Design Within Reach Reviews | Glassdoor

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Design Within Reach Reviews

Updated February 15, 2018
105 reviews

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2.3
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John Edelman
57 Ratings

105 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Really good day-to-day work environment, team, organizational structure (in 10 reviews)

  • Owned by Herman Miller, so great financial backing (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • Constant issues with customer service and shipping/delivery (in 9 reviews)

  • The executive team is oblivious to the needs of their workers, which leads to the high turnover rate (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Design Within Reach full-time

    Pros

    Great company, especially after the Herman Miller acquisition

    Cons

    Bonuses are hard to come by


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Get out while you can"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Assistant
    Current Employee - Sales Assistant
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Design Within Reach full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Beautiful products and lots to choose from

    Cons

    Management is non-responsive to the concerns of their employees; they play hot potato with any sort of client or facility issue and end up dumping the problems back onto AE’s or SA’s that do not have the power to resolve the issue. Because there is no real customer service center, all client issues are brought to the showrooms even if the product was purchased online; clients end up getting irate with the AE’s because they do not understand that the AE’s are simply the middle man. Upper management refuses to acknowledge any negatives within the company and does not want to discuss any issues, often drawing things out for months before they are resolved. Management also plays favorites and does not trust or respect their employees, often talking down to us and choosing to micro-manage instead of doing their own jobs. Management does not take responsibility for any damage they cause to clients’ homes, and are more focused on trying to get new clients than keeping the old ones. There is only one headquarters and it is on the east coast, which means that after 2:00pm and on the weekends, the west coast is unable to get an answer from he ops team for an angry client, nor even contact the IT deparment in an emergency. There is no structure within the showrooms which causes a lot of issues between AE’s as well as SA’s because lazy AE’s tend to think that the sales assistants will sell for them. Additionally, the pay rate is incredibly low compared to similar companies, and the commission is only available for the AE’s, which is demotivating when an SA happens to make a sale but is given none of the benefits. There is no guideline on how or when to split commission, and the commission rate for the AE’s is so low that it creates a cut-throat atmosphere that does not allow for any sort of team spirit to exist. Management sets sales goals that are unfairly inflated in select locations and subsequently denies the inflation even though it is obvious to all of the employees. If you want to be respected and fairly compensated for the work you do, this is not the place.

    Advice to Management

    Respect your employees and respect your existing clients; the issue does not lie with the AE’s and the showrooms, they sell fine, it is the follow up that is atrocious. Spend less money hiring assistants and salespeople for showrooms that don’t need it and instead spend money hiring more people for the operations department so you can keep the clients you have. Decrease the number of sales and increase the depth of the discounts; sales that are constant and only 2 weeks apart from each other decrease clients’ sense of urgency and create unreasonable sales expectations for AE’s. Start actually rewarding your AE’s for their efforts and stop demanding more when they have already met or exceeded their goals - this is extremely demotivating and causes AE’s to not care about making their goal if they know nothing they do will ever be good enough. If you are going to give your showrooms the responsiblity of customer service, give them the power to actually help the clients so that issues can be resolved in a timely manner and the client can have a good experience. The bureaucracy that you have created only serves to frustrate both your clients and your employees. Look at the turnover rate of your employees and take some responsibility for the myriad of issues that this company has.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "HORRENDOUS FROM TOP TO BOTTOM"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Design Within Reach full-time

    Pros

    Nice furniture, good looking studios

    Cons

    All that glitters most certainly is NOT, I repeat, NOT gold! That is the biggest takeaway I got from working here that I can share with you all. If you are thinking you will do anything remotely creative or having to do with "design" working in one of their studios, I will tell you you are terribly mistaken. If you think your seemingly "friendly" employees and management and HR people wish you well, I can tell you you are ABSOLUTELY MISTAKEN and will sooner or later be in for a rude awakening! These people are the most deceitful, backstabbing people I have ever had the displeasure of working with! Gossip, evasiveness and shadiness seem to be their cultural values as a company. How they manage to still be in business with all of their lawsuits and pending litigation is beyond me

    Advice to Management

    You are NOT doing anything innovative, you are merely sellers of furniture, no more skilled than the guy working at McDonald's. Stop creating workplace drama. Treat your employees with respect otherwise your already high turnover rate will continue to rise and ultimately drive you all out of business


  4. Helpful (6)

    "Elitist /Toxic/Disgusting"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Stamford, CT
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Stamford, CT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Design Within Reach (More than a year)

    Pros

    Cool furniture to look at...

