Reaktor Reviews | Glassdoor

Reaktor Reviews

Updated 27 Aug 2019

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4.9
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98%
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98%
Approve of CEO
Reaktor CEO Vesa Lauronen
Vesa Lauronen
56 Ratings
Pros
Cons
  • "The flat hierarchy makes it hard to know how to navigate your career here(in 8 reviews)

  • "Career Path: There is nobody responsible for shaping your career growth(in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. Helpful (1)

    "Self-management is at the core of Reaktor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Flat organization (no middle management) works great for people who don't like to be bossed around and are happy to proactively seek solutions to various problems, sometimes outside of their immediate area of expertise. - Talented and passionate colleagues - Great office, social events, benefits - Better than average work-life balance

    Cons

    - Flat organization may not work for people who prefer to focus on their narrow area of expertise, and would rather have someone else (a manager/boss) to think about the bigger picture and do all the planning.

    Reaktor2019-07-14
  2. Helpful (7)

    "True work-life balance, challenging work, best place I've ever worked."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Designer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    This is the first tech company I've worked for that pays more than lip service to the concept of work-life balance. At most places, it means that your life and work become one (in favor of work). At Reaktor, 40 hour work weeks are enforced since they're equally beneficial to its employees and clients. In addition, the company pays for daily subway transportation, takes everyone on bi-annual company trips (one... international), provides an epic amount of leave for new parents, provides dinner every Thursday, and just generally gives a damn about all aspects of its employee's lives and well-being. Work at Reaktor is challenging because you will most certainly need to step outside of your defined role to be successful. Teams are colocated with clients and are responsible for day-to-day communication and client relations. This responsibility brings with it a level of autonomy and freedom that is rare. Reaktor trusts its teams to make the best decisions possible at any moment. If the team makes the wrong decision, we learn from it and move on. Work at Reaktor is exciting because the situations we are called in to tackle are usually big sticky problems with no easy answer. Like most design problems, they are hard to pin down until you start attempting to solve them We take a build-first approach and learn by making. No 6-month design exploration projects here. The things you imagine get built fast and improved even faster. This is also the first tech company I've worked at that genuinely feels like a family. I've only been here for 1.5 years, but I feel as though it's been 10. The company, and everyone in it, work hard every day to keep improving relationships and each other.

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    Cons

    The work can be daunting if you prefer to focus on your defined role. Reaktor teams don't typically include project managers or people managing client relations. Those responsibilities are shouldered equally by the team. It can also be a tough place if you aren't accustomed to driving your own development or making decisions on your own. Reaktor employees are generally expected to steer that ship individually.

    Reaktor2018-10-16
  3. Helpful (6)

    "This is the future of work."

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

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

    Pros

    This is the best company I’ve ever worked at, but it’s hard to explain why to someone who hasn’t worked for a while at a place like this because it’s so easy to use words that don’t mean the same thing without context. Here’s an example: before I came to Reaktor, I would have said that I’d worked on some great teams. I would say now that every team I’ve worked with at Reaktor has been incredible. That’s true, but... I’m also using the word “team” to mean something completely different. I’ve learned here that a team is a small group of people who work together and support each other, just about sharing a consciousness, to reach a shared goal. Now that I’ve learned what a team really is, I would say that I’d never truly been on a team before joining Reaktor. Now I’ve used more phrases that I wouldn’t have understood out of context, like “work together” and “support each other”. Those sound self-explanatory, sure. But many of us come from backgrounds where “working together” with someone means sitting in a room with them while you both scramble to finish your isolated individual tasks, and “supporting each other” means that you say nice things to each other’s face and then stab each other in the back for that promotion. When I say here that we work together, I mean that we sit together and we talk to each other and we organize ourselves to get the right work done best, and we actually accomplish far more together than we could if we were all working alone. And when I say we support each other, I mean that we actually help each other in a million little ways, without ego and without judgment, every single day. I didn’t understand any of this for months after I started. I got into a situation where I felt like I was doing too much and spreading myself too thin, and I started feeling bad about work and thinking immensely uncharitable things like “I do all the work” and “I’m carrying the team”. Then one day someone patiently listened while I complained about all this, and they asked me what I thought would happen if I just did less stuff. And that’s when it clicked for me: nothing bad would happen—if I stopped doing something important, the team would pick it up. And not only did I stop overextending myself and let go of a lot of stress, nothing went badly. As a team, we still accomplished the same stuff, except we did it even faster and better! And at no point was I blamed or judged or looked down upon—when I talked with my teammates, they actually agreed that I was doing too much and helped me figure out what to focus on. This isn’t unusual or a special case. And this is one specific story about what just boils down to respect. This company was created in the year 2000 to be a place people enjoy working, and seemingly against common sense, that’s still the attitude 18 years later. Instead of creating structures where people are restricted or forced to fight each other to get ahead, Reaktor has created a community built on a fundamental respect for people. It feels so good and different to be here, and it’s crazy how much magic happens.

