OfficeMax Reviews

Updated September 18, 2014
Updated September 18, 2014
1,000 Reviews
2.8
1,000 Reviews
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Roland Smith
107 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The work-life balance changed with the season (in 25 reviews)

  • Most of the associates that you work with are fun to work around (in 15 reviews)


Cons
  • Naperville HQ closing as position relocate to new Office Depot Office Max HR in Boca Raton (in 38 reviews)

  • During that period the number of upper management roles continued to grow (in 36 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Very Top Heavy Organization That Underachieved

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Account Executive  in  Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Houston, TX

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

    Pros

    Customer centric organization and dedicated to adding new product lines.

    Cons

    First of all legacy OfficeMax was an extremely top heavy organization, and this type of structure existed at the expense of the lower third of the company. Valuable resources and support that was needed by the "lower third" was removed over the years and several tasks were pushed back on those associates which made for a high stress and poor work/life balance situation. During that period the number of upper management roles continued to grow. For example....there was a glut of sales VPs for contract, middle market, business development, and adjacency categories. The rich only got richer and that was a shame for the aspiring lower third and also the investors. Classic example of "too many chiefs and not enough Indians". The blame for this falls squarely at the feet of Ravi Saligram, for he was the CEO as this poor practice continued. The results during his tenure were very much a letdown.

    Also there was always a question as to whether or not several of these directors and VPs were qualified leaders of people. The results often pointed to mediocrity as you had high turnover in certain regions and dissatisfaction with the overall direction of the company. Not all of the upper management engaged in this destructive type of behavior, but there was enough.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Going forward I would hope that the new Office Depot runs a leaner upper management team, and dedicate resources and support to that lower third of the company. The industry is not one of growth and high margins so therefore you don't need a glut of upper management plundering the company. Strong words are being used here, but the legacy OfficeMax management should be ashamed for how they ineffectively managed that company and enriched themselves in process.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Very poor working atmosphere

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

    I worked at OfficeMax full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    They pay ok; but money isn't everything

    Cons

    entire staff is micromanaged and no appreciation

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to "associates" supervisors and managers are clueless

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    This Company Is Such A Mess

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager  in  DFW, TX
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager in DFW, TX

    I worked at OfficeMax full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    There are not many positives about this company. But if I were forced to name one or two, it would be the opportunity to learn about new and outdated technologies, and how to become a MASTER multi-tasker.

    Cons

    Customers are rude, cheap, obnoxious, and in a hurry. And things just tend to go south when they have low quality sales associates pushing warranties and other garbage onto them. Then they have to wait in line to get checked out by a cashier that is going to be asking them 15 questions about a rewards card, warranties, pc checkup, credit card app, etc... Then finally ring the customer up on the slowest POS systems on planet earth. It's a real joke.

    The store managers in this company are not very good at all. They are average at best. I really don't think that very many of them would last a month as an ASM in a high volume big box retailer. Are you starting to realize why this company had to merge? Weak leadership kills businesses.

    The business model is one of the worst I have ever seen. They focus so much time and effort on warranties, but the fact is that a typical store averages anywhere from $40,000 - $60,000 per year in total dollar amount of warranties sold. Half of that amount is profit. So why focus so much time and attention and man hours on a category that is only earning you $20,000 - $30,000 per year? It's not worth it. Plus, all they are really doing by pushing warranties so hard is DETERRING customers from buying. Customers get so sick and tired of having warranties pushed onto them that they just go somewhere else or just buy online.

    A much better business model would be to focus on VOLUME of units sold instead of trying to push add-on's and warranties and silly services that people will never buy.

    This company also has a big problem with meaningless workplace politics and brown nosing. There are supposedly laws and employee rights that protect from being bullied or backstabbed by upper management and your peers, but I guess that this is not the case in this company. Instead of having store managers that are educated and understand how to run a great business, you have self taught individuals that spend every single day fearing for their jobs just because they have a rockstar on their team. They lack the understanding that as a leader, their job is to EMPOWER every single person under them to be BETTER than they are. Train them all to be world class employees that have the flexibility and authority to do whatever it takes to make a customer happy without having to ask for approval from management. When you keep your people on a leash, they are going to act like wild dogs. And that is exactly what is wrong with this company.

