Opower

  www.opower.com
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Opower Reviews in Arlington, VA

Updated Jun 17, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

4.5 36 reviews

94% Approve of the CEO

Opower Founder & CEO Daniel Yates

Daniel Yates

(31 ratings)

91% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • smart people, inspiring mission, business model that works(in 5 reviews)

  • Opower is a great work environment(in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • Bad Work-Life-Balance - ongoing issue that is constantly raised by employees and Management does not seem to care(in 8 reviews)

  • None to speak of - long hours come with the territory but aren't a con, they should be expected when one has the desire to work in this space(in 5 reviews)

36 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Fun environment, talented people

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Arlington, VA (US)

    ProsThe environment here is extremely collaborative and trusting. The training and onboarding processes are fast-paced, however new employees are given strong support from all areas. My managers have been flexible with hours and time off, and (almost) always leave the office by 6:00. Great open work space - every employee is near a window and has a smorgasbord of choices for healthy office furniture. There are many smaller/quieter work spaces available, a great kitchen, and friendly office dogs too. The employees here have varied backgrounds and interests, all of which are often showcased in one way or another at work. While Opower strives for a double bottom line, management is pragmatic and evidence-driven in setting their energy efficiency goals.

    ConsCompensation is not competitive and there is no 401K matching; I'm hoping that the recent fundraising round will help to boost some salary and benefits. The hiring process and HR team seemed a little overwhelmed at times, however I attributed that to an extremely rapid ramp-up in employees.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Opower Employer Brand Manager responded to this review

    Jun 23, 2014

    Thanks for the review! We love hearing how happy you are at Opower and appreciate your suggestion.
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    3 people found this helpful  

    Great people, stimulating work

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Arlington, VA (US)

    ProsThe people are down to earth, smart, and the best part of working at Opower. Of course the cereal bar and other perks are nice too. The work is stimulating, with more than enough challenges to keep me busy.

    ConsThe pay is average and there's not a ton of room for moving up the ranks since the company is relatively small.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWhen can we get some 401k matching up in here!?

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    Opower Employer Brand Manager responded to this review

    May 21, 2014

    Thanks for the review and the advice! Passing your feedback on up!
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    2 people found this helpful  

    Working with with best

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Arlington, VA (US)

    Pros--Great company culture that has been maintained as the company has grown.
    --Senior management team is very strong, great vision for the company.
    --Exciting place to work. It is electric in the office; everyone is working hard and working towards the same goal.
    --Working with exceptionally bright people: Across the board, top to bottom, Opower finds and hires the smartest and best people. Ideas are flying and you are encouraged to think outside the box.
    --Room to grow, not only vertically, but also across the company.

    Cons--Processes are not always completely set in stone. If you don't have an agile personality/mentality in the office, you may have some difficulty flourishing. This con could actually be seen as a positive if you are interested in coming in and making Business Process changes.
    --I have noticed a hiccup in the way that middle management handles some situations. They seem to be more reactive than anything else and it can look as though they were unprepared for certain situations (ie--restructuring of teams, promotions, etc)

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Opower Employer Brand Manager responded to this review

    May 27, 2014

    All great info to share. Thanks for the review and being part of the team!
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Software company that improves both the world and the lives of employees.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Arlington, VA (US)

    ProsThere are 3 huge reasons to work for Opower.

    1. Opower makes a real difference in the world. Currently Opower is savings over 1 Terawatt hour (TWh) per year and this should continue to grow exponentially for years to come. To put this in context the US Energy Information Administration estimated the entire US solar generation for 2013 to be just over 9 TWh, so Opower as a single company is producing 1/10th of the energy that the entire US solar industry is producing. Being part of this company for a few of years you will directly create more energy savings than you will likely consume in your entire efficiently lived life. That is amazing!

    2. Opower is an huge financial opportunity. In the last few years the company has more than 10x'ed its value and it is very possible for Opower do this again in the next few years. This growth is certainly not a given, but Opower has a better chance at doing it than most companies out there and for those who hold on to their Options it can be a life changing financial opportunity.

    3. Opower is a great work environment. Friday lunches, massages, tons of snacks, showers and bike racks at work, the list goes on. I guess for SF this sort of list is expected but in Arlington and most other places in the world perks like these are incredible and I definitely appreciate them. Also, the most important part of a great work environment is working with a bunch of smart, energetic, positive people and Opower certainly has this.