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    Cons

    I’m going to guess that other reviews have beaten the obvious con to death: it’s harder than you think to manage yourself. There are a lot of good things about a low-structure environment, but it’s true that a highly structured environment comes with a certain amount of comfort. Much of that comfort comes from having a lot of choices made for you and from having the illusion of predictability, but we acknowledge... that our work is unpredictable and requires constant adaptation and unique decision-making. In my opinion, this comes with far more good than bad, but that’s just my opinion—the balance is different for different people. A specific aspect of that is that you hold some responsibility when things go wrong. This doesn’t mean that you’re going to get blamed for things—I think that we learn from failure instead of trying to assign blame or punishment—but in order to learn and get better, you have to be willing to acknowledge your own role and effect. Again, I don’t look at this as a con, but it is a thing that’s different and can be uncomfortable for some people. In my past, at least, I’ve been in plenty of places where it was easier to blame things around me than admit that I had an effect. Here, that kind of thinking just doesn’t make sense. Now some non-obvious “cons”. One is that it feels like things change slowly here. I think that this is actually not true, but places with more structure come with an illusion of faster change: after all, you can edit a policy document somewhere, and things have changed! In reality, change is slow everywhere, and I think Reaktor comes with fewer ways to delude yourself about the speed of change. Things change as people’s thinking and behavior change, and that just happens slowly, period. It can feel frustrating if you’re not looking at it from a long-term, systemic perspective. Again, I don’t think it _is_ actually slower here, it’s just that it’s not wearing the friendly mask it wears in more structured organizations. Another non-obvious “con”: this organization requires you to put your ego aside, which is a fairly unnatural thing for most people to do. It’s the flip-side of having such fantastic teams: on my own, I would never be able to do a quarter of the things I’ve been a part of here. And although I’ve been an important part of doing them, I wasn’t more important than anyone else, and I’m sure the teams could have accomplished something sufficiently similar without me. That doesn’t mean that I’m dead weight, it’s just a property of how good teams work. There are also lots of things that happen here that are really cool that I just can’t be a part of because there are just so many. That can be hard to swallow, and it can even be hard to trust that they will go well without my involvement. In reality, they always do go well, and my trust is never unfounded. Again, I wouldn’t rather be somewhere else, where I can stroke my ego but accomplish way less—I’d rather be a part of this organization where I can contribute to a portion of the cool stuff. But still, if you’re truly driven to feel like a hero and do all the things, you might lose your mind here.

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    Advice to Management

    Remember that no one is special and that this is all built on trust and mutual respect. You can slice "management" however you want here, but I think this is good advice for all of us.

    Reaktor2018-10-12
  4. Helpful (3)

    "This is what I would've told my uncertain past self today before applying"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    You care about the people you work with. In general, people here: are informal actually care actually listen accept others as they are are aware of their own flaws are aware of their own qualities are more intelligent that what they seem to be will nudge you towards becoming a better person want to hire more people who share these same... concerns are trying to do their best without burning themselves out

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    Cons

    You are used to be the most knowledgeable person in the room, so in moments that you: a) wish to be that person, you are going face some impostor syndrome b) do not wish to be that person, you are going to be with the right people You will have to communicate much more to the client, you are not used to do that, but don't worry, because people here: will help you do what you can do... now understand that everything is a continuous path of improvement, with ups and downs, you are not good at X right now, you can become better at X tomorrow You will need to adapt to a completely different culture of work where: hierarchies make a lot less sense work and life balance is a serious subject things that are said are things that are actually meant you will have trouble figuring out what to do with all your vacation time

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    Reaktor2018-10-17
  5. Helpful (2)

    "A working paradigm shift <3"

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

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

    Pros

    * People actually treat colleagues as adults. It's not just empty parrot speak to get you in the door. * It's a culture that values learning and doesn't default to pushing people to do learning (that will benefit the organization) on their own time. * Easily the most transformative place that I've ever worked, and I've worked at a lot of companies in NYC. * People really care about the company and identify... with it in a way that doesn't feel culty and doesn't feel like there are implicit judgments about people who don't identify as strongly with it. * It's a safe place to fail and feel supported. * Not knowing something is actually okay. * It's fairly easy to make connections to people in other offices around the world.

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    Cons

    * The culture and ways of working can be hard for new people to wrap their heads around, and we're not the best at teaching them. * We're working on diversifying the space more, not just along race and gender lines, but also with people with very different working styles. * It can be challenging to get an idea of expectations and boundaries.

    Advice to Management

    There really isn't any management in the classic sense. We're all management and responsible for the culture of the company. So my advice to myself and my colleagues is to continue acting with humility and working on ways to better ourselves. I think in particular we can do a better job at framing career growth and development, and our value offering to our clients and new hires. We've currently been working... on these things and the future excites me.

