ThoughtWorks Employee Reviews about "work life balance"

Updated Jan 22, 2021

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4.4
96%
Recommend to a Friend
99%
Approve of CEO
ThoughtWorks President and CEO Guo Xiao
Guo Xiao
68 Ratings
Pros
  • "The work life balance of employees are given importance(in 102 reviews)

  • "You get to work with some of the really smart people(in 98 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "Work life balance to some extend(in 49 reviews)

  • "Being a consultancy there is no real ownership of the work being done(in 24 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
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    Reviews about "work life balance"

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    1. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      Most Diverse Place I have ever worked

      Jul 21, 2016 - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      People from all walks of live, every corner of the world Your opinions are heard and acted upon Everyone listens Great work-life balance Awesome Benefits Travel all across North America Flat Organizational Structure Rewarded for your hard work

      Cons

      Not enough Social Justice projects Sometimes takes time for decisions to be made

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      8 people found this review helpful
    2. 3.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      Work for ThoughtWorks, but not for long

      Oct 2, 2018 - Quality Analyst in New York, NY
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Best, brightest, and kindest coworkers I've ever met. Always looking for the best solution even when it isn't their solution which is pretty unique. Strong community. Especially in the New York office. Actual working hours are very reasonable. Almost never spend more than 45 hours in the office which is unique for consulting. Many opportunities to learn from your amazing coworkers. Many of them are leaders in the field, actively involved with communities that are on the cusp of innovative technology practices. Extremely diverse teams relatively. Every team I've been on has had women and racial minorities. I cannot emphasize the people enough. If you get an opportunity to join ThoughtWorks and you plan on staying in the technology industry, you need to join solely for the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing community of technologists.

      Cons

      I feel like ThoughtWorks gives the impression that they care about your professional development, but really they just care about their bottom line. An unavoidable portion of their clients are staff augmentation positions, not consulting. If you're in it for P3 (in other words, their social and economic justice arm), that is more of a marketing ploy than anything. With the acquisition, slowly every program not devoted to the bottom line is becoming obsolete. They usually don't have the influence to be involved at a higher level and when they do, a lot of politics is involved in getting to be a part of those projects. There is very little opportunity for introverted people. Day 1 they tell you that ThoughtWorks is a networking company, so if you are not willing to spend a night or two (at least) networking with ThoughtWorkers, prepare to be placed on the least desirable projects and have no say in where you go. Due to general company culture and intensive travel requirements, there is very little work life balance.

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      17 people found this review helpful
    3. 4.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      Great place to work at, but perhaps not forever

      May 21, 2015 - Lead Consultant in New York, NY
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      ThoughtWorks has great people who are very talented, smart and serious about software excellence. They are dedicated to improving social justice in the world though I think, unfortunately, they don't actually achieved very much in this regard. Young developers can learn extremely rapidly here because of pair programming. A wonderful place for young single people. Besides the intense travel expectation, they do support work/life balance.

      Cons

      Traveling 4-5 days per week is difficult for everyone except young, single people. Not a sustainable lifestyle for most people as they approach more advanced years and want a family. There is also a glass ceiling on both responsibility and pay so that retaining experienced people is very difficult. Experienced people find themselves mostly in a teaching role and many leave. The culture is a bit cultish and insular. If you are expecting to rise in the ranks of management, you need to be on board with the company dogma and social values, and leftish political slant. The Owner Roy is completely focused on growth and this is at odds with the consultants desire for interesting work on innovative projects. Pay is not very competitive particularly for more experienced people. Projects sometimes feel bloated and high cost to clients. We could be much more lean and become more price competitive.

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      9 people found this review helpful
    4. 4.0
      Current Employee, more than 8 years

      Great for starting out, downward sliding scale for experienced engineers

      Mar 5, 2017 - Lead Consultant in Chicago, IL
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      It is the best in all the things you read on job descriptions, on culture, the nice office, the people - for the most part all of that is true Smartest people I have worked with Highest percentage of smart and passionate people on teams vs people coasting and just doing a job Lowest percentage of political people who take credit off of other people's work Visit global offices worldwide, to do client work and other co-workers Opportunities to work abroad on long term assignments, especially when there is demand Steep learning curve, if you can do it you will go far Yes client projects are hard but you need that to be challenged, and it's the same in consulting firms everywhere Flat hierarchy appearance means you can reach all the way to executives in an email and they will respond to you personally

