Babylon Health Employee Reviews about "babylon"

Updated 5 Nov 2020

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2.8
41%
Recommend to a Friend
45%
Approve of CEO
Babylon Health CEO and Founder Ali Parsa
Ali Parsa
251 Ratings
Pros
  • "I have been working for babylon from the beginning , i(in 56 reviews)

  • "Some very interesting, smart people(in 25 reviews)

Cons
  • "I have had no issues since starting at babylon(in 59 reviews)

  • "Women are largely underrepresented in my team (although it is nice to see many women in senior management positions)(in 21 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

Reviews about "babylon"

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  1. Helpful (158)

    "Neutral, depends on a team you join"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Will try to be as neutral as possbile and skip the Cons part and write everything up here. Criteria I will use: Mission, People, Culture, Management, Product, Company Outlook - Mission: without a doubt amazing - People: I'd say lower average bound. Worked with a few really smart engineers, but a lot are just bad/incopetent/slow/unmotivated/political (yes political engineers..) - Culture: relaxed, but I guess depends on the team you're in and how high up in the ranks you exist. Working hour wise, again depends on the team, but really anything goes. I've seen people doing 9-4.30pm without any complaints and those people weren't great performers either - Management: again, depends.. I've seen both, good and bad. I have seen some tech leads that should have been junior/senior engineers and of course the other way around. Same with engineering managers and engineering directors. - Product: I am a bit more opinionated on this topic. I think if all the products were spun up to separate startups only GP at hand would survive, everything else is just not working. Having said that the product suite overall has potential to be great, as it does collect data about your health journey in various stages, ie data collected when you're healthy (health check, monitor), data collected when you're sick (AI, GP at hand) , and with all this data better diagnostics and healthier lifestyle decisions can be made - Company Outlook: this is where I'm the most sceptical. I think Babylon has a valuation of a tech company (it raised 500mln recently) and is valued ~2bn. I would argue that it's not a tech company. First of all, the only product that is great (in my opinion) is GP at hand, which has a high cost base (doctors, support, engineers to support the system), AI/ML stuff just does not work, even though there are smart people working on this. Let's be honest, GP at hand is nothing new - it has been around in the US for some time, it does not change the healthcare experience much (you can get an appointment quicker, but the doctor consultation is also much more limited) thus there's nothing really exciting about the tech. So what we have is a great mission, average people, average culture, average management, weak product and hard times ahead. I cannot be anything, but sceptical about the future of the company. I hope it succeeds because the world needs a better/integrated health care system, will that be Babylon? Time will tell.

    Cons

    Check the Pros section as I like to create my own rules ;)

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  2. Helpful (28)

    "Driven by profits, defensive to feedback, lack of accountability"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Clinical Operations in Vancouver, BC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Babylon Health full-time

    Pros

    - get to work with some great people - opportunity to get an "inside" look at the emerging field of Telehealth - gain experience working in fast-paced "start-up" environment (could be a con for some people) - offers benefits and 4 weeks vacation and competitive wage for entry-level position

    Cons

    - Technology is lacking and not adapted well to the Canadian health care system leading to inefficient processes and delayed delivery of care to patients. - Scaling and expansion continue at rapid rate rather than focusing on improving and fixing the technology, leading to an increase in workload at the expense of employees and patients. - Despite repeated feedback from employees, management often gives the message that "it is what it is" or "we're working on it" but offers little reassurance or transparency in terms of actions being taken to address concerns. Feedback is sometimes met with defensiveness instead of acknowledgment. The company's response to the other Glassdoor review is a good example of how concerns are not really fully addressed. - Management promotes the message that working hard and taking on extra tasks will lead to further opportunities but when it comes to giving actual promotions, the hiring team is quick to tell you that the credentials listed on your resume (i.e. external experience) are what it takes to "meet the company needs" rather than proven internal experience and performance. Moving up in this company can feel like a moving target to those hoping to grow their career at Babylon and leaves hard-working employees feeling used. - Solutions to tackle high workload and backlog of patient care related tasks put forth by management often involve increased monitoring rather than steps to address employee stress/burnout and patient safety, ultimately leading to further stress and a feeling of not being valued as individual employees. - Many (entry-level) employees feel overworked, under-appreciated and their feedback discounted. Management tries to address these concerns with occasional words of appreciation/encouragement but it has come to a point where employees need to see real action and not empty words. ***Most importantly, acts of workplace racism, harassment, and bullying are not met with proper action. Rather than applying company policy, professionalism, and proper research on reducing harm to victims and increasing workplace safety, they have deflected blame and allowed personal relationships to bias their decision-making in these matters. They have not taken appropriate steps to ensure victims and witnesses of workplace bullying and harassment feel safe at work and have also not taken steps to ensure such behaviors will not happen again, resulting in severe negative impact to those affected.

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  3. Helpful (34)

    "Was in the lead but now being caught"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Babylon Health full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Healthcare is a place to be AI is a significant the part of the future. There some very intelligent people working at Babylon. Good if you are in the USA

    Cons

    This is a healthcare company that moved into technology and is now moving back into mainstream healthcare with some technology. It is therefore loosing its differentiator. The Product area has been chaotic. The price is very high The operational focus is switching to the USA. Starting to place all its bets on a few contracts. A lot of time is spent on systems to care about people , the right words follow and then nothing changes.