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    Reaktor2018-10-11
  6. Helpful (2)

    "A Very Healthy Workplace"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    What I have experience in Reaktor has contrasted tremendously from my own, and what seems to be others', experiences of working in the tech world. The company culture is focused on the imperative of conducting projects that deliver high quality work providing clear value to its clients. Rather than trying to achieve these aims through hierarchical micromanagement, Reaktor trusts its teams to be flexible and make... their own decisions, and supports them in exercising good judgment and creating a healthy working environment. There is a strong cultural emphasis at Reaktor on creativity, learning, and sustainable working. I am sometimes astonished at the mature, almost enlightened, attitudes people at Reaktor have towards working, and their strong sense of craft in their work. Finally, while everyone at Reaktor is ambitious, I genuinely feel like I have seen among them no cause for competition with each other. Instead, the nature and structure of work on projects here breeds a lot of cooperation and encourages the formation of consensus.

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    Cons

    While I feel very comfortable with the autonomy and self-direction offered to people at Reaktor, and enjoy the challenge of making my own good decisions, I can imagine, for some, that this kind of environment might be disorienting. Most of the people I encounter at Reaktor are, or have become, the kind of people that can skillfully set their own ambitions and intentions, and proactively communicate with others. For... someone who thrives in a space with a lot of structure and clear coordinates for progress, Reaktor's style might be challenging.

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    Reaktor2018-10-11
  7. Helpful (1)

    "Software Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - freedom to grow in the direction you want - you are the product so the company invests heavily into the employees development - teams are autonomous, no need to wait for approval from a middle manager - working with incredibly smart and talented people

    Cons

    - consulting is not for everyone - the culture at Reaktor and that at clients sometimes differs greatly - working in a flat hierarchy company puts the responsibility on you to do what needs to be done which is a mind shift from a corporate company

    Reaktor2018-10-12
  8. Helpful (1)

    "Feels like home"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Developer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - The atmosphere is relaxed. Talented, kind, and respectful co-workers and flat hierarchy makes it feel like you're spending time with friends – which, in the end, is true. - The work-life balance is good; 40-hour work weeks plus plenty of vacation. - The autonomous teams and the freedom to choose your ways of working are amazing for professional growth. - The culture overall.

    Cons

    - It takes time to get used to the company culture and flat hierarchy.

    Advice to Management

    Stay on course. You know what to do.

    Reaktor2018-10-11
  9. Helpful (1)

    "This is your company!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consultant in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I moved to New York City from Kansas City, MO to take this job at a weird Finnish company that worked completely differently from any other agency or company of its size. The reviews were interesting, the benefits are highly competitive, and they offered to fly me out for the interview and booked me a swanky hotel on Park Avenue. I accepted an amazing offer and moved to New York City to start working a few months... later as I saw through a previous contract. I felt that they were very accommodating and patient the whole way through. The culture is no joke, when you join Reaktor, you are trusted and empowered to bring value to the company in any way you are able. During my time here I've worked on pitch decks, met with potential clients, and begun development of a couple internal applications in Rust and Flutter (new language and framework for me). There are no managers, every meeting is optional, produce value for the company (and yourself). This is what I think of when I try to explain what Reaktor is doing. I liken the management to a Startup Weekend or Hackathon–there are no titles, you could be working with someone with many years of high level company strategy and your voice is heard just as loud as his–the best idea wins.

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    Cons

    It takes time to adapt to the different style of working, but everyone offers you help along the way–take it!

    Reaktor2018-10-11
  10. Helpful (1)

    "A great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Designer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    If you read nothing else, read this: Reaktor is a really good place to work. A few of my favourite things are freedom, responsibility, autonomy, ownership, flat hierarchy, collaboration, and an excellent work/life balance. I’ve made many great friends and learned a ton from the amazingly smart colleagues here. Emergent leadership is is always present. People are kind, honest, and supportive. There’s very... little ego involved, and people don’t play internal politics games or stab you in the back. We’re all in this together. No one is going to dictate to you what to do. You and your team will be responsible for making the good choices, with the help and support of your peers. The same principle also applies to personal growth. You’ll be the one who ultimately defines the direction of your growth, helped by others. The roles are not rigid, many people have been expanding their skillsets and even switched their primary discipline. I’ve never been happier at work than during my time at Reaktor.

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    Cons

    In my mind, the biggest con might be that you can’t just take six months off and go sail around the world or do an ultra distance hike, but I’ve been able to live with that for now. I also understand that consulting — read that which ever way you want — is not for everyone. The lack of artificial hierarchies or a predefined career path is also not for everyone. But if you're looking for freedom and responsibility..., look no further.

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    Advice to Management

    As someone else mentioned in their review, we don’t have a formal management. We do have leadership all across the organisation, plus a few people who are working on sales, recruitment, business and marketing, more or less supporting the teams with their work. I believe our shared responsibility is to strive to create an even more diverse and inclusive workplace. This is a problem that most of the tech world is... struggling with and we’re no different.

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    Reaktor2018-10-10
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