Design Within Reach Reviews | Glassdoor

Design Within Reach Reviews

Updated May 23, 2018
114 reviews

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3.0
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John Edelman
64 Ratings

114 Employee Reviews

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Pros
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. Featured Review

    "Best in retail furniture and design."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Bright, well designed and spacious showroom containing the most amazing modern design. Excellent earning potential, if you have drive, design and people skills the commission can be substantial.
    Each location has a manager, team lead and multiple 'Account Executives' all of which are sales driven commissioned employees, plus in most locations non commissioned selling assistants. As with all work teams there can be competition for clients and the occasional issue with coworkers, but overall the structure functions very well.
    Most modern design showrooms are hidden away in off the grid locations, DWR has remodeled and moved it's to high traffic retail centers giving you plenty of incoming clients. DWR is not like other center based furniture sellers in that there are only full time employees, no stockrooms and more limited hours.
    Frequent promotions always give you another reason to talk to clients or reach back out to past purchasers.
    DWR has the best medical, dental and vision insurance, it's definitely a plus - best medical insurance I have ever had. Great vacation and sick time too.
    If you are not the person who can talk to 20 people a day, always engage customers or drive yourself to achieve sales goals DWR is not for you. Sales goals are discussed daily and there is always a drive to sell more. But knowing that you have to sell and achieve goals is totally worth it, it's a great work/life balance.

    Cons

    Delivery cost for customers is higher than competitors. Corporate office is slow to respond to issues.


  2. "DWR is a swanky organization with cool top line management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Design Within Reach full-time

    Pros

    Great environment, awesome product. A lot of opportunities for growth and advancement. Promotes learning.

    Cons

    unlimited PTO would be nice :)

  3. "Good Place"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Design Within Reach full-time

    Pros

    The company is on it's way internally to becoming a great place to work. The environment is friendly and welcoming. The CEO and CFO work well together and it shows in how they interact with employees. They are passionate about the company and the success that it will have in the future. Great employee discount and employees sales throughout the year.

    Cons

    A few things need to be worked on. There is very limited communication from departments that should be working together.
    Staffing is another issue, each department likes to use the "we are shorted staffed" excuse, I understand payroll is a concern but overworking your employees should be more of a concern if you are looking at employee retention.
    Pay is okay, I would say average but could be better
    It would be nice to see the company give back, host fundraisers or sponsor events that help the community , if we currently do that it is not known throughout the company


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Honesty is the best policy"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    -You get a paycheck
    -Made some friends while there
    -Occasionally have decent employee sales
    -There are a few solid, hard-working employees that inspire you to do better

    Cons

    Is there a maximum word count in this section? Might need all of the space and then some. Feel free to take this review with a grain of salt, but I have no reason to be untruthful with my experiences. I left the company on my own after deciding this was not a place I believed in, nor would tolerate any longer. I would hope that no one else is subjected to what myself and fellow colleagues have gone through while employed here.

    If you aren't good at what you do, constantly throw people under the bus, and accuse employees of lying to cover up your mistakes and inadequacies...then this is the perfect place for you! If not, don't even consider working here, it's not worth years being taken off of your life for dealing with the unreal amount of childish, unethical behavior that is allowed AND tolerated at Design Within Reach.

    Never in my life have I seen so many unqualified people rise to manager level or above and then force their subordinates (not colleagues as you would think of a company as a team and not an incompetent oligarchy) to bend to their petty, power-tripping wills or be written up for trying to be a reasonable, responsible employee. I'd say maybe 10-15% of the employees that are manager or above are actually great people. They are the only saving graces that allowed me to endure my tenure there.

    People that deserve these roles were told they were never "manager material" yet somehow are expected to act as managers anyway due to their wealth of knowledge, ability to get the job done, and considerate treatment of others. I'm no longer there and command more respect still than most of the management team currently (or ever will). This tells you more than it should about the morale of the current employees and their views on their "leaders".

    Also, the reps (Account Executives) are another group of abhorrent people that think they run this organization. Must be nice to be able to speak down to employees, curse them out, yell, kick, cry, scream to get your way and have it be acceptable behavior while the HQ employees are reprimanded for just doing their jobs. But again, it's tolerated and allowed by the incompetent management/executive team so it's become a sad way of life for people there that will never change.

