Job is the better than most warehouse jobs but still lacking
Honestly the job is just okay and especially for a warehouse it could be worse. HR and all the official sides of things are pretty good and responsive, management however questionable at times, but that's pretty standard for most retail jobs. If you work hard, arrive early to your station, can withstand chilled and are fit enough to stand for 9+ hours you'll be okay. If not I wouldn't recommend.
Could improve and be a lot better in certain areas. Working in the cold and long hours is what is the most terrible. If the stations were designed in a way which were easier to lift items, the cold and the hours shortened, if you could have longer breaks, I would give it more stars.
-Good pay for warehouse
-Company shop on site offers discounted items
-Keeps you fit (you're on your feet all day)
- 2 breaks
-Canteen offers affordable and various foods (£1 for full english breakfast!)
-Incentives (bonus pay for reaching your targets/ Units per hour)
-Day shifts good (10 hour day. 6am-4pm, mostly finish early)
-Can wear one headphone while picking and packing
-Can bring your own water bottle to drink
-Toilets and water fountains located throughout the warehouse
-HR are very responsive
-Good online system miocado for planning and holiday queries
-Online chat service provided which is very helpful
-Holiday booking system is good
-Most managers and coordinators are okay. (Just hit your targets, be open to change, be nice, avoid confrontation, keep your head down)
-Once probation is pas
On day one of our training we were escorted to the corporate part of Ocado's vast estate, where their offices are housed. Once our temperatures had been taken we were seated in a socially-distanced classroom where masks were to be worn at all times.
Equipment was regularly sanitised during practical exercises and we were frequently invited to wash our hands. It was encouraging to see that the company had a genuine desire to keep the spread of Covid to a minimum and valued the health of it's employees.
The building itself was fantastic - spacious, spotlessly clean, with a beautiful canteen and even a coffee bar. As far as first impressions go, Ocado nailed it.
Then, at the end of our second and final day of training, we were told that we would not need to come back to the nice corporate office building ever again as, from our third day onward, we would be based at "Service Delivery" (SD).
SD is a tiny, two-storey shack situated in the middle of a busy car park. It is extremely cramped and all who enter are funnelled through a narrow corridor into a small office where you clock in.
Employees crowd around the clocking-in machines and the screens that provide them with their vehicle details, both of which are conveniently positioned by choke points where people all stand on top of one another. Avoiding close contact with colleagues is completely unavoidable.
In stark contrast with the corporate side of the estate, the SD building is absolutely filthy. No canteen or
Typical day is scan your ID card for your route. You can be anywhere from delivering in Leeds city centre and the many other towns and city's in Yorkshire and up into Lancashire and over into Lincolnshire. Most of Yorkshire is covered including very difficult driving areas such as up the Moors and areas such as Hebden Bridge and the Calder valley. Anything up to 25 drops and the van if your delivering to Morrison's customers is 95% of the time always full. No room to put the totes in the back of the van so your always having to move heavy totes to put the empty ones behind the full ones. Meaning your lifting all of the totes in the van at least twice over! Your meant to do 3 months delivering to Ocado customers then 3 months on the Morrison's side. However certain people get moved over to Morrison's all the time. Me for one have done it now for 9 months and when asked why the others from your group haven't been kept on Morrison's management just says they don't know! Very high level of favouritism within the company with certain people getting easy routes and getting moved from Morrison's to Ocado every 3 months while others have to be kept on the back breaking Morrison's side of the business. Routing for the drops are very tight and if you don't know the area and rely on the U1 or your own sat nav you have no chance. My Tom Tom always says each journey / drop takes on average 5 mins longer than their own system which doesn't take into effect traffic and rush hour etc or diff
My 10 months at Ocado was enough to remind me, how these companies think paying 9.50 for a night shift is acceptable in London.
Twelve hour shifts leave you all over the place, no contract offered even thought the temporary ones we signed stated after 12 weeks contracts would start being offered. Also was a part of the Operations support team, and was getting paid the same as a personal shopper despite being able to work in any area, and having specialist training on their system from higher ups in Andover and Hatfield.
