What It's Like Inside Wayfair

The home goods retailer's HQ proves that cozy spaces can create strong collaboration.
What It's Like Inside Wayfair
Image credit: Adam Friedberg
Magazine Contributor
Associate Editor
4 min read

This story appears in the January 2020 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Working at Wayfair’s Boston headquarters is a lot like shopping on Wayfair online. Each of its four floors, which were designed by IA Interior Architects, channels a different style featured on the $8.6 billion home-furnishing e-com giant’s site -- from farmhouse to terrace and villa to lodge and beyond. Employees on the “brownstone” floor work alongside scroll furniture and classic wallpapers, while the “apartment” floor features cozy, comfortable couches and a pastel-colored kitchen. But no matter the aesthetic, each floor is designed to foster collaboration. Instead of staff wasting time attending (and dreading) meetings in isolating conference rooms, for example, the new office’s open layout lends itself to impromptu conversations and efficient problem-solving sessions.

Related: What It's Like Inside Spanx Headquarters

Brendan Pommills / Director, global supply chain operations

“Before we moved to this office concept, the thought of having a meeting slowed everything down. People didn’t like them. But this new layout helps us to move much faster and more in sync. Instead of having hundreds of conference rooms, we’ve got collaboration spaces equipped with TVs, video cameras, and teleconferencing. It drives productivity through the roof.” 

Jiayi Li / Senior manager, ocean delivery operations

“I’ve been with Wayfair for a little over four years, and I think this is my sixth role here. The company encourages internal migration because it helps optimize what people are good at and make sure we’re happy in what we’re doing.”

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Cornelius Driscoll / Manager, employee tech

“For my team of about four or five people, Thirsty Thursday is when we grab beers and talk about the problems we’ve had during the week, tech or otherwise. It helps reinforce that feeling that everyone’s working on stuff as a team. We can have those loose moments and vent about an annoying issue or joke around. Once a month, we do a pod outing as a group to either get food in Chinatown or go to an escape room -- usually nerdy things.” 

Tess McNamara / Process and learning specialist  

“I’ve been at Wayfair for five years now, and it’s become like a second home to me. In my role, I’m able to travel and welcome employees to the team at some of our other offices, where people may feel more isolated because they’re not part of the 5,000-person HQ here in Boston. I want to make sure they recognize they’re a major part of our community.”

Silpa Gollapalli / Director, customer service innovation

“We do problem-solving sessions a few times a month with a fairly unstructured group of people from different teams. We put it all out there: What are the challenges? Why is this not working? It’s collaborative and transparent, and we always involve someone from R&D. They’re able to tell us whether they think something is a great idea, whether it will take too long to build, and other ways to approach it.” 

Molly Delaney / Corporate communications manager

“We have a costume contest for Halloween. Our social media team dressed up as social butterflies, with wings and different social platforms on their T-shirts. People go all out here.”

Related: What It's Like Inside Uber's Innovation Space

Sunish Oturkar / Senior product manager, delivery experience 

“Most of my day is spent thinking about how to make the delivery of our largest and bulkiest items the best possible experience for customers. In the past we’ve been able to give four-hour delivery windows, and we’re really trying to tighten that -- we’re testing a two-hour window now. We’re still gathering feedback, but raising the bar is exciting.”

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Image Credit: Adam Friedberg
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