Opower

  www.opower.com
  www.opower.com

Opower Reviews in Arlington, VA

Updated December 11, 2014
Updated December 11, 2014
94 Reviews
4.1
94 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
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Opower Founder & CEO Daniel Yates
Daniel Yates
80 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

47 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Unorganized and Snobby Management

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

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

    Pros

    Culture, young crowd, company just went public and is growing immensely,
    Cool office space with great kitchen (watch video online)

    Cons

    Unorganized HR department, leaves employees without answers to offers, very pretentious (not in a good way), many employees are very snooty

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't be so snobby and unorganized

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Opower Response

    Mar 17, 2014Employer Brand Manager

    I'm sorry to hear about your experience at Opower. Please feel welcome to talk to any HR representative about your concerns. Thanks for the review and feedback - and sharing your perspective.

  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great mission and vision, let down by internal politics and ways of working...

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

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

    Pros

    Designed to do good for environment, utilities and utility customers.

    First impression - fun loving, easy going and incredibly intelligent workforce.

    Cons

    Work life balance is very poor. Always on culture.

    The company suffers from ivy league syndrome, lots of employees in their first job, hungry for success but with little work or real life experience. No true team spirit, a lot of folk are just out for themselves.

    You have to watch your back!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Encourage better team working and collaboration across lines of business.

    Better communication about organisation changes. People just disappear!

    Prepare for staff turnover, no longer the promise of IPO wealth.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Opower Response

    Jun 12, 2014Employer Brand Manager

    We truly appreciate you taking the time to leave us a review. We're happy to hear you've been enjoying our 'do good for the environment' approach and time spent working with other intelligent people ... More

  3. 14 people found this helpful  

    Once a great place to work

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

    I worked at Opower full-time

    Pros

    You can feel good that the work you do helps people save energy, and through that, helps protect the natural environment.

    Cons

    A lot of mediocre managers, no real career path/growth/opportunities, no real HR department, no 401(k) match, unimpressive salaries and stock options, very little diversity, headquarters is in suburban Virginia.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire more grown-ups who know how to inspire, motivate, and manage staff. Be less passive-aggressive when working assumptions are challenged. Add women/people of color/gays to your all-male management team.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 2 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
    Current Employee - Engagement Manager in Arlington, VA

    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 9, 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

  6. 11 people found this helpful  

    Wasted potential

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

    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

  7. 8 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
    Current Employee - Operations Engineer in Arlington, VA

    I have been working at Opower full-time (more than an 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

  8. 7 people found this helpful  

    Wonderful. Chaotic & disorganized. Poor compensation.

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

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

    Pros

    -terrific company culture on many levels
    -hire the most intelligent, hard-working people
    -semi-stocked fridge/pantry & fun events
    -open/flexible work environment

    Cons

    -semi-stocked fridge/pantry
    -HR is a mess that operates with the disorganization of a small start-up and the snail's pace of a large company—the worst of both worlds
    -another HR issue: compensation is low; they hire the best ppl, but don't do well to retain them
    -general chaos, disorganization, lack of processes/guidance in many aspects of the company

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    At a behavioral science company, HR should be utilizing forward-thinking practices based on behavioral science to motivate and retain employees. Also, the general expectation of a much-more-than-40-hour work week does not align with the low compensation.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Opower Response

    Oct 14, 2014Employer Brand Manager

    We sincerely appreciate your review and are sorry to hear you feel this way. Hearing from Oployees is crucial to maintaining our culture as we continue to rapidly expand in the U.S. and globally ... More

  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    Still a decent place to work

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

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

    Pros

    * Very smart people. Lots of very intelligent, very dedicated people. Most have a good attitude and make it enjoyable to collaborate.
    * Great company mission.
    * President Alex is very inspiring and a true leader.
    * Good location in Arlington. Not far from DC with lots of restaurants and housing options for those who move to the area.
    * Fun office distractions -- lots of parties, happy hours, free shwag, to keep things exciting and wow employees who have never seen anything similar at a workplace.
    * Many opportunities to perform well and earn promotions.

    Cons

    * Work-life balance is terrible. People are expected to be always on and prepared to produce under unrealistic deadlines.
    * Client delivery teams perpetually operate under impossible deadlines and their chaos drives people out of that organization. It's also hard to attract the right kind of talent here. Chaos rains down on other parts of the company from the delivery teams.
    * Compensation is not very competitive, and Opower is stingy with stock. S1 filing indicates that the founders own 39% of the company still, but nearly every employee, new or old, was granted a negligible number of options.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Still a pretty decent place to work. Try to be more generous with stock and compensation because it will give employees a feeling of ownership and loyalty. We are generous with our time and effort on a daily basis and want to feel valued. Try to get more training for your middle managers, some of them are making their employees lives miserable.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 5 people found this helpful  

    The people are nice.

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

    I worked at Opower

    Pros

    The best reason to work at OPOWER are the startup culture, the nice managers, and the friendliness of the employees.

    Cons

    The downside of working at OPOWER is that it is growing so fast that there are some real culture and process issues from the difference generations of employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I would tell them to try to better structure departments and define roles. It can be hard to keep employees if they end up doing work different from what they were hired to do or are put so far out of their comfort zone, they are destined to fail.

    Recommends
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    So happy to be an O!

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

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

    Pros

    As an employer, Opower is great. There is a real focus on employees and making this a fun, challenging, "Owesome" place to work. I've received really great training and guidance on the utility industry and markets, and I have learned a ton in my short time here. There is also a real focus on creating a diverse, integrated, respectful work environment; something I really appreciate after years in the IT industry.
    Working here, you're surrounded by really smart, capable people. There is a genuine desire from the team here to carry out Opower's mission. People are invested in doing their part in making the world a better place. It's not lip service, and it's great to be part of a dedicated team like this one.
    Finally, the dogs! There are wet noses to smooch, ears to scratch, and play bows and wagging tails to make you smile.

    Cons

    - Lack of 401(k) matching. This is a very odd benefit not to have, especially given the otherwise robust benefits package offered.
    - For all the "Owesome" stuff, it's clear that Opower is going through some growing pains. There's a lot to do, and not always enough hands to do the work. If you're willing to speak up and roll up your sleeves at times, your hard work and recommendations will be heard and recognized.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep investing in corporate diversity and integration, and managerial training. Also, 401(k) MATCHING! C'mon peeps!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Opower Response

    Sep 22, 2014Employer Brand Manager

    Welcome to O! Thank you for the kind words and suggestions. All are being taken to heart with new diversity roundtables and happy hours underway, management training in the works, and there's a team ... More

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