LabAnswer Reviews | Glassdoor

LabAnswer Reviews

Updated January 9, 2017
58 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.4
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Mark Everding
39 Ratings

58 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Team Attitude - Everyone is willing to help (in 4 reviews)

  • I am given the opportunity to learn both from a business and technical perspective (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • Work Life Balance - Have to be mindful (in 7 reviews)

  • Expected to work at least 50 hours a week (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (3)

    "Warm Company Culture/Unbeatable Career Starter"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate > Consultant in Orlando, FL
    Former Employee - Associate > Consultant in Orlando, FL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    > Friendly culture - very flat hierarchy for a company that has a relatively traditional structure
    > Outstanding health, retirement, wellness benefits
    > Large enough to be stable, provide plenty of expertise/training to learn from, and offer continuous & diverse projects to work on
    > Small enough for individuals to have a big influence on where the company goes if they so choose
    > Family feel - people (including management) genuinely care about and invest in employees and each other
    > Rare entry-level positions with great growth opportunities for aspiring computer professionals
    > Magically combines the cultural feel of a modern startup with the coherence and accountability of a large corporation (LabAnswer clients are mostly big pharma organizations)

    LabAnswer cares about its people. From a human/cultural perspective, from the top to bottom, people are fun, genuine, generous, and look out for one another because it's the right thing to do. From a business perspective, LabAnswer management recognizes that LabAnswer consultants are literally their company product, and so they provide training, encourage mentorship, and will even fall on a sword with a client to protect them.

    LabAnswer is working hard to cultivate a big younger generation of consultants and technical experts in the industry. The work is a fantastic opportunity for recent graduates to get started in the "real world," complete with tons of training opportunity, different flavors of projects, and management support and investment. For entry level positions, early promotions and raises come quickly and often if you take the time to learn.

    If you are explicitly interested in doing work in the pharmaceutical/laboratory software space, this is a fantastic company to work with to gain a plethora of experiences.

    If you are just getting started in a career in software development/support/project management and are looking for an opportunity to get off the ground, this is a fantastic opportunity. It sure launched my career.

    Cons

    > Consultants on support projects experience high burn-out rates due to long and/or unpredictable hours of support
    > Early promotions and raises are clear and frequent; higher advancement becomes difficult due to fewer positions available (high retention/stability in upper management)
    > Pay is based on Floridian standard of living with no income tax: may be lower than some software companies with similar work offer.

    Consultants who work on support project teams are living that support life: unpredictable, long-houred, potentially tedious, and a bit enslaved by the clock. While the best technical consultants gained their expertise working support, many resent the long hours needed to fulfill the obligations to the client while only being paid a fixed salary. I was never on a support team, so I never experienced this personally, but many of my friends did and they had a hard time with this.

    Advice to Management

    Keep fostering mentorship opportunities; cycle EAS staff to avoid burnout; do as much as you can to help on-site consultants feel included


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Great starting job"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Junior Consultant in Orlando, FL
    Former Employee - Junior Consultant in Orlando, FL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at LabAnswer (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great support structure and the training program is home-grown and well done. It definitely jump started my software career. With near 250 employees when I left, it still felt like a small company with everyone knowing everyone and people looking out for each other.

    Cons

    With it still being a smaller and growing company, the management expects some internal work done for free to continue to build the company. The pay is slightly lower than market value in some other places. There is also a good gap between promotions from jr consultant onward.

    Advice to Management

    The company is great, but increase salaries to keep the talent.


  3. "Senior Consultant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at LabAnswer full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good communication from mgmt. Autonomy on projects.

    Cons

    Not a lot of advancement opps. Not much in the way of raises.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to employees looking for advancement opportunities.


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  5. Helpful (4)

    "Fun people to work with, No Life Balance"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Junior Informatics Associate in Orlando, FL
    Former Employee - Junior Informatics Associate in Orlando, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at LabAnswer full-time

    Pros

    People are fun to work with. The work is very fast paced giving you very little time to sit still in your day.

    Cons

    -Expected to work at least 50 hours a week. Pressured to work even more than that and was only paid at 40 hours per week while working 60.
    -If you accurately reported working hours of 8 hours while in the office for 8 hours, your time will be challenged.
    -Everyone eats while working because otherwise your day is even longer. I would work 10 hours for every 8 hours of work. Often more than that.
    -On top of that, we were expected to put in an extra 2 hours of unpaid volunteer work for helping the company in order to be promoted and not let go.
    -Abysmal work life balance. At the end of the day, you feel like they are slave drivers and you want to quit, but you need to complete your 2 years so it looks good on your resume

    Advice to Management

    Don't preach work life balance then pressure people to work 60 hour work weeks.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Good Place to Learn"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Consultant in Orlando, FL
    Former Employee - Consultant in Orlando, FL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at LabAnswer full-time

    Pros

    -Great training program
    -Entry level positions, which are rare in this industry
    -Management is principled and ethical
    -Good company culture and support structure
    -Promotions and raises come very quickly

    Cons

    -Some expectation of work beyond 40 hours per week
    -Possibility of shift work on some projects
    -Support projects can be tedious

    Advice to Management

    Great company to get started in this industry. Low morale in managed services division is more of a problem than many managers seem to think.


  7. Helpful (9)

    "Focused on unpaid overtime"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Junior Consultant in Orlando, FL
    Former Employee - Junior Consultant in Orlando, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at LabAnswer full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great group of people to work with. Work can be interesting and is definitely a unique field that you won’t see very often in IT. They are one of the few companies willing to take on fresh college graduates and provide them with training and opportunities. Advancement through the ranks is clearly defined until you reach consultant. Work hours are generally flexible throughout the business day, and you can rollover hours within each 2 week period (i.e. you can work 42 the first week, then 38 the second). They recently instituted a casual dress policy, which really relaxed things around the office. Overtime is paid if the work is client-billable and if you do a good job the first 2 promotions are easy to get. Company is constantly growing and taking on new projects – sometimes more than they can handle! If you do really good client work and stick to your principles, you can firmly turn down the unpaid work and have some semblance of work-life balance – however, you will earn a reputation and it will show up on your reviews. Clients you work with are great, but the company itself is not.