    Advice to Management

    Stop...just stop. There are a handful of you that are worth your weight and respected. The rest of you need to just go away. It is unreal to have seen the disgraceful behavior and lack of appreciation/recognition to the employees that work tirelessly day in-day out and are treated horribly.

    Speaking of unethical behavior, by reading the negative reviews on Glassdoor, management begged their new employees to write some really positive reviews to bury the negative ones. Yes, true story on this. Guys, that is a really desperate plea to make you look better. But ignoring actual problems is what you do best so keep on, keeping on with that and you'll lose every worthwhile employee you have.


  5. "Special Projects Assistant - Temp"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Stamford, CT
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Stamford, CT
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Free lunch, Nice office, Nice people but a little to themselves so I.T was hard to meet people besides the temps and teams I worked with.

    Cons

    None really. Wasn't there long enough


  6. "Not bad but not like it used to be."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Executive
    Current Employee - Account Executive
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    If you love modern furniture, this is among the best because there are many reputable furniture brands.

    Cons

    Recent pay restructure in CA is not beneficial to most Account Executives. Only to those that sell the most. Not sure if they are rolling it out to the entire country next year but I wouldn't be surprised. The pay is still good/decent for furniture sales but it usually takes 3-6 months before new employees see some good commission.

    Advice to Management

    Stop cutting corners. There have been a lot of big changes in the past year to save the company money and it's having a negative impact on AE's and customer service, which is not going to be good for DWR in the long run. Management, you know what those are...


  7. "Great place to work!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Design Within Reach full-time

    Pros

    I work in the corporate office so this review is focused towards that but from my perspective, the biggest positive is that the day to day business has a "small business" feel and really creative energy. It's not unrealistic for an associate or manager level employee to be involved with and have a voice in process improvements. Another pro is that I have had great work/life balance here compared to other places that I have worked. Finally, being that the company on the smaller side, it's not unusual to interact with c-level executives no matter what your title is.

    Cons

    DWR is still figuring out what the relationship with Herman Miller looks like. Not necessarily a con, just something that isn't as clear yet as it could be.

  8. Helpful (4)

    "Why The Angry Reviews"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Executive
    Current Employee - Account Executive
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    This place is amazing, every day I get to show up and work in one of the most beautiful stores in the country if not the world. I get to passionately tell the history of pieces created by epic designers as well as the stories of designers new. Each day I get new customers and old customers alike emailing me or visiting the store to see what new items have been introduced to the assortment. My work can be challenging at times but that is why I love it, and I have felt nothing but support from managers and executives. The CEO is motivating, he drives excitement for the brand in a way I have never seen before. All in all, hands down this is the best company I have worked for.

    Cons

    I just wish Design Within Reach was an international brand, oh and I would also say that explaining the name does get a bit old. It's not like you can change that though, and I think there is something kinda special about getting to explain the story of how we came to be a company to each customer. (I guess I am a history buff)

    Advice to Management

    Ignore the other comments, those are just naysayers who are angry and keep growing the business and the brand and bringing design within the reach of all!


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Discrimination Within Reach"

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

    I worked at Design Within Reach full-time

    Pros

    $4000 chairs? Atrocious corporate office?

    Cons

    Quite possibly the single worst company any self respecting human being could ever work for. I have personally seen just how corrosive of an environment this place is as a former employee. Organizational culture promotes white dominance. Senior managers openly discriminate against minorities for all to see. DWR literally creates useless positions for the sole purpose of filling them with a minority just to fulfill diversity quotas! These positions have no real power whatsoever, resulting in an employee who to them is nothing more than a racialized prop! This insidious politicization of anyone who is not white is DWR's strategy for appearing to be diverse and inclusive, which it is not! Horrible, unethical company!

    Advice to Management

    Realize just how expensive your heinous practices of discrimination could be for you. Take some sort of diversity training and read up on employment law because you could soon be finding yourselves getting tied up in serious litigation

    Design Within Reach Response

    Apr 11, 2018 – Talent Acquisition Associate

    At Design Within Reach, we take our commitment to diversity and inclusion very seriously and have a strict anti-discrimination policy and complaint procedure in place. It is also our policy to... More


  10. Helpful (5)

    "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.


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