Octopus "senior management" Reviews | Glassdoor

Octopus Employee Reviews about "senior management"

Updated Jan 13, 2020

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3.7
70%
Recommend to a Friend
82%
Approve of CEO
Octopus Chief Executive Simon Rogerson (no image)
Simon Rogerson
120 Ratings
Pros
  • "Flexible working is encouraged though the culture doesn't make this easy(in 11 reviews)

  • "Charity, social events and to have an entrepreneurial spirit in your work(in 10 reviews)

Cons
  • "Senior management skirt around the issue because they don't want to commit to spending more money on staff(in 9 reviews)

  • "Very long hours for the salary paid(in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Reviews about "senior management"

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  1. "Mixed"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Data 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Octopus full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great people with fantastic ideas.

    Cons

    Senior management leans to favouritism and are easily misled to not always make rational decisions

    Octopus2020-01-14
  2. Helpful (16)

    "Awful"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Octopus full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Ability to work from home, but not encouraged Decent pay

    Cons

    Toxic environment All white middle class management Very long hours and management make it clear the only way to progress is to be at your desk at 9pm, even when they aren't. A worrying bullying culture with a few individuals' attitudes being exceptionally unprofessional but tolerated because they put the hours in. Highly stressful, with no let up. You will be expected to be contactable at all times, log on when sick or on holiday, read emails and action them at home (managers send 7pm Friday emails for things they want Monday morning). One employee was rang whilst at a funeral. No fixed desks, and too many employees, so you can arrive and spend 40mins wandering around with a carrier bag of your stationery searching for a free desk before being expected to set up in the kitchen. Poorly trained management creating a chaotic, demotivated team. Your goal is identified (be it promotion, recognition, payrise) then withheld. 121s are used to beat you emotionally for not doing more, quicker, longer. 12 hour days are encouraged, and then there is immense pressure to put in additional hours volunteering for their charity projects. An entirely numbers driven focus with no care for quality or accuracy A very immature boys playground environment with name calling, inflatable toys being thrown around the office, leering at customer ID, borderline and often unacceptable sexist comments on a daily basis, including from senior management. Managers set people up against each other rather than encourage teamwork so you will work alone, under stress. It's very lonely. Poor systems Perhaps the worst part is, management believe they have a fabulous customer focused flexible company and will not hesitate to tell you that. The reality is just the opposite. They pretend to encourage feedback then label you negative and difficult for giving anything other than glowing reviews. Even the "anonymous" office vibe feedback is used to bully teams with veiled threats when the scores are low for happiness. Difficult people are encouraged to leave, but then they put a non compete clause in your contracts meaning you can't go anywhere else (so will be jobless for 3 months if you do) Seriously if you are not a white, 20 something slightly immature male, living at home with mummy with no partner or family and no life, don't apply.

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    Advice to Management

    Experience is not a dirty word. Hire people who know what they are doing, not who smile alot and look desperate to please because they are easier to manipulate. Get rid of the middle management. Overhaul the office environment. This is not Wolf of Wall Street. The future is about working smarter, better and more flexibly - move into the 21st century and grow up. The fact the mental health support options were oversubscribed is NOT something to be proud of.

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    Octopus2018-12-24
  3. Helpful (10)

    "Octopus Investments"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Octopus full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    A young and ambitious culture. Strong historical growth.

    Cons

    The fast growth of the company can foster a culture of one upmanship and back stabbing as people look to position themselves in front of senior management. A distinct lack of diversity across senior management (ethnicity and sex). Lack of internal job progression. Focus on growth can lead to some poor decisions being made.

    Advice to Management

    Diversify. Look after strong performers. Focus upon sustainable and measured growth rather than fast growth.

    Octopus2017-09-27
  4. Helpful (2)

    "No shackles here. Simply a great place to work."

