Opower Reviews in Arlington, VA | Glassdoor

Opower Arlington Reviews

Updated December 14, 2016
73 reviews

Filter

Filter

Arlington, VA

3.4
Star Star Star Star Star
Rating Trends Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Opower Founder & CEO Daniel Yates
Daniel Yates
61 Ratings

73 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date

Pros
  • The company was a fast moving, meritocracy, where smart people did good work (in 21 reviews)

  • excellent work/life balance with freedom to work from home (though you won't want to) (in 9 reviews)

Cons
  • A terrible work/life balance has now been made worse (in 14 reviews)

  • Everyone's main complaint is the lack of a 401k match (in 14 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (5)

    "Unorganized and Snobby Management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Analyst in Arlington, VA
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Opower full-time (Less than a 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 Management

    Don't be so snobby and unorganized

    Opower Response

    Mar 17, 2014 – Employer 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. Helpful (11)

    "Out of Control"

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

    I worked at Opower full-time

    Pros

    I learned a lot while I was there and always felt comfortable to be myself.

    Cons

    Initial starting salaries are usually good, but raises are consistently well-below market value. The accounting department is expected to devote their lives to the company, working nights and weekends regularly. But none of this is taken into account when it comes to compensation or promotions. If you do decide to work here as an accountant, expect to be over-worked and under-paid. A few of the mid-level managers are great, but powerless to do anything to help as they are also being taken advantage of by the upper-level management.

    The company has major issues on a broader level as well. There is absolutely no transparency from upper management. Diversity here is a joke. Members of the executive board regularly make inappropriate comments to female employees. They try to cover up all of these issues with champagne celebrations and extravagant happy hours, but when the stock price has plummeted and they are still not profitable, it feels inappropriate.

    Advice to Management

    Resign and let real executives who actually know how to run a company step in.

    Opower Response

    Apr 19, 2016 – Director, Talent Acquisition

    We’re glad to hear you had a good learning experience during your tenure, and want to offer some comments with regards to compensation. Opower’s HR team rigorously benchmarks compensation each year ... More


  3. Helpful (26)

    "RUN ... don't walk ... AWAY from Opower / Oracle!!!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Opower (More than a year)

    Pros

    BEFORE ACQUISITION (January 2016):
    Opower was thriving (or so we were led to believe). We had great products in place, new ideas on the horizon, and talented, motivated, and passionate individuals who truly believed in the environmental and social mission of Opower. My colleagues and peers were some of the smartest individuals I have ever worked with. And you felt like you were working towards something - saving energy, changing human behavior, etc. The culture and environment created by the Oployees was contagious and it was a happy place to be.

    And of course the perks (NOT to be confused with culture): dogs in the office, free snacks, catered Friday lunches, massages, unlimited PTO, commuter + gym benefits.

    Cons

    I can sum it up shortly with a quote from one of my favorite movies, Mean Girls, when Regina George tells Gretchen Weiners: "Stop trying to make fetch happen. It's not going to happen."
    Dan, Oracle is never going to "happen" for the talented, dedicated, and passionate team your people built.

    JANUARY - MARCH 2016
    Our stock price takes a nose dive, the earnings call is horrendous. And things start to change. Maybe in hindsight I should've seen the sale coming, but the passion and enthusiasm from the CEO never waned and so like cattle, we got in line and believed the BS coming out of his mouth.

    APRIL 2016
    Layoffs happen at the beginning of April. We dump over $1million in salaries/benefits/etc. Still, we are told not to panic. It needed to happen. Delivery teams were overstaffed, engineering projects had come to close and it was time to deliver. Everything was still supposedly great. Our CEO even actively went out of his way to assure certain teams there jobs were safe. The heart, soul, and culture of the company were hanging on by a thread.

    MAY 2016 - AUGUST 2016
    Oracle buys Opower. Everything Opower stands for is crushed by a behemoth of a company that has no plans to continue our environmental mission. Google Oracle. See how many multi-million and billion dollar lawsuits they are a part of. CEO STILL convinced things will operate as usual, despite a complete change in culture, benefits, structure (550 employees to 130,000). Heart, soul, culture = destroyed. Morale is worse than in the toilet. There is none. People either come into work late and leave early, don't come in at all, or spend their days looking for new jobs and interviewing. People aren't even secretive about their desire to leave the company.

    Individuals on the G&A team are told they won't have jobs. But, over and over again, like a broken record, by both the CEO and CFO tell us our short term contracts will a) match our current salaries and b) have lucrative retention bonuses to "make it worth our while to stay." It's promised to some. Both of these things ended up being a complete and utter lie. And so now most of the G&A staff is stuck in non-incentivized contracts at a longer term than originally guaranteed.

    PRESENT:
    If you join "Opower" aka Oracle these are things you will NOT get: clarity. A+ level colleagues (think B-). Top of the line / current technology and systems (goodbye fast and nimble systems we would constantly invest in, hello systems from 2000). Bureaucracy. Oh my Bureaucracy.

    People are leaving in droves - all the smart, talented, passionate people I previously described are gone or on their way out. If you are smart, passionate, and looking for a fun, mission-oriented company, this is no longer the place for you.

    Advice to Management

    Please don't pretend like you can relate to your badly burned, scorned, disenchanted employees whose faces you lied to on a weekly basis for 4 full months. Don't pretend like you understand and can relate to the impact changes in benefits and lack of PROMISED incentivized short-term contracts have on your people (looking at you, CEO, and CFO). You're sitting on millions (CEO: $85 million from sale) while we're sitting on poor short term contracts with poor severance.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (16)

    "Once a great place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Management

    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.


  6. Helpful (6)

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

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Opower full-time (More than a 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 Management

    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.