    ConsOpower is a pretty great place to work but it has some cons.

    1. No 401K match, official justification is that Opower does Options grants instead. I get this but honestly I would accept a lower salary to be able to get that same amount of money in an untaxed 401k match and get above the 17.5K personal contribution limit in my 401k and would appreciate that as an option.

    2. There can be friction between teams at times. Maybe Sales wants to sell something that the Product Team doesn't want to make, or the Dev team wants to make stricter data specs for easier coding while the Ops team wants looser specs for easier implementations. These conflicts can get a bit uglier and snarkier than they should and it is a drag on all involved. That being said cross team collaboration has greatly improved the last few years but it is still a work in progress.

    3. Not enough emphasis placed on growing from within. Opower has grown a ton in the last few years and while there is now a framework for growing from within and a rising tide of internal promotions, there have still been many times in the past when outsiders have been hired directly into senior roles that have lead to reports basically training their own managers and a lot of wasted time. Hopefully as the company continues to grow it will continue to improve its internal talent pipelines and be less tempted by outsiders with exciting resumes.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStay aggressive with evaluating managers and replacing those who are not amazing. Having great managers is the key to having a great company and if a manager isn't working out they must be transitioned out to keep the company moving forward. Senior management has done a good job of doing this in the past, making some tough decisions on key managers who were good but not great. Now, as Opower reaches the next stage of its growth, it is even more important to ensure it has the strongest managers. Keep providing both management and non-management career paths and if a manager is not doing well aggressively push them to switch to non-management or leave.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Opower Employer Brand Manager responded to this review

    May 27, 2014

    Wow! Thanks for so much detail. All of this is very valuable to know for our continued success. I'll pass along your thoughts to senior management.
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Love coming to work here every day

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Arlington, VA (US)

    ProsThere are six main reasons why I love working at Opower:
    -Great Mission: It's energizing to be part of a company that is looking to make such a positive impact on the world -- and to see that it's working.
    -Great Products: The software Opower makes is innovative, usable, and well-designed. You feel proud of what you help create. On top of that, we get to use very cutting-edge technology. (In my past jobs, most of my requests to get the most advanced, cutting-edge tools were denied for budget reasons.)
    -Great People / Culture: Opower is a work hard, party hard environment where the people are extremely talented (the interview process is rigorous) and a lot of fun. Oh yeah, and there are free massages, cool toys around the office (scooters and ping pong tables!), free catered lunch on Fridays, fully-stocked pantries, and tons of fun parties and events. The list goes on.
    -Exciting Growth: Opower is growing fast and expanding internationally. That comes with unique challenge, of course, but even so it's fun and rewarding to see the company's products go forward into new markets and languages around the world. Oh yeah, and we went public recently. :-)
    -Leadership: Alex and Dan (the CEOs) are wonderful and trustworthy, and they've hired other excellent leaders who are moving the company forward and making smart strategic decisions about our future. It's a pleasure working for them. They're not business elites who are out of touch with their staff; they know what we do, what challenges we face, and they're very transparent and eager to hear our concerns and make us feel confident about the future.
    -Ongoing Improvement: Opower is great at evaluating its employees and overall corporate culture to identify where we're weak and where we're strong. We have regular performance reviews and compensation evaluation schedules, as well as regular company meetings to assess where we stand. This makes for a lot of transparency and ultimately a much stronger relationship between management and staff.

    ConsThe challenges of working at Opower:
    -Work-life balance is a challenge. The people here work very hard, things move very fast, and there is absolutely no end in sight to the vast amount of work we have to do (which I consider a good thing). Sometimes, typically near the end of the quarter, you need to work some late nights and to meet tight deadlines.
    -Compensation: Opower is an exceptional company doing exceptional work, and I am sure many people here receive above-average compensation, but in my case I feel I am receiving average compensation. However, as mentioned above, I will say that Opower is very good about regular performance reviews and raises.
    -Benefits: The only complaints I have here are that Opower does not match 401k contributions and there is no tuition reimbursement for people in grad school. But honestly this is pretty equally matched by other benefits that Opower DOES provide, which go beyond just the standard health/dental,etc. benefits: extra cash for commuting, a great culture and office environment, team offsites, ample budget for professional development, tons of corporate swag, and on and on and on.
    -Rapid Growth: Since we're growing so fast into a large company, it can be hard to keep the culture as lightweight, fun, and non-bureaucratic as it's always been. Moreover, hiring new people and getting them up-to-speed is difficult. We're actively working on maintaining an excellent culture and improving our onboarding process, but we're definitely seeing how hard it can be to quickly integrate new staff and keep the culture fun when there's so much new growth / work to do.