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

    I have been working at Octopus full-time

    Pros

    First up, much like the reviewer on the 4 June, I too have been trying to leave Octopus ever since I joined. I could be wrong but I reckon I have been here longer, so I trump on that one. The bit I couldn’t work out though with that reviewer (fully entitled to their own opinion of course) is what are the metaphorical shackles that keep them from leaving. I can only conclude that Octopus, with their very fair, all-round top quartile remuneration package, has inadvertently overpaid you and you are now priced out of the market, hence trying to leave but can’t. Either way, if you need the key to unlock the chains just chat it through with HR. Anyhow, I mentioned above I too have been trying to leave Octopus ever since I joined but I haven’t; I’m still here. And the previous reviewer got me thinking why. I shall try to explain and keep it brief but forgive me if I go on a bit. Maybe I’m still here because I thrive on a challenging and progressive work environment. Maybe it’s because, on balance, I get to work with some pretty awesome people every day. Maybe it’s the free fruit, vaguely(!) decent coffee, selection of teas, frequent themed drink-ups, celebrations and social events – no wait, a lot of GOOD companies do that too, but hey, what’s wrong with being like other GOOD companies. Maybe it’s the recently introduced Officevibe system where HR and the management team can gather huge amounts of feedback from people and take steps to MAKE IMPROVEMENTS. Maybe it’s the ambitions of Octopus – the fact it wants to build businesses in broken markets and disrupt them, or simply doing things better. Or the way it should be. Particularly those markets with long-term demographics and needs (financial services, energy, healthcare infrastructure); a pretty smart play for a business I hope outlives the founders and all who have the pleasure of helping to build it. Maybe it’s the fact that Octopus offers many (not all, but many) of its employees the opportunity to build careers here. I have. Maybe it’s the Octopus Foundation and its support (financial, but more importantly time), for charities chosen by employees. Maybe it’s the myriad of clubs I can get involved with. Nearly 40 colleagues went on a ski trip to France recently. Theatre clubs, curry clubs, running clubs, diving clubs you name it, there’s a club, and if there isn’t, I could probably just set one up for it, AND get a little bit of funding from the company. Maybe it’s the sheer diversity of religions, races, sexualities, providing a dynamic, multi-cultural environment where we can learn and develop. The Octopus LGBT group taking part in Pride of London this year for the first time is going to be pretty cool. I’m not part of the group but I shall be proud to see my colleagues taking part. Maybe because Simon and Chris (the founders) have incredible work ethic and set a total example, yet remain totally approachable. You can walk up to their desks and pick their brains. There are no closed offices at Octopus. Maybe it’s the warm welcome you will receive from my colleagues on the reception desk. Maybe, as I mentioned above, it’s the fair remuneration we get. Not everyone will always be pleased, but no one forces you to accept the job offer! I don’t know. But I reckon it’s many of the above, and many more positive things about Octopus I haven’t mentioned that keep me here, but shackles there are not, and I could leave (hopefully on good terms) if I so chose. Let’s not forget, this is a company that is only 17 years old, yet aspires to be around 100 years from now. So it’s perhaps going through its teenage years. Being bold and ambitious, making some mistakes, trying to find out what works and doesn’t, but on the whole, it’s getting A LOT of things right and will very likely go on to create further, massive success. The opportunity which lies ahead is gigantic. Nearly 600 people (maybe more, we’re growing so fast I lose track) on the whole seem pretty happy. I bet the stats show many have been here for quite some time, but of course many will have been hired in recent years as Octopus continues to grow at an impressive pace. For one thing, honest Glassdoor reviews are very valid (everyone is entitled to their opinion), but Simon and Chris should be immensely proud of the business they have built today. They’ve had some fantastic past colleagues along the way who have made massive contributions; virtually all employees today are adding masses of value in their roles, and employees yet to join or don’t even know they will one day work at Octopus, will no doubt make an amazing contribution. Of course, I am positive on the company, but there is little to lose for those given an offer of employment to join the team. If you subsequently realise it’s not for you, then you can part terms, amicably. You WILL be allowed to leave, really.

