Uber’s Corporate Culture

If you think you as a driver have it bad when you contact Uber, you should hear what the people who reply to your emails have to say!  Glassdoor sometimes gives the best insights into a company’s culture that you can get anywhere.

Employees and potential employees can anonymously post their feelings about working for a company or their experience when interviewing for the company.  I spent several hours the other day reading through hundreds of posts on Glassdoor from employees and prospective employees alike, and it was really interesting!

Among my findings, if you want to work for Uber corporate, you better be 1,000% committed.  Every person who interviewed there as well as the people who work there, said that they expect you to work seven days a week for at least 12 hours a day.  They really have no life outside of Uber.  Many of them commented that most of their best friends work for Uber.  A few others said, no doubt because you don’t have time to make friends outside of Uber!  I wonder what Christians and Jews who believe they should take one day a week off to honor God do in a place like this.  Apparently they wouldn’t even be hired if they let it be known they would take a single day off each week.The other interesting finding was that the people who are employed to answer drivers’ emails – mostly seem to work from home.  And when they have a problem they can’t call anybody on the phone either!  They have to email their support just like we have to email them!  Weird.  I don’t know if that should make us feel any better.  I do know there are a ton of driver complaints about the fact that it’s impossible to actually speak to someone at Uber.  And a lot of us feel bad that we never get to meet anyone from Uber.  We know that some of those bad ratings might not be so significant if they could actually meet us and see our cars and see that we’re not doing a bad job.  Maybe it should make us feel a little better knowing that those with whom we email – can’t speak to anyone either – at least we’re all in the same boat.

The main impression I got though was of a company that is growing so rapidly, it’s basically spinning out of control.  They barely have the manpower or the time to take care of all the thousands of problems that arise on a daily basis.  If you think of all the cities they’re fighting around the world just on the legal front, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  One employee said that the problems are multiplying much faster than their ability to control them.  Maybe that should be some small comfort to us drivers who often feel that Uber is grossly mistreating us or making idiotic decisions that are hurting us in the pocketbook.  Apparently they just don’t have the manpower to focus on all our “little” problems.

When you as a driver write to Uber with some pretty intelligent suggestions and you get a cheery but canned response in reply – that’s the sign of a company that just has its hands full with so many other things they don’t even have time to consider your good suggestions.  Personally, when I’ve sent in suggestions, I’ve always gotten a nice and un-canned response.  I can tell the person on the other end of the email actually agrees with me, but is just powerless to do anything about it.  It seems they have so many other fires to put out – they just can’t get around to the “small” things.  But, they should know it’s the small things that make or break a great company.

Now for your reading entertainment, I will post some of the more interesting, yet typical comments about Uber corporate from Glassdoor, along with some photos of Uber’s beautiful corporate offices in San Francisco.

Uber's Glassdoor●  Ask two managers the same thing and you are likely to get two different answers.  In fact, sometimes we can’t even get answers from our managers.  (From a Community Manager – the people who respond to driver emails).

  • No consistency with scheduling or flexibility.
  • There are way too many 12-hour shifts scheduled. This is unacceptable to me. 12-hour shifts should be reserved for those who volunteer and should be rewarded appropriately. If no-one steps up then figure something else out. Scheduling 12-hour shifts shows no regard for the employee.
  • We’re obsessed with Uber – it’s a requirement.
  • Work-life balance is tough, but it’s because everyone loves the cool things they get to do so much that they don’t want to stop doing them.
  • Uber HQ4Advice to Management:  Be more vocal about encouraging us to take time to focus on our health, wellness, and life outside of Uber every once in a while.
  • Comment from a driver:  Accept the fact that the drivers know best. Not you. You are just a over paid dude sitting in a office somewhere. The drivers are the heart of uber, the front line. Do whatever the drivers tell you to do.  (Haha!)
  • On the operations side, there is a kool-aid like culture. Everyone thinks as a collective and rejects any outside thoughts without consideration.

Uber HQ3●  (This is an interesting message and may give drivers some insight into why Uber doesn’t always seem to know what it’s doing):  We’re trying to grow the team as fast as the number of problems we’re facing is growing, but sometimes the latter outpaces the former and the days can get very long.

  • The in-person interview round was about 3 hours long and I met with 4 or 5 people. During this process, they talked a LOT about work-life balance. Basically, they told me that there is none and they wanted to make sure I’d be okay with that. I think this is where the process went downhill, as I Uber HQ2was not willing to commit to a position that required 12 hour days plus weekends and holidays. They also talked a lot about how Uber was their family and they had lost touch with all non-Uber friends. That’s okay for some people, but not for me.  I got the impression that I was not a good fit because I didn’t play organized sports (my interviewer mentioned how they and their team played collegiate sports) and that allowed them to interact better with each other.But the thing that really irked me was that the rejection came in the form of a canned email from noreply@uber.com

  • I’ve been at Uber for about a month now as a customer service rep.  I get to work from home 100% of the time, I pretty much get to make my own schedule, the work is enjoyable, and management rules!  No paid time off, paid holidays, or vacations. Again, one downside to being apart of a brand new team.

    Uber HQ5While Uber is into employee ratings, Glassdoor lets employees rate companies.  Uber’s rating on Glassdoor right now is a miserably low 2.9.  Apparently customers love the drivers a lot more than employees love the company!

4 thoughts on “Uber’s Corporate Culture”

  1. After numerous emails going back and forth about an atroucious rate they emailed me to meet up with someone tomorrow lets see how ot goes

  2. Almost every client I drive nowadays sees what happening to UBER. They see the rates dropping, and along with that, see longer wait times for pick-up and a lowering of the class of drivers. I make no bones about letting them know UBER treats the drivers like crap now versus just a few months ago. They ALL would gladly pay the old rates for the caliber of service UBER provides, while we the drivers take the hit.

    I recently took a couple from Teterboro airport to Park Avenue in Manhattan in the middle of the night, no tip, no assistance with the Lincoln Tunnel toll. Given they just flew in from Miami on a private jet and live on Park Ave, I don’t think these people were exactly on Food Stamps. The fare was a dismal $21.86 !

    And we’re supposed to be enthusiastic about driving nowadays?

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