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  4. Helpful (39)

    "I had a mostly good experience, but there are some deep flaws in product direction"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in London, England
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    * Great colleagues on the engineering side: friendly and talented (at least it was the case in my team and tribe, other tribes may vary) * Good office perks (when offices were still a thing...) * 10% Time Initiative to learn some new skills or work on side projects once every two weeks (doesn't apply to all tribes/teams) * One of the best missions in any tech company: To bring affordable healthcare to anyone in the world. You can't beat that. Unfortunately good intentions alone don't cut it, you need the leadership talent and strategic competence (seen cons)

    Cons

    * The project our team was working on was shelved after 6-months of development. - The above seems to be a common and reoccurring pattern in the company across many tribes. Priorities and strategic vision changes all too often, and then projects get cancelled, lose focus, or are released but never get much traction. I would say all the above is indicative of: * The Product and Leadership team can't figure out what products to make. This is something that was echoed in many other reviews too. Now, I understand that when you are trying to innovate and heavily disrupt, not all ideas work out, but at Babylon it's on another level. Bad project ideas get throw around, and somehow they never get challenged. AI and ML is touted as magical tool that will create amazing things/ You can see this in earlier promo videos of the company, including talks by the CEO Ali, as well as some internal demos. - In the most recent re-org it seems finally that the aspirations of AI was toned down and is no longer seen as silver bullet, but I'm not sure the fundamental problem has been solved: that product team is talented and honest enough to come up with truly disruptive and impactful ideas. * The company has (amongst others) the values of "Be Brilliant" and "Be Kind", which believe the CEO Ali came up with. They are both great, but I fear the "Be Kind" motto is overplayed a bit in order to avoid valid criticism. So often the past mistakes of the company are not honestly admitted, and therefore not reflected upon and little is learnt.

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  5. Helpful (29)

    "The next Theranos/WeWork?"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Babylon Health full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    There are kind, smart and hardworking people here, but they are like frogs in a slow boiling pot of water and cannot see how bad this working environment has become.

    Cons

    I left Babylon after less than a year because I couldn't stand the insane and toxic work environment for under market pay and benefits. For context, I have never worked at a company for less than 5 years... My last company was a very successful start-up, so I can handle a disorganized org that needs people to roll up their sleeves and do the hard work. This was anything but a good challenge. The benefits are basically nonexistent. There is no bonus program, so your salary is the only comp you will get for the year and there is no additional compensation for top performers. There is also no formal review process so the only way you can get a raise is threaten to quit unless they pay you more. Their health care benefits are so expensive ($2k/month for a small family) that many employees opted to be uninsured. The company has no vision or business strategy. Many of the people who run the company have nepotistic relationships with the CEO (family members, former coworkers, former nanny for his children!). They are overpaid and under-qualified. This company is the most political and toxic place I have ever worked. I was being actively bullied by a VP. She spent working hours scheduling 1:1s with colleagues with the sole intent to badmouth me. When these colleagues came to me to report these incidents, because she was saying such atrocious things about me that they were made uncomfortable, I reported it to HR and they did next to nothing. Why? Because this person has a close personal relationship with the CEO. What was my crime? Who knows! I wanted post mortems when launches failed (and every single one did!). That was somehow seen as a personal attack and resulted in a vendetta. The CEO is actively looking for an exit event and therefore does not care about improving anything within the organization. He even knew about my bully incidents (because my manager told him) and he did nothing. There is also a total lack of transparency. Babylon lost valuation during the time I was employed there and no one said a word. Not to mention, the contracts we have with clients are leaving us bleeding cash in every state we launch in. Almost none of them are profitable or have a path to profitability. There is also bound to be some catastrophic regulatory or compliance incident here as there is no clinical oversight. Want to schedule back-to-back consults with a clinician to drug shop and get the same prescription from multiple doctors? You can absolutely do that, because there is nothing before, during, or after the consult to stop you. Want a Schedule II drug? The clinicians aren't supposed to prescribe these, but there is nothing to stop them. If Babylon was bigger in the US, TechCrunch or another tech publication would tear this place apart as it's on track to be the next Theranos or WeWork. I have never been happier than the day I gave my notice and I will look back on this time as part of the dark cloud that was 2020.

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  6. COVID-19
    Helpful (40)

    "It really depends on the team you join"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    I believe all the bad reviews about Babylon are genuine, but for me the feelings are mixed. 1. My tribe leader and line managers are really nice person and all my colleagues in the team are extremely smart and it was a pleasure working with them. 2. People really want to make a difference and help the healthcare system to improve. 3. In my opinion the work in Rwanda is amazing.