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    Cons

    Oh we’ve made LOADS of mistakes along the way. The ferocious pace of growth lends itself to it. We often ask too much of our managers – they need to deliver as well as manage, which can lead to a feeling of unsupported colleagues in places, unless the manager is very, very good. The whole of Octopus working on this, but it’s not easy trying to make the right changes. The direction of travel is positive though. We made some redundancies last year – by the troops on the ground this felt like a big mistake and continues to have an impact on the culture but time is a healer. Why not just slow the hiring or manage those people out – no need to do things ‘by the book’. Anyhow, it’s done. Hopefully senior management have reflected and will be more considerate if there ever was an unfortunate next time. It’s a fairly work hard, have fun culture. This won’t suit everyone – there’s no point trying to join Octopus if you fancy an easy ride, but it will suit you very well if you’d like to work with some great colleagues in a business where its heart is really in the right place, although its head can take it off-piste sometimes!

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    Advice to Management

    Be quick to identify when strategies are not working. Close them down and move on. Simon (CEO) – would be great to see you being more visible around the company, not just at the monthly meetings.

    Octopus2017-06-09
  5. "Good but not for the faint hearted"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Middle Management in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Octopus full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Good culture open to new ways of working and putting the customer first. Good opportunities for personal development and growth.

    Cons

    Wellbeing scores are low because people's workloads are too high. Senior management skirt around the issue because they don't want to commit to spending more money on staff. Therefore you have to commit to long hours to get the work done including evenings and weekends.

    Advice to Management

    Don't loose good people due to stress or burn out. Hire more staff.

    Octopus2017-05-27
  6. Helpful (10)

    "Its like the Stepford Wives of the finance sector."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Octopus for more than 3 years

    Pros

    This is a fantastic place to learn. If you are someone wanting to understand the finance sector further, before going on to something better, go to Octopus. They have a real structure of how they go about teaching employees, which I believe is worth it despite the average pay. Their are some very special people at Octopus, I enjoyed it due to spending my days with them, I stayed far longer than I would of otherwise had it not been for them. Great it you want experience in the finance sector: good opportunities and if you're willing to sacrifice pay for a few years to get yourself in the door, go. But trust me after 3 years of singing and dancing the exact way they want you to at the exact time they want with a smile on your face the whole time, you'll be done with the charade they want you to participate in.

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    Cons

    They are desperately trying to create a culture where it appears that they really care about there employees, buying drinks for employees, end of year parties & 'fun days'. But when it comes to core basics of actually caring for there employees, flexible working hours and maternity leave for example, they are very poor. An example of poor HR management (no doubt filtered through from senior management) and culture was just under a year ago Octopus reduced the size of the company by 10%-15%. I appreciate this can never be nice and it is needed, at the end of the day its a business. An example was lying to a team of 50 about how they went about making a colleague on maternity leave redundant in this time. She got the same redundancy offer as all the other employees chosen, but they lied and said she was given the choice to leave. She was not. While I have no problem (a grey area for some) with them validating why they made a colleague on maternity leave redundant, do not lie to your employees. Examples like this (and there are hundreds) are classic Octopus.

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    Advice to Management

    As my old colleague (a current employee to Octopus) put it 'Octopus even pulled the wool over my eyes for a while, I actually thought it was trying to better and care for its employees for a time, not true, its a finance company they will take all they can get from you and hang you out to dry once they're done.' Its a real shame, they've learnt how to capture the interest of some of the best talent in the market and to develop them further but they haven't learnt how to keep hold of them, I saw people that had huge potential leave, being ground down by the inflexibility and the 'happy act' they felt they had to keep up at Octopus.