    Opower Response

    Jun 12, 2014 – Employer 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


  7. Helpful (14)

    "Smoke and Mirrors Hide the Unpleasant Reality"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director, Client Solutions in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Director, Client Solutions in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Opower full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - There are some very bright people
    - EE and conservation are critical societal goals

    Cons

    - Arrogant, dismissive attitude towards market and utility clients...and some colleagues sadly
    - Limited opportunity for professional development
    - Corrosive internal politics
    - Many of the leaders are very reactionary, play obvious favorites
    - Work life balance is poor

    Advice to Management

    - Treat clients and employees with respect and openess
    - Set expectations and hold to them
    - Don't reward backstabbing, petty politics


  8. Helpful (10)

    "Lots of fun....but poor leadership"

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

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

    Pros

    Fun place to work; free lunch; great, smart people

    Cons

    This was the first job for most of the folks that were executives and that shines through when dealing with a lot of issues. Want to play with the big boys in the SaaS world, but leadership wants to be involved in every single decision- process slows down- too much focus on fun and being cool and not enough work actually being done.

    Advice to Management

    Lead from the front and not with an iron fist... don't only promote people when they put in their notice. Would be excellent to see some women in leadership roles to break up the good ol' boys club.

    Opower Response

    Oct 20, 2015 – People Team Representative

    Thank you for the candid feedback. As you know, leadership concerns also came up in our quarterly pulse survey. The Management Team takes this feedback very seriously and is working on making ... More


  9. Helpful (12)

    "So much has changed"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    7 months ago I would have given a 5 star review, now .....

    1. Highly motivated people. 2. Culture was once amazing, though declining a lot. 3. Excellent growth and learning opportunities in a short time span. 4. Great friendships 5. Amazing Holiday party, perks, office events, off sites, etc. 6. Investing some time here can really open up some amazing opportunities elsewhere

    As bad as some things have gotten, Opower still has a better culture and mission than 99% of DC companies.

    Cons

    1. Pay starts out high for inexperienced hires, quickly begins to seem low. Pay should be higher outside of R&D org. 2. Some roles in client success become monotonous and repetitive. 3. A lot of over reacting drama in the client success organization. 4. Career opportunities and raises slimming fast in client success. 5. Company culture has declined rapidly, a few mishires, and poor leadership has contributed to this. 6. many people take themselves too seriously and give the allusion of doing more work than they do. 7. certain orgs have a gossip problem 8. no 401k matching

    Advice to Management

    you cant ask talented people with many opportunities to do thankless, demanding, boring, frustrating tasks without compensating them well.


  10. Helpful (34)

    "Uncertain Future"

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

    I worked at Opower (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The company culture was great. I loved my team, and they offered employees a lot of perks like a fully stocked pantry/an espresso machine, catered lunches every Friday, a dog-friendly workplace, a commuter and medical benefit (if you didn't use their healthcare), top-of-the-line technology and office equipment, etc.

    There were bike racks in the office if you wanted to bike to work and store your bike there. They had standing desks and treadmill desks throughout the office. The office had an open layout, and there were tons of couches and comfy chairs where you could work. One day, they had a street artist come and decorate a blank wall with some pretty awesome art. Dress code was extremely casual; most people wore jeans and t-shirts to work. Opower spared no expense on the holiday party, and they paid for their employees to attend a private screening of the new Star Wars movie for free.

    My team had a clearly defined professional advancement track, regular performance reviews, and a budget for professional development (attending conferences, additional training, etc.). They hire top talent, many of which come from Ivy League schools like Yale or Harvard.

    Cons

    I was hired in mid November 2015 and immediately loved the company and my team. Things seemed to be going great, and I was performing well. A month later, I had just finished onboarding, completed my first assignment, and gotten a lot of positive feedback from my manager.

    Then one day, about a week before Christmas, I was called into HR and told that there had been a "reorganization"/company-wide lay-off, and my position had been eliminated. The decision was not based on my performance. Apparently, my position had been open for about a year because my team had been very picky about selecting candidates and would only hire the perfect candidate. When they finally hired me, they did not confirm that they still had the funding available to support my position, which in my opinion, was very unprofessional. Who hires somebody without first confirming the budget with upper management?

    I was hired at the end of the year when all of the planning for Q1 was being completed. According to their public financial statements, they recently lost $8 million in the last quarter and are now in the red. They looked at their budget projections for the next few years and got scared, which instigated this round of layoffs and caused them to make some unprofessional decisions.

    While Opower certainly knows how to have fun, they came across as very disorganized to me. They're hiring people at an astronomical rate yet obviously can't afford to support all of these positions. Signs indicate that the company is in trouble and things aren't as stable as they initially let on. If I were still employed at Opower or thinking of joining, I would be concerned about the stability of this company.

    Advice to Management

    Stop making bad hiring decisions and find other channels of revenue besides EE.

    Opower Response

    Jan 27, 2016 – People Team Representative

    Thank you for the feedback. As a public company, we're bound by SEC regulations not to comment publicly on our financial outlook, however, our investor center is a great resource for those who'd like ... More


  11. Helpful (6)

    "Skip it"

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

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

    Pros

    - The people smart and nice
    - Flexible work environment (easy to work from home)
    - Compensation starts out pretty good (but don't look for it to go anywhere)

    Cons

    - Apathy is fairly widespread
    - Promotions and raises are a joke, based mostly on popularity, the popularity of your manager, or the dedication of your manager to do right by you. This cycle, leadership decided on promotions without even holding a review cycle - and this was after crazy attrition and people feeling like management is checked out. The opportunity to recover loyalty even a little bit was totally missed.

    Advice to Management

    - Focus on employee engagement. Post acquisition, management has been even more hands off, which is exactly the wrong direction. Unless they just don't care, which could easily be the case.


Showing 73 of 175 reviews
Reset Filters