cambridge (in 12 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (9)

    Your Manager Can Make or Break Your Career

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate Director in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Associate Director in Cambridge, MA

    I worked at Biogen Idec full-time (more than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Compensation, time off, fantastic health benefits, very smart, dedicated co-workers, parking is paid for, T Pass subsidy, career growth if you have an experienced, skilled manager. Some departments are known as being great groups in which to work.

    Cons

    It is absolutely true that if you have a good manager, he/she will support you, challenge you, and promote you. There are a few very good, high-EQ managers at Biogen. Many of the managers have been promoted because they were successful as individual contributors, but they are lacking in developing and recognizing strengths in their people. It is unfortunate. I had seven different managers in my career and of the 7, only one was truly a people manager who wanted to be a manager (not just on the way up the ladder).

    The new office configuration is trendy and on the plus side, everyone is near the windows and even the senior management sit in cubicles. On the downside, the noise is quite distracting and it can be difficult to concentrate.

    As the company has grown, the culture has suffered. So many silos exist and the sense of "we are all in this together" has decreased. New hires want only to scale the corporate ladder and the attitude (set at the very top) is that as long as a project gets completed on time, it does not matter how many bodies have been left behind on the way to completion. The company says they want team players but nobody has ever received a huge bonus for being a team player.

    Although Biogen is very generous with vacation time, etc., it is nearly impossible to take that time off. People work and work and work and then go home to work more. Burnout is extremely high. It is not uncommon for people to work early into the morning at times. Biogen talks about work-life balance but in reality it does not exist.

    Advice to Management

    Hire and promote managers (at all levels) who are people managers. Take action for those managers who are not performing well. If most of the members of a team visit HR during the course of a year while working for a manager, look into why and what the problem might be. Don't assume that you have a case of "group think". You hire only the brightest, most talented employees. Give them some credit.

  2. Helpful (5)

    Great products, awful to employees

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Biogen Idec

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Money is great, Benefits are excellent ans so is pension but...

    Cons

    No life and work balance. Management is narrow-minded with unrealistic demand.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your team.

  3. Helpful (5)

    used to be one of the great ones

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Staff Associate in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Staff Associate in Cambridge, MA

    I have been working at Biogen Idec full-time (more than 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Benefits are outstanding and the work from home option is fantastic

    Cons

    I agree with the cronyism-it needs to stop. As does the cesspool of cronyism and bullying in Quality and Manufacturing. You can royally screw up but as long as you booze with the right people it gets swept under the rug.

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  5. Would not recommend

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Biogen Idec full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Impressive product pipeline, company prospering financially, many (but not all) friendly and helpful coworkers, fun social activities, great compensation and great core values.

    Cons

    Understaffed departments resulting in workers being overloaded and work/life imbalances, people unqualified to lead are promoted to management, managers are self-serving, do not communicate openly or transparently, the work environment is too political with cronyism and cliquish team members who shut out those who don't "fit in" regardless of how well they do their work.

    Advice to Management

    Stop promoting inexperienced people to managers and department heads. Just because someone has been with the company for X number of years and plies their particular trade well (ex. sales, accounting, law, etc.), does not mean they will make a good manager. Establish a methodology (via an external third-party) to collect truly anonymous feedback about managers and take action on the problems. You will continue to be a revolving door and lose good talent otherwise.

  6. Helpful (4)

    Employees are GREAT .... Management is awful

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Consultant in Weston, MA
    Current Employee - Consultant in Weston, MA

    I have been working at Biogen Idec

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    When working with the employees the are great, they share information they really appreciate the information you impart to them.

    Cons

    Management has no idea what-so-ever as to what is going on.
    They complain about things they are actually the root cause of.
    When you have a discussioin about a timeline which has a bearing on the conversation, they have no idea of what has happened when.
    They ask you a question, you answer it and then they accuse you of being defensive.

    Advice to Management

    Stop thinking you are automatically smarter than your employees just because you are paid more than them. That's Sr. Management's fault, not the employee's. Sr. Management needs to start emparting information to the employees (not just management) if you want people to pull in the same direction.

    The company does great work for sick people, then need to start acting like a good company, not just say they are.

  7. Helpful (3)

    I wish I never joined Biogen

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Principal Scientist in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Principal Scientist in Cambridge, MA

    I have been working at Biogen Idec

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good pay and benefits. Flexible work schedule.

    Cons

    Never had a support of my manager. Too much stress at work will forec me to quit.

    Advice to Management

    Why should I advice the upper management? I don't believe upper management really cares of simple scientists.

  8. Helpful (3)

    Out-of-touch with true business needs

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Salary, beautiful campus, some very well-qualified employees,

    Cons

    Unstable work force (frequent random layoffs rolling through organization); open floor plans are disruptive; cold; they work their employees hard; disjointed operations.

    Advice to Management

    Get to know your employees and their vision for an ideal, improved dept rather than hire an outside consultant (ie.g. Deloitte) to tell you what to do with a department they know nothing about. Your people are a strong resource and are better qualified to advise on how to bring about excellence. Learn from past operational mistakes and implement changes.

  9. Helpful (1)

    was a great company to work for ....

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Director in Maidenhead, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Director in Maidenhead, England (UK)

    I worked at Biogen Idec full-time (more than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Focussed on driving products forward and stretching talent allowing for innovation. Good financial package for new hires, and for old hires, high share price is now reaping dividends.

    Cons

    Old hires not financially lifted in line with market when promoted leading to skewed salaries, as well as bias towards higher salaries for males. Company growing rapidly with many new products and hiring of poor leaders who indiscriminantly manage out once settled in order to have a secure seat - they hire in their friends with good remuneration. HR is notoriously poor in UK, to the point of being non-existent - they are just there to support senior management wishes, and thus cannot be trusted by employees. No recognition of results, and no fun at least on UK site due to poor leadership that bends to USA management. Company was GREAT, but no more under current management who are reaping the results sown by older colleagues.

    Advice to Management

    Stop being insecure, and live the values you advertise

  10. Helpful (1)

    Supposedly a great place to work as long as your in the right department.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Senior Network Engineer in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Former Contractor - Senior Network Engineer in Research Triangle Park, NC

    I worked at Biogen Idec as a contractor (more than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Excellent pay and perks for workers.Free sodas, company picnics and functions when a drug has been approved.

    Cons

    If you work in IT this is one of the WORST companies to work for. The company has a run thin attitude and burns their employees out big time. The company has grown rapidly during recent years and senior management is full of over paid, unprofessional, low class people. There is zero planning prior to roll outs and IT is always in reactive mode. Management has no idea of how to run a large organization and needs to be changed. The company will lure you in with great compensation but work life balance is not existent and they'll work you like a dog. The excellent pay is enough to attract and retain people but you will not think its a well ran IT shop and will ponder if the politics, stress, and poor management are worth the money. Almost all IT workers admit that if the pay wasn't better than most companies they would not be working there. A new EVP of IT recently joined and I hope she can bring IT at this company into the 20th century. The jury's still out but you've been warned!!!

    Advice to Management

    Bring in people who know how a large organizations IT department is supposed to be ran.

  11. Helpful (2)

    Politically charged group

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Manager in Cambridge, MA

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Stock options and stock bonus

    Cons

    very political, and management cares about perception than reality

    Advice to Management

    respect quality employees

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