Williams-Sonoma Reviews in San Francisco, CA | Glassdoor

Williams-Sonoma San Francisco Reviews

Updated November 20, 2017
311 reviews

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San Francisco, CA Area

311 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Work life balance needs improvement (in 64 reviews)

  • A lot of work, the pay doesn't cover how much the upper management requires of you (in 81 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (6)

    "Reality check needed"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Buyer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Buyer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Fair pay, good benefits, nice work environment/office

    Cons

    horrible bureaucracy, long hours,

    Advice to Management

    reality check needed- we make pretty product, we are not curing cancer!


  2. "designer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    great community great opportunities every day to contribute

    Cons

    small team for the work expected

  3. "Product Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Senior IT Product Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Senior IT Product Manager in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma (More than a year)

    Pros

    Nice place to work in SFO

    Cons

    Commute is bad from South Bay


  4. Helpful (20)

    "Run... Far, far away"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Information Technology in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Information Technology in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    None. Aside from meeting a handful (as in you can literally count them in several fingers) of quality folks who were innocently caught up in this web of lies or bureaucratic nonsense, there is zero advantage for working here. This place will not make you smarter. You will not learn a skill that you didn't have beforehand. Instead the brick and mortar will kill your very soul. You will start to wonder if there is a God or a higher power. Because if such an entity existed, why would They allow this atrocity to even occur much less continue.

    Cons

    This archaic institution is a farce of a legacy. WSI normally draws to mind high end kitchen cutlery and savvy home decor. Peel away a well paved marketing campaign and you find the scurge of retail. There is "somewhat behind" and then there is Williams-Sonoma...

    You know something is wrong when EVERY TIME someone quits, they NEVER let you know WHERE they are going.

    It's basically a hodgepodge of problems. The work load is uneven. You're either working 24/7 or you're not working at all and trying to take credit for someone else's work. For every ineffective 20 lukewarm bodies, you have one star employee. Management is composed of semi-retirees. Executives are even worse. They are just highly paid sheep.

    This is the most political environment and in the worst way. If you are "favored", you can bat your eyelashes and work the system to your advantage (translation: "work from home" and AS MANY VACATION DAYS YOU WANT). If you are "unfavored", well remember that guy who recently committed suicide in Uber (from stress)? You are on the same trajectory.

    You will learn nothing here, except marvel how cheap Corporate America can be. How such an unhealthy environment exists. And dream of leaving.

    There is a reason why everyone in the corporate office looks like life has been sucked out of them and they're a hair-breath away from dropping dead.

    Advice to Management

    Fire all the executives and management. They've done and accomplished nothing. Start fresh. Stick to your budgets and your schedules. It's pointless to have a plan if you're not going to adhere to it. And get rid of useless practices - example: offshore has a 60-70% accuracy rate. Why on earth do you even use them KNOWING THIS?!


  5. Helpful (14)

    "Zero Leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Product Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - IT Product Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Employee discount (which you don't use much)
    Brand Name (still exists somewhat)

    Cons

    - Politics
    - Bullying
    - People fired based on whims and Fancies
    - Very reactive work environment instead of proactive
    - IT leadership invests in costly systems that nobody uses. Blame lower people for failure and fire them
    - No structured policy around bonus payout. You might end up getting lower bonus if you have a manager's pet in your team (even though you both have the same appraisal ratings). Bonus payout is completely at the discretion of management.
    - Lots of politics. You will have to align with some VP or SVP to survive
    - All about visibility and shouting the loudest.

    It is a horrible work place to work at. There are bullies in each department according to whom rest of the employees are mere bodies. The so called leadership always stands by the bullies instead of keeping them in check. The SVPs and VPs are mostly bullies. A mere disagreement or a discussion with leadership is enough to get you fired. In last 3-4 years, good managers who tried to stand their grounds have been fired. The best talent is not valued and credit is given to those who can shout the loudest. The best employees and contractors have either been fired, or have left already or are looking for new opportunities. The so called leadership is completely absent and always ready to blame and fire people who had to bear the burden of leadership's bad decisions. If you plan to join this company, be ready to lose your creativity, free thought, honest conversations etc.
    Bad leadership breeds bad culture amongst the employees. Now you never know who is going to rat you out.

    Advice to Management

    You are headed for a train crash if you don't stop blaming workers for lack of your leadership and direction. Stop changing the course ever so often. Value your good employees. Groom them professionally instead of attacking them personally.


  6. Helpful (12)

    "Skip unless you are desperate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The products (while increeeeeeedibly overpriced - even for employees with 40% discount) are usually not bad quality.
    The WSI name on your resume typically gets you interviews elsewhere.

    Cons

    Marketing processes and technology are pretty outdated.
    Creative is archaic; still running like a catalog business.
    Most of all....the office is incredibly political. You only get ahead if you suck up to the right people; nothing is actually based on results or performance.
    While the SF offices employ a number of gay men, the overall office is not at all diverse (where are the POC, the gay women, etc., etc. etc.).
    Sexism abounds. Especially from aforementioned gay men :(
    No where to move up unless someone leaves.
    They pay under market value.
    Specific to my team, but we had to do extra work at the whim of executives....on the weekend, late at night, etc. in order to accommodate last minute changes.
    No cost of living increase .... which is insane in the Bay Area.
    Business has been steadily declining for most of retail, and the upper management is not coping well. Knee jerk reactions that create spin and more work, but not results.

    Advice to Management

    Stop promoting bad managers.
    Allowing feedback on managers' reviews would be a good first step. 360 reviews in general should be standard.
    Step up your recruitment game to make the company more diverse. I literally had to explain what an HBC(U) was to a current recruiter; that is ridiculous.
    Pay for performance, not for politics.
    Stop working on a day by day reactive basis. Start working proactively.
    Use more data to drive decisions; don't base decisions on the gut of a few executives.
    Get some focus. More work does not equal more productivity.


  7. "Great Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Loved the office atmosphere and my co-workers. Everyone was like one big family.

    Cons

    Not the most competitive with salary or ability to be promoted.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Inventory Management - Distribution"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Distribution Planner in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Distribution Planner in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Enjoyable work environment with a friendly and collaborative eteam.
    Great employee benefits including a generous discount.
    Semi-casual dress is acceptable in the corporate offices.
    Supportive and passionate senior staff.
    Multitude of training resources available to all associates.

    Cons

    Moving up can be difficult, as turnover at more mid-to-senior levels is generally low, and interior candidates are not always considered first. Annual percentage of pay increases is somewhat low.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Marketing Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern in San Francisco, CA
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Everyone is extremely nice and willing to help!
    I learned a lot about retail marketing during my summer with the company.
    The internship program is well-organized. We were each given a booklet on the first day that included a summer intern calendar and the projects we would take on in our respective departments.
    I was able to start and finish about 3 or 4 larger projects. I've already benefited from using these tangible examples of my work while applying for other jobs.
    The interns also attended 'classes' every (other) week for the first half of the internship.
    Plus, the interns were able to meet with Laura, the CEO, and ask questions/give feedback first-hand!

    Cons

    There didn't seem to be much of a company culture at WSI. It is definitely a little more 'old school' corporate than other SF-based HQs.
    While my team was very nice to work with, it was a little small and very quiet! (Although the small size did allow me to take on more substantial projects than interns on other teams -- which was a huge plus!)


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great Place to Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Helpful co-workers, great products, fantastic discount

    Cons

    Cash registers are dated, pay is low


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