      Cons

      Work/life balance It is there if you make it so, by doing the minimum 40-45 hours and turn a blind eye to everything else: fly Sunday night, be home by Thursday evening; it's fine because no-one dings you in reviews for min work anyway If you want to do more than consulting at client, say for local community or feel like you are part of TW, you have to work in the evenings, come into the office on Fridays, take calls with your local DevOps/Security/Social/Office Events, and yes all that's outside of your client hours thank you very much for your free donations, but good luck using that for a promotion because it's not guaranteed Performance reviews are largely behind closed doors: despite the work, long hours, good reviews from projects and your co-workers, management still didn't really take those into account and give you a raise or a promotion. You might tolerate it if you are fresh outta college and think you'll do better next time, but this is very insulting and a real tough pill to swallow professionally, when you're there for 7/8 years Local work efforts have more or less been failing - more people are leaving to join local companies, the work in the office now is no longer interesting Learning/talent management No real learning and development if you are not a programmer/tech role, biggest hypocrite aspect in the company Ad hoc learning is no way to learn or a long term investment for smart people Rivalry between new roles and groups have made attrition really high, no real career paths The new global leadership programs are a joke distraction to real learning; just more shiny toys to go travel and meet with each other wasting revenue generated by billable dollars that's already hard to come by To attract more techies, there are lots of efforts to do technical things like events and initiatives, BUT if you are not a programmer, none of this is really open to you Not all technologists are considered technologists: they have a nice campaign but it's another shiny toy to get into the junior/associate consultant program; it's not for experienced people, if you are attracted by the culture and the identity then you better be prepared to learn by yourself and find your own career path because you will not get the serious support by your sponsor/mentor/office/management Vibe Many senior people leaving, which drops overall experience level by a bunch Many many data scientist, business, retail, vertical domain experienced folks have left because they don't know what to do to progress or how to staff specialist No one is telling these 15+ to 20+ year experience principal specialist hires they should learn to work with the rest of TW consultants in an integrated way; they get frustrated by isolated expertise and yet new ideas get rejected by the population, then leave the company which is a waste of $$ and ton of industry experience and waste of time for everyone Travel is not the hardest thing, but travel will drag all other things down, just remember that If you're a long-timer, pay will not be comparable to new hires: they will be hired at higher rates than you with similar or less than your TW experience, swallow your pride Been talking to a lot of long-timers and the same kinds of frustration is reaching boiling point New people with almost no experience and track record are being favorited as the new faces; market and leadership positions, when they are still finding their way; promote everyone to Lead when they've only got 3-5 years' experience, what a slap in the face for the rest of us, we could not even get to Senior when we had 5 years' exp You see the revolving door of resume hoarders who will stay for 2 years, then they leave and join other companies with a huge salary hike; you question why you are staying here on below market salaries and same kinds of work Some people clearly should not be in the company because of work or performance issues, do very little work, cause mayhem to teams on client projects; management does not like to pull the trigger sooner and do the right thing It's not what you know, it's who you know. Diversity is not applied to everyone unfortunately, gender diversity in entry-level is kinda there (easiest to fix), but when you see senior levels or higher positions it's mostly same circles, people who have been here for 20 years and they basically have all the say and are friends with each other so if you're not in those circles you are pretty much an outsider. Mostly men; women leadership are in management or ops, and not engineering side.

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      30 people found this review helpful
    5. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      Fun yet challenging work environment

      Jan 23, 2016 - Office Manager in Addison, TX
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      ThoughtWorks is a unique company and while I have 7 plus years as an office manager, I have learned so much the past year and a half working here. They are flexible with my personal schedule and allow for a happy work / life balance.

      Cons

      There is a lot of after hours / weekend work. I happen to enjoy the majority of the events I work but after a 40 hour work week you are expected to attend additional work functions on your own time.

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      1 person found this review helpful
    6. 5.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year

      Great place to work with lots of great people to work with.

      Apr 28, 2015 - Applications Developer in Chicago, IL
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      It's a cliche, but ThoughtWorks is all about the people you work with. The work environment created by smart people and challenging work has never a dull moment. You get the unique opportunity to travel within the US, then the world. You work with the smartest people. You should be here.

      Cons

      Work/life balance could be tough if you're on a travelling project. TW pays slightly lower than the competition, but benefits are very good.

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    7. 4.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      Young and single? This is a dream job

      Jan 17, 2014 - Software Developer in Chicago, IL
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Amazing people - absolutely brilliant coworkers, variety of technology stacks and projects, lots of management support (at least at the project level), pretty good benefits. ThoughtWorks has the best coworkers I've ever even imagined. Every single person I meet who works for TW I end up liking. One of the things TW does BEST is selectively hire for both talent and personality. You can immediately trust your coworkers, more than just for technical competence, but also for their good personalities, willingness to help out when needed, go the extra mile, be generally nice and civilized people, etc. Lots of fun to be had while traveling, provided you don't have anyone waiting at home for you (this job can rapidly destroy a romantic relationship) - drinks on the house, lots of people to hang out with, eat dinner out all the time, etc. You also have loads of support for technical learning, and the benefit of being able to ask some very, very smart people for help.