    Cons

    Horrendous management. Zero checks and balances. Understaffed. Lacks self-awareness as a brand. Lacks diversity in choosing designers to collaborate with. Extremely micro-managed. Lacks trust in their employee's skills and talents. Does not provide a work environment that gives employees the opportunity to do what they are good at and hired to do. No opportunities to grow professionally. Plays favorites and likes to phase out employees they don't like. Fifthly, unclean office. Does NOT recycle.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Catastrophe"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Executive
    Former Employee - Account Executive
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Design Within Reach full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Best product/design in the world, connections to designers, employee discounts

    Cons

    You. simply. cannot. trust. anyone. Managers are so focused on petty things which creates gossip and toxic environment- customers pick up on that and leave. Mall traffic is a complete waste- corporate definitely picked the wrong location for such a beautiful store. Pay is abysmal, O.K. benefits, no 401k match. You are essentially just a #.

    Advice to Management

    Stop trying to be everyone's friend/have team meetings about core values and then two minutes later aggressively confront an AE in front of the entire staff. There is absolutely no structure to this company and as a result the store is failing (not positive, but reality). They will promise you XYZ in the beginning, but you will barely make X. Don't get sucked into the beauty of this store since most things are on the outside, but rotten on the inside. There are thousands of other (retail) companies that treat + pay employees a living wage.


  6. "sales associate"

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

    I worked at Design Within Reach part-time

    Pros

    all good. professional work setting.

    Cons

    Increase in hourly rates could be improved.


  7. "meh."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Design Within Reach full-time

    Pros

    You get to work with and be surrounded by great iconic pieces. Learn a lot about design. Great to work with interior designers and architects as clients.

    Cons

    Shipping is horrible. Careless and creates bigger issues for us in Studio with the clients.
    Zero communication from management and above.
    Every man for themself. No team effort.

    Advice to Management

    Don't be so dismissive of your staff. Be Respectful
    Upper management is rude. Constantly talking down to you. Get off your high horses.
    Take a course on good management and communication
    CEO needs to check his ego at the door.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Account Executive"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Executive
    Former Employee - Account Executive
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Design Within Reach full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Access to some of the best product in the industry, beautiful workplace, one stop shop to many brands is attractive to the customer

    Cons

    Horrible commission, lack of diversity in some markets (racially), lack of good training, favoritism

    Advice to Management

    Respect your staff as they get you the results needed to make bonus, come up with a better new hire training, hire better qualified leadership


  9. "Sales Assistant Review"

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

    I have been working at Design Within Reach full-time

    Pros

    There seem to be a lot of opportunities to advance within the company.

    Cons

    The benefits and starting salaries are not very high.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Account Executive"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Executive in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Account Executive in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Design Within Reach full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Beautiful product (at a high price point). If your lucky the people you work with day to day are pleasant.

    Cons

    Customer Service/Delivery Issues are out of control (the biggest problem on a long list of issues). Competitive, cut-throat atmosphere between Account Executives in studios, and also between locations (seriously, the pay structure needs to be rethought). Complete disconnect between Studios and corporate (they only care what top sellers have to say). Lengthened chain of command, often waiting more than 24 hours for answers from corporate/different departments (and when you do get an answer, its often one word answers that require additional clarification). Weekends are mandatory (you live in fear of missing out on sales, use your time off wisely). Unrealistic expectation that sales people should be checking their emails regularly on days off and often asked to be flexible with schedule to work 10+ hour shifts for big sales. Elitist attitude, company wide. Favoritism. Consistent hiring of people for managerial positions that are not truly qualified (I have worked in multiple locations and this is an on going trend). It should really be a red flag that there are job postings for all levels and in all locations.

    Advice to Management

    Spend a day (an entire day) on the sales floor and refresh your memory on what its actually like. Stop pointing fingers and your sales people and start looking at what you can do to improve the company's performance.


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