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    Octopus2017-02-22
  7. Helpful (7)

    "Business Development Manager"

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

    I have been working at Octopus full-time

    Pros

    A company who hire bright, intellectual, strong minded people with a culture which resembles that of Google or Apple. They recently moved to a completed refurbished office in Holborn circus which is really quite something and certainly makes it an eye catching place to work. Great benefits package including 27 days holiday, private health care and more social events than you will know what to do with.

    Cons

    - Sales team are spoken to like children. A lot of micro managing and lack of trust towards us to get on and do a successful job. - No clear path for growth inside or outside the sales team. - Lack of communication between middle & senior management. - Overly ambitious - Lack of respect for the Smaller Companies (AIM) team

    Advice to Management

    - Let your no. 1 sales team within the industry get on do their job without constant interference. - You hire people who bring individuality so stop trying to make everyone the same.

    Octopus2016-04-20
  8. Helpful (15)

    "Seriously HR?! 1% of Octopus posted a positive review on the same day??"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Octopus full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Like other companies, you will come across some lovely people.

    Cons

    Senior management are both egotistical and inexperienced resulting in a company that now has to have a hiring freeze to save costs given how unprofitable their product offering is, as multiple reviews on this site have already highlighted. Of course having egotistical bullies in management doesn't help create a particular enjoyable environment (despite the "fun" activities that people are forced to attend). What's worse is that instead of reading the reviews on this site and taking action, HR (sorry, I mean ORG DEV) have decided it's more useful to post fake positive reviews; how is it possible that 4 people suddenly decided on January 13th to post positive reviews?! That would be the same as 1200 Google employees ALL deciding to post positive reviews on the exact same day. That's highly unlikely, and given the high turnover rate the company is experiencing makes even more improbable! It just goes to show the extent to which Octopus would rather bury its head in the sand instead of address genuine concerns.

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    Advice to Management

    HR function needs a complete overhaul. Hire experienced managers who actually listen to their teams instead of bully them into submission. Re-evaluate your products and business as you will soon be struggling to survive (assuming that you aren't already).

    Octopus2016-03-08
  9. Helpful (12)

    "Avoid. Highly Political Culture, Bleak Business Outlook."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Octopus full-time

    Pros

    - New office looks nice... compulsory half-day for fun day? As someone else wrote, I do suspect that some of the glowing reviews come from HR as they don't seem to offer much in the way of detail and don't tally with the company's high employee turnover rate.

    Cons

    Short version: Avoid! Long version: The company has no strategic objectives and after months of deliberation, the Management Committee came up with "Octopus in every home", borrowed from Bill Gates' vision of "A computer in every home". Of course, subtle difference is that Microsoft had Windows to strategically apply that vision, Octopus has... a vision. As multiple comments have already highlighted, the investment products are performing poorly (Octopus is quick to let you know about their £5bln AUM, very little gets mentioned about actual profit figures), now that Senior Management have realised the business can shutdown with a simple regulatory change they are scrambling trying to diversify their product offering in the hope that they can come up with something profitable. Of course, this is all being done while hiring at such a rate that people have been moved to meeting rooms as office space has become so scarce (costs apparently don't matter to a business... it's no wonder one of the founders left last year). Very political environment; it would be tolerable if it weren't for the pretentious culture aka the "feedback culture", which is what Octopus claims differentiates it from others in Finance. Having worked in Banking, there is a far better culture of accountability and openness in banks as opposed to the childish, gossip based culture thriving in Octopus (this is most probably facilitated by the immaturity and lack of discretion that exists within the HR department).

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    Advice to Management

    1 - Come up with strategic objectives not just visions - mimic Google in their business approach not just the their office aesthetics. 2 - Create a culture of accountability - it's great paying for everyone to get drunk every month, but at some point the culture needs to be more about doing great work and less about how much we all (supposedly) love Octopus. 3 - Come up with a profitable investment product/ business offering - especially since the government is closing in on tax avoidance schemes, which no matter how you sugarcoat it, is the Octopus business model.

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    Octopus2015-09-11
Found 9 reviews