Design Within Reach

  www.dwr.com
  www.dwr.com

Design Within Reach Reviews

Updated October 10, 2014
Updated October 10, 2014
44 Reviews
2.8
44 Reviews
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John Edelman
24 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Account Executive

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Studio Account Executive in Boulder, CO
    Current Employee - Studio Account Executive in Boulder, CO

    I have been working at Design Within Reach full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great products and brand, despite the clunky name. Now that DWR is owned by Herman Miller our reputation has improved and resources expanded. High standards of service yet not stuffy or boring work environment. Opportunity to become imbedded in the design community through trade outreach and promotional work. Decent pay and generally attainable quotas, although commission pay could always be better.

    Cons

    As a glorified retail store it's a lot of working weekends and empty days in the showroom which grows tiresome. In the smaller studios, you better like the other AE's because you spend way too much time together. Very dated operational system, although it is being upgraded soon. Despite being a shipment based company all deliveries are contracted out, therefore managing delivery experience is inconsistent at best and can be nightmarshly complicated when things go wrong. Virtually unattainable growth goals and cut throat quota requirements will weed out poor sellers and thin-skinned folk quickly, which seems to be the idea.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Loose the sink or swim sales environment and develop a community to slow down the high - turnover in the studios. Treat studios equally despite their sales volume as smaller studios generally feel like the step-children of the larger ones. Give studios more license in merchandising, events and community outreach to achieve goal of being a true design resource and not just a showroom.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    DWR sells great design and that's where the great part ends, for a studio AE.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Studio AE
    Former Employee - Studio AE

    I worked at Design Within Reach full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Customer relationship-building and the designs you sell are great. The assortment and offerings of the company have rebounded well and should continue to shine with the Herman Miller relationship.

    Cons

    Sales team management from the top down is poor. Employee development is not a cultural value here. Double-digit annual goal increases, with goals that change constantly with no warning -- not to mention that this is a full-commission job, where you're pressured to work overtime, to do outside sales constantly and solve customer service nightmares that are ongoing due to the constant turnover in the Operations team. Lots of expectation and very little support. If you are good in sales there are much better environments.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Figure out how to staff Operations with qualified upper management that will stay in their role; hold vendors accountable for poor qc control and shipping issues; let the sales people sell and find a way to deal with customer service out of the studios.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Great company with a good culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Stamford, CT
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Stamford, CT

    I worked at Design Within Reach full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great CEO. Great coworkers. Amazing products.

    Cons

    Like any large in house organization, there are too many opinions and not enough decision makers. Drama makes work a little difficult at times.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Strong leadership with a passion for design

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Inventory in Stamford, CT
    Former Employee - Inventory in Stamford, CT

    I worked at Design Within Reach full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Working at DWR has been one of the best experiences of my life. Strong leadership across all departments, with lots of opportunities for employees to grow. You can tell that both the President and CEO are very passionate and knowledgable about the product. One of the great benefits of working for a company the size of DWR is that you get to work and interact closely with all the other departments. This helps build a great cross functional relationship throughout the entire company.

    Cons

    Nothing negative to say. Enjoyed my experience here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The product and the new Studios look amazing. Keep up the great leadership.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    pretty on the outside, ugly on the inside

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Studio Account Executive
    Former Employee - Studio Account Executive

    I worked at Design Within Reach full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Compensation was respectable, set salary plus commission, which made the environment more curatorial rather than pushy sales.
    Enjoyed sharing history and solutions with clientele.
    Entrepreneurial environment, did not clock in, fill out sales logs, or hard sell.
    Overall one could be authentic.
    A genuine approach led to great sales.

    Cons

    Lack of teamwork and back stabbing.
    Corporate office with no real sense of studio needs, customer service and making things right.
    Extreme passive-aggressive behavior offering help with empty words not action.
    Tone changed to aggressive sales, scripted conversations, sales logs, clocking in.
    Constant restructuring of compensation.
    Overworked and not granted time off.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Perhaps the acquisition by Herman Miller could change the inherent issues and corporate culture.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Great place to learn about design, fast pace, high pressure sales

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Studio Account Executive
    Former Employee - Studio Account Executive

    I worked at Design Within Reach full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Beautiful product and well designed working environment. If you work hard you can advance quickly.

    Cons

    The culture is competitive. Regions fight to get the best sales leading to backstabbing. If you have an experienced manager this is easier to deal with. High turnover.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do not use scare tactics and threaten to fire employees.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Energetic and encouraging workspace

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Web Team in Stamford, CT
    Former Employee - Web Team in Stamford, CT

    I worked at Design Within Reach full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Easy to collaborate with others, exciting new projects, interesting minds to work with

    Cons

    Nothing at all to say

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Best Place I've Ever Worked

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - IT Support in Stamford, CT
    Former Employee - IT Support in Stamford, CT

    I worked at Design Within Reach full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Each department at HQ is run differently, I can't speak for the sales teams (account executives) but life at HQ was great. All the employees are interesting and unique in their own ways, really just a great group of people. I never had any issue with management in my dept but I know other areas weren't so lucky. As a whole the company is newish and open to new ideas, they're not set in their ways and are always looking for ways to improve. The office environment is great, amazing furniture everywhere. The company as a whole is doing amazing, sales goals are almost always exceeded.

    Cons

    I've heard some HR nightmare stories from other employees but as Judge Judy would say "that's heresay" so I won't bother with any details.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Allow remote workers. ;)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    DWR: Just like high school, but somehow much worse

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Studio Operations in Stamford, CT
    Former Employee - Studio Operations in Stamford, CT

    I worked at Design Within Reach full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The only pros at DWR are if you're in the clique that sits together and eats together for lunch. Seriously, this place might as well just have a bell that rings to signal a shift to another area of the building. If you're not in the cool kids group, forget about ever receiving a promotion, being recognized for anything you do or even being acknowledged by the CEO. Management at the top basically just shuffle titles around and look down on anyone who's not a VP. And VPs? There are many!!

    The CEO likes to walk around the office and tell people about his humble beginnings as a "worm farmer" when in reality he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and a compound to call his own.

    Cons

    Everything about working at DWR is a con and that's exactly what it is: A CON! In the interview, they promise the world to candidates, telling them how they promote from within and how it's all about team work etc...Lies. It's all lies. It's all about who you know, who likes you, who likes the shoes you're wearing and where you live. The Human Resources Department is a complete and total joke, run by an overstaffed bunch of women who are their own clique. It's amazing. I had a sexual harassment conflict, told HR about it in confidence. A few days later, they turned around and told me it wasn't harassment at all and to get back to work. The awards they've won are a total sham.

    DWR is a terrible place to work. Do not work there. Even if you don't want to move up and achieve more, you'll be completely miserable there.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Advice? Don't be terrible to the people who work at your company. Show some basic respect and decency. This isn't high school, it's only run like one.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    It's a great way to make sales and meet interesting people, both clients and coworkers.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Account Executive in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Account Executive in New York, NY

    I have been working at Design Within Reach full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Get to design, be creative, make a good salary and meet interesting clients.

    Cons

    You have to work weekends.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Bring more comraderie between studios.

    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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