    The most valuable employee in the world is NOT the person that can do the job of 3 people. Instead the most valuable employee in the world is someone that is a Leader and understands that his/her worth is PRICELESS when they have the rare ability to TRAIN others to be ROCKSTARS. A team of 20 well trained, engaged, motivated, energized, and HAPPY employees will ALWAYS whip the pants off that one person who thinks they can move mountains by themselves.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do full day visits to your stores and really dig in and find out the root causes to all of this FAILING that has been going on for years and years. It is NOT because of a down economy or a dying office supply industry. That is all just playing the blame game and accepting mediocrity. And this merger alone will NOT fix anything. Office Depot has just as many or more problems as OMX. There needs to be a major overhaul happening with this company. The business model needs to be x-rayed and dissected and redesigned.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    On the way out

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

    I worked at OfficeMax full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Meeting people
    Work flexibility
    Autonomy
    Sales trips
    CEOs jokes

    Cons

    Non-competitive pricing, Service, Management, Loyalty, Career opportunities, Pay, Leadership

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Leverage pricing now with merger of OfficeDepot

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Frustrated

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Operations Supervisor
    Current Employee - Operations Supervisor

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

    Pros

    it's a job, I don't have anything else

    Cons

    horrible morale, HR does nothing when theres an issue, unknown status with merger, too much micromanagement, horrible pay, horrible hours

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Do NOT trust this company with your future!!!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Specialist (Key Holder)
    Former Employee - Sales Specialist (Key Holder)

    I worked at OfficeMax full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Flexible schedule, relatively average market pay.

    Cons

    EXTREMELY unrealistic expectations, such as growing sales during a down economy. Too high a variety of expectations, many of which you cannot control, and are counter to each other. Extremely thin staffing (Sometimes as few as 3 in the building, with a building that big!)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Streamline the process. Alot. Maybe rate a store's MARGIN percentage higher then gross sales (laughable policy, seriously.) Don't lay off employees who were loyal for years just because they are near the top of their pay bracket.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Company and Upper Level Management all over the place

    Current Employee - Operations Supervisor
    Current Employee - Operations Supervisor

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

    Pros

    Most of the associates that you work with are fun to work around. SOME of the store management can be good to get along with

    Cons

    You pretty much have to have an "in" with Loss Prevention and Human Resources. If one of them do not like you, you get head hunted. They just merged with OfficeDepot which is going to tear OfficeMax to shreds. The systems and processes are so outdated, by years. No real raises besides what you sell on warranties. Which is like 10 cents.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Care about your employees and don't always be out to get them

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Work hard for zero rewards and recognition

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Miami, FL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Miami, FL

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

    Pros

    Great coworkers, learned a lot about technology

    Cons

    Very minimal pay, the lowest they are legally allowed to pay, no raises or bonuses, micromanagement to the extreme. The managers sit in the office on the phone while everyone else does the work. There is absolutely zero socialization or talking allowed between coworkers. The company only cares if you sell the store extended warranties and computer services, if not, then you are a worthless associate. If you do sell them though, you can do whatever you please in the store because you are king. District management and senior management have no clue how a store functions, only from what they see behind their desks. They want to please customers so much to the point of bending policies, and figuratively slapping their associates in the face. I really have nothing good to say about this company. It is awful.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Care more about your associates, because they are the ones who keep your store running. Not you, not the managers. Additionally, learn what is really important to your customers, not what you think the company should move towards.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Greedy Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at OfficeMax full-time

    Pros

    Excellent Internal Communication. Great core management staff.

    Cons

    Company as a whole is greedy. Offers a too many services without the proper infrastructure to properly support them. Operates on very small budgeted employee work hours within stores, causing work overload for staff and less than optimal service for customers.
    Cuts employee hours to make up for poor financial projections. (Opening on Thanksgiving night as if they're able to compete with large retailers such as Wal-Mart and Best Buy.) Pay is very low for work performed. Commissions are a joke. Technology offered for sale and use within facilities are years behind.

    Doesn't Recommend
  11.  

    Disorganization at its best.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Category Manager  in  Naperville, IL
    Current Employee - Category Manager in Naperville, IL

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

    Pros

    Tremendous opportunity for an ambitious individual and now with the merger, for the company as a whole.

    Cons

    Very "silo'd" environment with too many conflicting views from senior leadership. These conflicting views never allow for end result realization and forces a continuing spiral of re-work with no conclusion.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Realize the overall potential of company and empower those with proven experience to meaningfully contribute.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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