    Cons

    1. I was paid below the average market salary and career progression is really slow. 2. You have to do all the learning yourself as there is no systematic learning platform like a lot of the big companies have. 3. Somtimes it's a nightmare talking with people from other tribes because of a lack of coordination. 4. Management tends to ignore brilliant ideas from the research people, Babylon used to be an AI-driven company, but not anymore in my opinion. 5. It's a shame watching people being furloughed in the name of COVID when in fact they just want to get rid of people

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  7. Helpful (49)

    "So much potential, so many bad decisions"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Babylon Health full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Babylon used to be an exciting place. During my first year there was a culture of experimentation, people were encouraged to try novel solutions and embrace failure, the BBC was always around with their cameras, things were happening fast. People really believed the company could go far and change the world. Lots of the employees (or at this point former employees) decided to join Babylon because they wanted to improve healthcare. I worked with talented engineers that could have been paid more and be more comfortable elsewhere but prioritise their morals and beliefs. Ali truly believes in the mission, I'm certain the one thing he wants to achieve is to make an impact and make healthcare better. Data protection is so important in the company it's almost immobilising (the company would rather not do anything with the data than potentially misusing it)

    Cons

    At some point the company had to make the jump and went through a period of hyperinflation where the crucial decisions were made by people that weren’t qualified enough. Most reviews are spot on, there’s lots of politics happening, there's no stability (office space constantly changes, but no real investments have ever been made there), promotions are arbitrary, there’s no career progression. There are no perks, people are supposed to show up and do their jobs with no regard for personal growth. Responsibility is fully centralised, even the smaller expenses go through a ridiculous chain of approvals. Basically all the acknowledged good practices to run tech companies are reversed at Babylon. In general it feels like the whole company is run by inexperienced people who are good at projecting confidence or that know how to get to the right ear. They’d pick a book, a trend, or a blog post and make it into the top priority or the buzzword of the month. It's incredible that in a company like Babylon people with experience in things like telemedicine, data privacy, health data, or health economics are not around or have been driven away over the last year. Instead of hiring the very best in those areas, crucial positions were filled with what was available and the strategy was to just throw people and money at problems.

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  8. Helpful (76)

    "Started off nice then went downhill"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Engineer in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Babylon Health full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great tech stack, you get to work with the latest technologies and concepts, everybody is very knowledgeable and nice and eager to help, you get to learn a lot from your peers. Management, at least for our team, was one of the best I ever had. One big pro is that adding this company to your profile manages to give you some cool points in the recruiting world, as Babylon used to be known at some point to hire only top talent.

    Cons

    I have read some of the other reviews here, I have somehow managed to shield myself from the toxicity, so I will not pass judgement on that in this review, I will refer strictly to personal experience. Really bad at organising work, I often found myself sitting on my hands and when I pointed that out was only told that yeah we'll look into it and that was it. There was an aggresive hiring campaign in our team at least that I think was completely unnecessary, we could have very well done what we had to with the people we had, if they'd have been managed better. Everything is wraped in buzzwords. People like to talk about work more than doing actual work. Priorities change often and sudden, no calrity to what you're supposed to do or to what end. Watching the CEO during the standups is a cringe worthy experience as all his speaches are a chain of buzzwords and in the everything is awesome style. All the talk about caring for their employees goes up in smoke when they just tell you hey you're not going to work anymore from tomorrow. Complete lack of transparency in this matter as well, people had to insist on getting details. Looking at how this company is bleeding talented people and money, and topped with the utter lack of consideration for it's employees, I don't see any valid reason why anyone would want to work here anymore.

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  9. Helpful (94)

    "5 restructures in 10 months!"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Product Designer in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - The whole design team is really supportive and helps each other out - The misson is great—it's the reason most people are there

    Cons

    - Team resources and structures that were promised in my interview never ever materialised - "Chaos" is how I would describe my first impression when starting and it only slightly improved in the time I was there - The team I was in was in a forgotten limbo-state in every restructure of the org - Overpromising and then never delivering seemed to be part of the Babylon experience for me—though other people seemed to have the opposite of what I experienced - Any negative PR was swept under the carpet and never confronted internally (or publicly) by leadership

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  10. Helpful (48)

    "Not the best time to join the company"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    1)It is a job 2)It is a well-known company in the UK

    Cons

    1) Very messy organization, directions and plans are changing every month. The same thing is with the Tribe Leads and team leads. Teams are being moved between tribes. It is such a nervous atmosphere that it is really difficult to concentrate on duties and you always think about what the company will do next (fire another lead, close the project or change the office location again). It is impossible to plan any strategy inside the company and you have to manage your frustration. We had 5 reorganizations in a year. All in all, a lot of chaos and a frustrating environment. 2) Fired people are disappearing without a goodbye. It looks like a horror film. For example, I had a chat with one of the managers, and the next day he disappeared, he stopped answering emails and slack messages. All evidence of his existence in office disappeared like it was just a dream. And people stopped talking about him. 3) The software engineering here could be quite simple. If you have more than 2 years of experience it could be just a waste of time in the majority of teams. Also, It is not a startup anymore. The speed of work is pretty slow. 4) There are a lot of team leads for whom it is the first time to run the team. It is not bad and they are good engineers and nice people but not always fantastic managers. All in all, you can join Babylon Health if it is your first/second job but be ready to deal with mess and frustration. Be ready that every month something new will happen, and normally it won’t be something positive. All my colleagues, who are my friends, are looking for a new job and lining for interviews.

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