    Cons

    Watch out for the overtime pushes. The company culture is huge on doing unpaid work to advance the company – they will commonly talk about how doing hours 1-40 is just the bare minimum, and doing unpaid 10 extra hours every week is where it really counts. After you reach consultant level (1.5 years if you do good work), you basically can’t advance any further without putting in 10h unpaid overtime weekly. This is on top of on-call duties and possible weekend work for your client. So work-life balance isn’t really a priority here – they actually started calling for ‘work-life integration’! If you work in the support side (most new people are these days), you will be on-call and expected to bring your laptop with you everywhere. On-call bonus is a pittance ($20 daily) compared to the imposition on your personal life. Clients also have scheduled downtime frequently, so you will probably be doing 1-3 hours every Sunday and occasional evening work (6-8pm). Because of this, turnover is high. Expect a constant churn of your teammates – usually someone leaving and another joining every 3 months or less.
    Managers are nosy – every time I changed my LinkedIn, I was called into a meeting about it. This happened 5 times. Also, time spent traveling to client sites is unpaid, so if you need to travel you’ll lose a lot of your weekends.
    The salary ranges are extremely low (unless you are a higher-level consultant) and the only way to escape is to change companies. Everyone is paid on this scale: $36k associate, $40k senior associate, $45k consultant; each raise comes along every 6-8 months. Use this job to get experience, but then move on – I netted a 75% raise by doing so. You’ll just waste your time spending years here to get a miniscule raise. They specifically stated in a presentation that cost-of-living adjustments don’t happen.
    Overall, the constant pressure to do unpaid overtime combined with the very low pay makes this a place you don’t want to stay at for long. As my mentor told me before he left – “Treat this job like a paid internship – it’s a good way to get experience in the field, but you don’t want to stay long-term.”

    Advice to Management

    Growth is good, but always keep in mind who actually brings in the bottom line. Rather than squeezing hundreds of unpaid hours from your already overworked employees, hire a few people to do the internal company work. It won’t cost much and will significantly improve retention. Not everyone wants to devote their lives to a company that won’t even fairly compensate.


  8. Helpful (4)

    "Nightmare"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at LabAnswer full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    With the exception of SOME approachable managers and occasionally free food, there are no redeeming qualities whatsoever. This becomes more evident the longer you work here.

    Cons

    I have wasted two years at this nightmare and am looking for a new job everyday to try to wake up. If you value your time, effort, and degree, you will turn the car around on the way to the interview. Dont believe them when they tell you that LabAnswer does not demand perfection. You are nothing more than a commodity to them: if you are not flawless, they will sell you like a failing stock.


  9. Helpful (7)

    "Not for Everyone"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Informatics Consultant
    Former Employee - Informatics Consultant
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at LabAnswer full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good way to get a quick 1-2 years of experience in IT support work; HOWEVER, this company is currently much more advantageous to the experienced employee than the entry-level

    Cons

    Once you are on a project, there is a bottleneck of adding to your skill set without non-billable work (not uncommon for salaried positions, unfortunately)

    Very unbalanced work expectations among projects, without any REALLY control of the project you will be on


  10. Helpful (7)

    "Smoke and Mirrors"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Some really nice people. Nice company events.

    Cons

    They hire too many managers and not enough people who know what they're doing. They can't keep good senior people. They talk a big game to customers and companies they want to partner with but it's all smoke and mirrors because their talent pool is so limited. This company is a ticking time bomb. Unless you're desperate for a job I would look elsewhere.

    Advice to Management

    If you really want to thrive stop hiring people who don't know anything and get rid of all the managers sucking the place dry.


  11. Helpful (14)

    "Positive Experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Top Management is smart, ethical, and understands that the employees are EVERYTHING.
    Good benefits.
    Travel bonus to compensate for the inconvenience of travel.
    Massive training library is available for people who want to learn.
    Teamwork is strongly encouraged and highly valued. Coworkers can seek and get help from each other even when working in remote locations.
    Consultants on the bench are still paid (unlike some companies).
    I have NEVER seen slightest indication of discrimination whatsoever (and I suspect that people that claim discrimination is holding them back are probably mediocre).
    Excellent office staff to manage benefits, expense reports, paychecks, etc. quickly and efficiently.
    Depending on client, work hours can often be flexible and even performed from home.
    Opportunities for career advancement.
    Company profits are shared via quarterly bonuses.
    Overall the best company I have ever worked for (except when self-employed).

    Cons

    Consultant work is not for everybody. It often requires travel and the work environment can change often.
    Travel is done on your own time (understandable because clients don't pay LabAnswer for travel).
    High IQ and strong work ethic are absolute requirements so "average" people are unfortunately unlikely to succeed (although they will at some other companies).

    Advice to Management

    Advice to Management and to whoever else is reading this. Take the negative reviews with a huge grain of salt. They sound like they come from young and inexperienced employees who have never worked for other companies. They don't know that a college degree is no guarantee of a high paid 40 hr/week job in today's world. They don't know what it's like to work for an unethical boss. They don't know what corporate bureaucracy is like. The ones that don't thrive here probably are either not inclined to work hard or not capable. Perhaps better initial screening as well as more rigorous setting of expectations before the hire will reduce the disgruntlement.



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