Opower

  www.opower.com
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Opower Reviews in Arlington, VA

Updated 6 September 2014
Updated 6 September 2014
74 Reviews
4.4
74 Reviews
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Opower Founder & CEO Daniel Yates
Daniel Yates
62 Ratings

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)

More Highlights

40 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Great people, evolving org structures

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Implementation Engineer  in  Arlington, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Implementation Engineer in Arlington, VA (US)

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

    Pros

    Great people with whom is awesome to work with, be challenged by and as a result grow

    Cons

    Too much work can get in way of personal growth

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on employee retention as much as employee acquisition

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Still a decent place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Arlington, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA (US)

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

    Pros

    * Very smart people. Lots of very intelligent, very dedicated people. Most have a good attitude and make it enjoyable to collaborate.
    * Great company mission.
    * President Alex is very inspiring and a true leader.
    * Good location in Arlington. Not far from DC with lots of restaurants and housing options for those who move to the area.
    * Fun office distractions -- lots of parties, happy hours, free shwag, to keep things exciting and wow employees who have never seen anything similar at a workplace.
    * Many opportunities to perform well and earn promotions.

    Cons

    * Work-life balance is terrible. People are expected to be always on and prepared to produce under unrealistic deadlines.
    * Client delivery teams perpetually operate under impossible deadlines and their chaos drives people out of that organization. It's also hard to attract the right kind of talent here. Chaos rains down on other parts of the company from the delivery teams.
    * Compensation is not very competitive, and Opower is stingy with stock. S1 filing indicates that the founders own 39% of the company still, but nearly every employee, new or old, was granted a negligible number of options.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Still a pretty decent place to work. Try to be more generous with stock and compensation because it will give employees a feeling of ownership and loyalty. We are generous with our time and effort on a daily basis and want to feel valued. Try to get more training for your middle managers, some of them are making their employees lives miserable.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Owesome!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Arlington, VA (US)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA (US)

    I worked at Opower full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    This is a fun place to work with a ton of really smart people. The open environment is great for collaboration and learning. There is a ton of team and company events. Lots of work but lots of play as well.

    Cons

    They need more people. There is so much work to do and the company is doing so well that it is hard to keep up with the demand. For every one person they hire they need 2 just to keep up.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Harness the current employee talent and potential and grow them. Don't let the great people get burned out and leave.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Opower Response

    Aug 06, 2014Employer Brand Manager

    We appreciate the review and feedback!

  4. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
  5.  

    Awesome company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Arlington, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA (US)

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

    Pros

    The people are awesome and the work is great. There is always a collaborative atmosphere that enables you to communicate with many different intelligent individuals. The employees are all passionate, intelligent and are the best of the best. I actually don't dread going to work as I used to.

    - Tons of Benefits
    - Great People who are passionate about what they do
    - Awesome and challenging work
    - You get out of it what you put into it
    - Very laid back yet professional setting

    Cons

    There is a lot of work. And that means you'll probably have to stay late.

    - Long hours
    - Average Pay

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Opower Response

    Jul 31, 2014Employer Brand Manager

    Thanks for the review and great feedback. We take it to heart and will be sure to share it with cOmpany leaders.

  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Fun environment, talented people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Arlington, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA (US)

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

    Pros

    The 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.

    Cons

    Compensation 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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Opower Response

    Jun 23, 2014Employer Brand Manager

    Thanks for the review! We love hearing how happy you are at Opower and appreciate your suggestion.

  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Working with with best

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Arlington, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA (US)

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

    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)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Opower Response

    May 27, 2014Employer Brand Manager

    All great info to share. Thanks for the review and being part of the team!

  8. 1 person found this helpful  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Arlington, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA (US)

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

    Pros

    There 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.

    Cons

    Opower 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 ManagementAdvice

    Stay 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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Opower Response

    May 27, 2014Employer Brand Manager

    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.

  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    Great people, stimulating work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Arlington, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA (US)

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

    Pros

    The 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.

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    When can we get some 401k matching up in here!?

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Opower Response

    May 21, 2014Employer Brand Manager

    Thanks for the review and the advice! Passing your feedback on up!

  10. 2 people found this helpful  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Arlington, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA (US)

    I have been working at Opower full-time for 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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Opower Response

    Jun 12, 2014Employer 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

  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Love coming to work here every day

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Arlington, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA (US)

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

    Pros

    There 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.

    Cons

    The 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 ManagementAdvice

    Consider 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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Opower Response

    May 21, 2014Employer Brand Manager

    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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