    Advice to Senior ManagementConsider matching 401k contributions and offering tuition reimbursement for students who are in graduate school. Consider how to keep the culture fun as we grow. Consider ways we can improve our training and onboarding processes.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Opower Employer Brand Manager responded to this review

    May 21, 2014

    WOW, what a review! This feedback is invaluable. Appreciate your perspective and will be sharing it with HR and senior management.
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Work Hard, Play Hard

    Software Engineer (Current Employee) Arlington, VA (US)

    ProsOpower has built a great company culture and group of talented, interesting employees. It feels good to know that the work we are doing is truly helping the world at large. I am happy with my compensation and the flexibility to work remotely when I need to.

    ConsThere is a lot of snark, which can be off putting to those who don't care to engage in it. Some people have complained about issues of work/life balance, but I think that is more of a complaint in other teams.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPOW!

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Opower Employer Brand Manager responded to this review

    May 16, 2014

    Thanks for the review - we appreciate you taking the time to share your perspective.
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    Amazing work environment, great people, changing the world for the better

    Technical Project Manager (Current Employee) Arlington, VA (US)

    ProsSmart, engaging coworkers, competitive salary, lots of perqs, good location (VA), double bottom line is fantastic for those who care, management is engaged and there is an open door policy to chat with them

    ConsNone to speak of - long hours come with the territory but aren't a con, they should be expected when one has the desire to work in this space

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep being involved, keep the excitement coming, seeing management as excited as ever for our product line is always encouraging

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Opower Employer Brand Manager responded to this review

    May 16, 2014

    It makes us happy to hear you're happy! Thanks for the review.
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    Great culture, mission, and people

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Arlington, VA (US)

    ProsMy role at Opower is the best I've ever had. The fact that the company is driven by a double bottom line makes me feel like I'm working toward something really important that will make an impact on the planet. I'm surrounded by really intelligent people who work hard but also know how to have a good time. Management truly listens to employees and cares about their development and motivation.

    ConsAs with any start up (I've now worked at a couple) there are challenges in building brand new processes and procedures. Things that more mature companies have down to a science are often being tested out and tweaked at Opower. But that's also a pro because there's a learning experience that comes along with that.

    Advice to Senior ManagementNow that the company has gone public, equity is not a reason not to offer more competitive benefits like a 401K matching program in the US. It would be great if Opower added that benefit!

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Opower Employer Brand Manager responded to this review

    May 16, 2014

    Thanks for the review and suggestions!
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    A diamond in the rough in DC

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Arlington, VA (US)

    ProsCoworkers are incredibly talented and driven
    Despite rapid growth, the startup culture is still alive
    Admirable company mission
    Weekly massages, stocked kitchen, catered lunch on Fridays, dogs at the office, office holiday from Christmas to New Years, and so on
    Opportunities to grow into more senior roles quickly
    Rapidly developing software results in a product that is constantly improving

    ConsLong hours and huge workload
    Incredible amount to learn in a very short period of time during onboarding
    Mediocre PTO policy, no 401k matching
    Getting the information you need from people in certain roles can be very challenging
    Some unhealthy tension between different camps within the company

    Advice to Senior ManagementContinue to focus on hiring people based not only on competence but on cultural fit. We work very hard. Help keep it fun.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Opower Employer Brand Manager responded to this review

    May 16, 2014

    Thanks so much for sharing your perspective. We'll take your advice to heart.
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    Thank God I work here!

    Senior Software Engineer (Current Employee) Arlington, VA (US)

    ProsFor me it's the following:

    * Best group of people I've worked with. I'm constantly learning new things everyday. This keeps things interesting.
    * Doing something that's good for the world.
    * It's a great work environment - we don't take ourselves too seriously.
    * Really excited with the way this company is going. With the IPO, new clients signing on, etc.

    I've worked in over 7 companies and more as a consultant, and I have never found a place I've loved more than Opower.

    ConsYou have to up your game, and not everyone is willing to do this.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep doing what you've been doing.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Opower Employer Brand Manager responded to this review

    May 16, 2014

    YAY! We love your passion and enthusiasm. Thanks so much for being an O and taking the time to leave a review.

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