Williams-Sonoma
2.9 of 5 531 reviews
www.williams-sonomainc.com San Francisco, CA 5000+ Employees

Williams-Sonoma Reviews in San Francisco, CA US

Updated Mar 30, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.8 137 reviews

                             

62% Approve of the CEO

Williams-Sonoma President, CEO and Director Laura J. Alber

Laura J. Alber

(47 ratings)

41% of employees recommend this company to a friend
137 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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Williams-Sonoma needs to pay more for talent

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
San Francisco, CA (US)

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

ProsGreat vendors, exciting product, good work life balance, great location.

ConsPay is low compared to other retailers and not much room for advancement.

Advice to Senior ManagementLack communication to actionable groups, last minute changes disrupt processes

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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2 people found this helpful  

Great place to work.

Buyer (Former Employee)
San Francisco, CA (US)

I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time for more than 10 years

ProsI met smart, wonderful funny people while working at the corporate office. There was a great focus on customer service and employee education.

ConsThe company felt less personal as it continued to grow.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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It was a ok experience, but I felt like so creatively stifled!

Internet Design Coordinator (Former Employee)
San Francisco, CA (US)

I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time for more than a year

ProsGreat discounts on all the amazing products were obviously a perk. I love going to the employee warehouse sales. There were some great deals at those, but only if you got a good lottery number. Good benefits for the most part, I thought their PTO was a little stingy and slow to accumulate.

ConsIf you are a creative and depending on your level on a particular team within the WSI umbrella you will be doing the EXACT SAME THING FOREVER. Then don't even get me started on the the higher ups there. The creative directors really only cared about one thing and that was what the merchandisers had to say (at least on my particular team). Unfortunately, during my time there I had to work under a manager who was completely under qualified for the position, which was very frustrating to work for, when you know he/she is doing something incorrectly.

Advice to Senior ManagementSeriously vet the creative managers you put in place and push the envelope a bit more creatively. Also, "the cave" seems like a good idea in theory, but I seriously though I needed a sun lamp at times, because of the remote placement of the room.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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2 people found this helpful  

Going downhill, everyone is leaving! Don't come here if you're looking for a happy career!

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
San Francisco, CA (US)

I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time

ProsOne of the better things about working here is about the people you'll meet. There are some genuinely good quality people here - along with the bad apples you meet, of course. It's a shame many of these good apples are slowly but surely leaving the company. Sure, we have early summer Fridays, but these early Fridays use to be year-round. Costs are constantly being cut - even though the company does relatively well. Why aren't employees rewarded more? Another good thing about this company are that the teams here know no boundaries to perfection. They are very focused on being perfect, which is great and admirable - but soemtimes given the situation - it's doing a little too much and a bit draining. People need a life. You don't have to be 100% and wear everyone out on things that may not matter. 80-90% is good. Let's call it a night, people. If need be, let's work on it tomorrow and/or prioritize what's REALLY more important. Lastly, the holiday Children parties are great. However, if you don't have any kids, there is likely no party for you to participate in during the holidays. If there is, it is a small department thing that may very well be on a strict low budget. If you ask me, I'd rather have a party to enjoy with my coworkers than one with my kids.

ConsFor one, early Fridays year round are gone, as mentioned. For two, management can be very belittling, and too uptight. The tone of voice and choice of words can be very condescending and straight up rude.

Work/life balance is HORRIBLE. Most of the people who write on here that they think work/life balance is reasonable must be working on hourly pay. Company provides no comp time, and only provides bonuses for sr level and above. Even then, the bonus is not guaranteed at the full 10% even for all the hard work you put in! Hell, DINNER isn't even comped when you stay late to work. This company is beyond stingy. What's a few extra dollars in making sure I'm happy and well fed so that I can continue working hard and longer for you?

The company morale here is very low. They do nothing to support team building activities, nothing to celebrate welcoming(besides your welcome lunch with your manager), accomplishments, departures (I'm talking about good people who have left the company too!), and nothing to celebrate holidays. The company is very cheap and they do not care about retaining employees. They work you to the bone and are surprised when you are unhappy. It's not rocket science.

