TORC Robotics Workplace FAQ

Read what TORC Robotics employees think about their company's workplace. Employees have questions about everything from the work environment, to the dress code and food at the office.

To picture yourself in what could be your new office, have a look at some of TORC Robotics's office photos.

All answers shown come directly from TORC Robotics Reviews and are not edited or altered.

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Workplace

4 English questions out of 4

May 13, 2020

What is orientation like after being hired at TORC Robotics?

Pros

- Working with experienced roboticists - People are ready to help you, and there are regular "learning" sessions where you ask whatever questions you want to senior robotics algorithm developers - As a new hire, I found the on-boarding technical trainings very structured and useful - Office, and the equipment provided was very good - Very affordable city to live in - Virtual onboarding and support during COVID19 - Blacksburg area has lots of greenery

Cons

Based on your preferences a fast paced work environment may/may not work for you. Blacksburg is a relatively small place.

Virtual onboarding and support during COVID19

May 13, 2020

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August 14, 2020

What is the work environment like at TORC Robotics?

Pros

Fantastic communication from leadership, fun work environment, a strong company mission that all employees can rally behind, terrific work/life balance

Cons

Have not had a bad day at work, no cons :)

Fantastic communication from leadership, fun work environment, a strong company mission that all employees can rally behind, terrific work/life balance

August 14, 2020

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April 24, 2021

How is the office food at TORC Robotics?

Pros

No traffic commute to office. Free coffee at work even though the coffee beans are stale sometimes.

Cons

Very hard to know who is a manager or employee. People get burnt out easily from overworking and its easy to see. Start-up culture is very resistant to growth. They should pay more.

Free coffee at work even though the coffee beans are stale sometimes.

April 24, 2021

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February 20, 2019

What are working conditions like at TORC Robotics?

Pros

- Lots of incredibly neat projects, Never a dull moment - Most people genuinely care about the work they're doing and the quality of the product - Flexible hours as long as you're working effectively - You can walk up to anyone's desk and ask a question: no need to communicate through an unwieldy branching management structure - This place is a nerd trap. Nerds: you have found your people. Welcome to the club of like-minded and extremely interesting individuals

Cons

- There are a handful of useless and infuriating people, but at a much lower percentage of the overall population than you'd expect at most companies - There is no means of employee ownership, profit sharing, etc. If I were able, I would invest every cent I could spare in TORC. I strongly believe in the future of the company and would like a means of investing in it. There's a nebulous 20% clause in the employee handbook, but that's not real. It's been described as the "TORC lottery" and counting on that as an investment in your future prosperity is about as serious as buying lottery tickets. - TORC is slowly losing a lot of the things that make working for a small company great as we grow. The powers at be seem to have little interest in continual cultivation of the great interdisciplinary and interproject cooperation that comes naturally to a small company but becomes a struggle in large organizations. It seems like managers are becoming more competitive and political putting their own projects over what makes the most overall sense for the company. Engineers can sometime get caught in the crossfire between managers with competing agendas. - Things seem to be getting factionalized and everyone in management seems to think their customer or project has the largest impact on the future of the company. It makes it hard to know what's actually important and to prioritize your efforts.

Advice to Management

Note: Like anywhere else, we have some good managers and bad managers. If you're one of the good ones, don't take this personally. - Managers do not (in general) make things happen. Talented engineers who are empowered to do their best work and are well-informed about project needs make thing happen. Mangers play a vital role (and one that I do not envy) but when self-motivated engineers are struggling to meet deadlines, bringing on new PMs is not the right solution. Heavy-handed management is also not the right solution unless your employees suffer from a lack of motivation. (which most TORCers do not) - The small company atmosphere has been good to TORC and has led to people being more dedicated, more personally accountable, and making better effort than they would as part of a larger organization. Don't take the continuation of this work ethic for granted. As the company grows this will need to be continually cultivated by empowering employees to take an active role in decision making, floating new ideas, and encouraging direct flat communication that's not routed through any sort of a hierarchy. Allowing for employee ownership, investment, or profit sharing would also help us hold on to our small company drive by giving everyone a personal incentive to put their best foot forward. - As discussed in the Cons section, resource planning and coordination between projects is a weak link. It's always the lowest people on the totem pole that are expected to put in the extra effort to make up for poor planning and coordination by overly optimistic managers who either expect people to drop all other projects to meet their deadline (their project is the most important after all) or to carry the project on hope alone. Everyone I work with is willing to put in a herculean effort to make things happen when an externality affects our ability to keep a commitment, but being asked on a semi-regular basis to put in a herculean effort due to a lack of planning, coordination, and foresight on the management team's part gets old. TL;DR: Don't lose sight of what makes us great. Double down on our strengths and don't take them for granted. If not cultivated, you'll miss them when they're outgrown.

There is no means of employee ownership, profit sharing, etc.

February 20, 2019

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4 English questions out of 4