      Cons

      Pay is a healthy notch below the market rate; terrible work-life balance; traveling all of the time is miserable; ethically, rather full of themselves and hypocritical. A lot gets made at ThoughtWorks about the "pillar three" (social and economic justice) values of the company, and a lot gets talked about it. I don't see so much actually being DONE about it. Some of our biggest clients border on the downright bad (child labor, invasion of privacy, etc), and almost all of them are "just business", ie we're there in mediocre technology stacks simply to make money. Also, there is not much "pillar two" or technologically cutting-edge stuff happening, at least in the US. Lots of making money though, so it is not a place I would be worried about going out of business. And it's not a bad place to work at all - just gets tiring hearing this self-congratulatory back-patting all of the time about how ethical we are when we work for like, retail and auto industries. Come on. These are kind of... reactions to the ideologues within TW. At a practical level, there are 2 things that make it very difficult. 1) Pay. While not bad (nobody making a living as a developer is getting paid "badly" at the moment), it's not competitive, and it can be frustrating to go on job sites and see less-talented-than-you developers making 50% more a year in cases. It's demoralizing. It's also tough to be approached for less-fun-and-interesting jobs but jobs that pay in some cases 50% more a year almost weekly without starting to wonder if you're being a fool for turning down serious amounts of money. 2) Travel. This is really the big one for me. Traveling every week is pure misery. Even if you're lucky enough to have shorter flights, you will inevitably end up with delays, waiting in long airport security lines, and spending 3 or 4 or 5 nights a week - every week - away from your loved ones and your home. If you can stay with your parents and have no significant other and just save money and enjoy the travel, this is no problem. Once you're in a relationship, you'll find your husband or wife (or fiance or whatever) will eventually get tired of you being away most of the time. Also you will grow to vehemently despise the American traveling public and become a bitter, jaded, cynical, angry person any time you are forced to step into the miserable places called "airports" (I had stronger words but apparently they were too profane for glassdoor.com). Seriously. I am being sort of funny, but I can't find words strong enough to describe my hatred of air travel. And it started off being fun! I was excited, then I got status, got upgrades.... now it is just tedium and unpleasantness.

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      8 people found this review helpful
    8. 4.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year

      Not perfect, but there's no better place to learn coming out of college

      Feb 8, 2015 - Associate Consultant in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      If there's one thing ThoughtWorks does amazingly well, it's that it is an incredible opportunity to learn, especially if you went through the ThoughtWorks University program like I did. They provide an incredible amount of support to further your technical knowledge through the use of an amazing training program and continued coaching and feedback beyond. As a new graduate right out of college, I feel like I learned more in a year here than I've had in my four years of school. It's also a company that's filled with a lot of very brilliant, passionate people in their various fields who are incredibly eager to share their knowledge with you when they can. My coworkers are very transparent with one another, and the hierarchy by and large feels very flat and open to discussion and feedback about various elements of the company's work. It feels like we're a cohesive group where every individual opinion we put in leads to larger changes in the company, and all in all the comradery within the team makes it rewarding to put in work with the people you're staffed with. All in all, as a tech company where you can expect to grow and learn a lot, ThoughtWorks really has been everything I wanted it to be and more.

      Cons

      There isn't much in the way of work-life balance with this job, something they are very upfront about upon joining the company. Due to the investment they place into each of their employees, there is also an expectation that you put in a very large amount of work both in and out of the office. It's definitely not a job for those who wish to settle down or be able to take their mind off work once they're off the clock. There is also a sense that we tend to be heavy-handed with a lot of our opinions. I can tell that we often come across as pushy with our practices and don't always ease our clients into the suggestions we give as consultants, especially when our clients aren't necessarily ready for it. It can make us a little hard to work with on occasion when we adhere a bit too strongly to our idea of best practices and whatnot, though I know this is a criticism that we're trying to address. Lastly, compensation and benefits could be better admittedly. Time off is decidedly scarce, and while other benefits aren't too bad they aren't especially competitive in the current job market.

      4 people found this review helpful
    9. 5.0
      Current Employee

      Great place to learn and have fun doing it

      Sep 8, 2015 - Consultant Developer in Atlanta, GA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Work life balance is good Benefits are good Travel a lot Learn new technologies Work super smart people 401K Matching More or less a flat hierarchical structure company-wide Genuine social justice agenda Your opinions are valued at every level

      Cons

      Pay not great Benefits not great A LOT OF TRAVEL

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    10. 5.0
      Current Employee

      Awesome!

      Mar 30, 2014 - Senior Developer in Chicago, IL
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great colleagues. A lot of growth if you can sustain the travel. If you like challenges, this is the place to be.

      Cons

      Work life balance can be difficult to maintain. Might feel isolated from the home office if you don't visit the TW office regularly.

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