Nobody I have talked to likes working here. The turnover is crazy. I have watched many of my coworkers leave right before my eyes. Word of advice - when deciding where you want to work, why would one choose WS when so many other companies in the bay area offer so many more perks? The last time I spoke to my coworkers before I left, many of them told me they couldn't want to find a new job and get out as well.

Give the company a try. Let's see how long you last.....

Advice to Senior ManagementTreat people with RESPECT. You are no better than any of us lower titled people. We bleed the same way don't we? And just like me, you can be fired to. No one is invincible.

Also, show recognition and don't be afraid to praise and/or spend a few dollars on your employees. Stop being cheap and trying to save every single dollar.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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4 people found this helpful  

Overworked and Underpaid

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
San Francisco, CA (US)

I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time for more than 3 years

ProsThe discount and the food samples.

ConsThe tedious deadlines, the wasted time in large meetings, last minute fire-drills, the 50 analysis projects only to have your manager tell you, you should have looked at this instead. The lack of communication and expectations.

Advice to Senior ManagementCheck in with employees, ask if they need guidance, what are they working on. Share your opinions and ask for theirs.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Excellent company to work for

ACB (Current Employee)
San Francisco, CA (US)

I have been working at Williams-Sonoma full-time for less than a year

ProsGreat culture. Management team is friendly and supportive. Good pay and benefits. Work load is manageable. Early Friday release during summer!

Conssome of their offices physical condition is shameful. For being a fine home furnishing corporation, the condition of their corporate offices is less then desirable. We have had a leak in the ceiling for over a year and no one bothers to fix it.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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5 people found this helpful  

Company culture/attitude trickles down

Creative/Corporate Headquarters (Current Employee)
San Francisco, CA (US)

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

ProsFamily of brands is well known and well regarded. They draw smart, talented people with solid backgrounds and experience. On the ecomm side, people work hard, but they seem to be having fun.

ConsExecs have one foot firmly planted in the past. Teams are chronically under-resourced (not enough people to do the punishing volume of work). Salary-wise, they're notorious lowballers and the perks are minimal and pretty old school. First place I've worked where company mission (their "competencies") seems to be pure lip service. Culture is cold and elitist from the top down. Execs seem to not care at all how the sausage is made, what toll it takes to execute against their ever-changing directives. Not a collegial place to work.

Advice to Senior ManagementGet with the times. Live to your competencies - for real. Crunch numbers to free up headcount. Commit to better work/life balance initiatives. Revolutionize the attitude there from the top down.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Well positioned in the industry, good people, good work-life balance

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
San Francisco, CA (US)

I have been working at Williams-Sonoma full-time

ProsStrong sense of culture and history; high-integrity people who want to do the right thing; well positioned in the industry and in an industry segment (home goods) that should continue to do well as the economy recovers; great balance between eCommerce and Store retail; lots of reasons why the company should be successful going forward; based in downtown San Francisco

ConsCompany is very design and merchant driven. If you are not in the design / merchandising areas, then you need to understand your role in the bigger context.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Decent work/life balance, however heavy on tenured talent which makes it difficult to move up.

Control Buyer (Former Employee)
San Francisco, CA (US)

I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time for more than a year

ProsRelative to other employers I have had, the work/life balance is healthy. Benefits were great.

ConsThe company operates from a defensive position. New ideas are not always welcomed. Salary was lower than most other retailers in the area, which contributed to loss of talent. Tenure dominates promotion.

Advice to Senior ManagementIncrease average salary at the associate level to retain talent.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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they don't pay contractors for all their hours

Database Marketing Contractor (Former Employee)
San Francisco, CA (US)

I worked at Williams-Sonoma as a contractor for more than a year

Prosthere is nothing positive about working at this place aside you will get nice experience and you can have as much as responsibility as you please

Consno opportunities to move around within the company, you will be in the same position for infinity and beyond, director level and above are the only ones who recieve bonues, they don't pay contractors for all hours works and they made me cry on purpose several times, oh and my manager loved yelling at me across the office - this place is kind of nuts, a silent war, unless being screamed at

Advice to Senior Managementgo to hell

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Williams-Sonoma reviews and ratings in San Francisco, CA — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Williams-Sonoma CEO Laura J. Alber. All 137 reviews posted anonymously by Williams-Sonoma employees.