Lower management are getting paid 35-40k a year, and act like boys posturing for no reason, whilst some being good at people management, and some good at warehouse management, they have no IT background and expect people with good ideas and an IT background to be spoon fed, by someone who doesn't have the qualifications to be doing the job.
A prime example of who you know rather than what you know. Many of the higher up managers are in their late 50's and early 60's and are not only not fit to run a technological enterprise like an Ocado CFC that diversifies and upgrades with every new instance, but are also not fit enough to do so its the biggest automated warehouse in Europe and someone a few years off retirement simply can't keep up. The management is full of incompetent and lazy characters with the few that genuinely cared long giving up. The night shift is expected to do the same work with half the staff [as always] and get £1 extra per hour
ProsWeekly Pay, some other good people try to help.
Narcissistic company to work for where everything is the fault of the cstms. Literally everyone in the company is against you.from the customers to the management. You get pulled up or sacked for every silly thing you do. If your off sick you get punished. They tell you not to break your back to do the deliveries,bit if you don't break your back doing them you end up in the office. And you will break your back and have many visits to the doctor but Ocado willdeny deny deny.
The Ocado 'values mean absolutely nothing.so much so that they have just removed one. If anything happens to.you at the company they totally wash their hands of you. If someone lives on the 20th floor and there's no lift you are expected to take it all up the stairs and usually it's 8 totes and above and you have 9 minutes to do.it.
If there's an emergency on route call anyone but your managers because they will be too busy chatting and having a laugh to answer you or call you back and will deny you even called.
If you have kids you won't see them from one week to the next. The totes and routing is a mess and they don't check where they're sending you so alot of the time you end up in a road where you can't turn round or get out and no one at Ocado will help you. Their only response is " well we've delivered there before".And that's if it's on a red route,Birmingham city center( actually IN the city center) or anywhere else where you shouldn't be stopping.
Customer services are relentless and w
ProsThe pay is ok but not worth the work you do outweighs it.
Training was limited and didn't include important aspects that you only learn while out on the road, causing avoidable delays and frustrations which make you think about leaving during your first few weeks. You don't really know who your manager is, there's not really one person you report to but more like whoever is behind the 'desk'. Vans are pre-loaded and routes are pre-planned but route planning isn't always reliable and sometimes contradicts training e.g. some routes you have deliveries that are bound to be late before you even leave the depot, some require delivery before the allotted time-slot, before 9am when you're not allowed to deliver early. This is the most frustrating part of the job because even though you don't plan the routes, YOU have to deal with the consequences of late deliveries, calling customers and adding more time on to the delays. On the flip side, some routes are so easy you'll be back at depot an hour or two early. If you finish early, you get to go home early but are still paid for the full shift. This causes issues though - many drivers rush van safety checks and even the deliveries (the route planning algorithm relies on an average delivery time from arrival to departure of customer address), they skip refuelling or van washing or more importantly topping up screen wash (or all three). Presumably so they can rush off home. The next person to get that van then has to deal with what the previous driver couldn't be bothered to do (their job...).
ProsPaid in full if you finish your route early, Pay is actually quite good for what is essentially an unskilled job, Auto vans are easy to drive, It's easy to turn up and get straight to work, Free uniform that's actually nice to wear.
ConsAlternating shift times are odd, Vans are always dirty inside, Colleagues are cliquey and too many foul-mouthed morons, Some routes are a nightmare with zero room for delays.
They entice you with all these "benefits", yet the only one that is worth anything is the quarterly bonus, which can be up to £360 but amounts to not much more than 150 usually, you can't sneeze without management being on your back, they have cameras in all the vans and you'll be called into the office just for cutting a corner, the pay is peanuts and they expect the world from you, pay varies at every site so if your working in sheffield you're on a lot less than the people in Dordon even though you'll pass them whilst delivering in Nottingham, what company pays you less for doing the same job? Pay rises are a joke, after 5 years you're in theory getting a pay cut every year. You're not allowed to deliver over an hour early yet you'll find routes that have you delivering to a 10 o clock slot at 8.30, you're not allowed to call a customer before 9 in the morning but you'll be booked in for an 8 o clock delivery at 7.30, double standards at its best. You'll walk in to find out you have a full van and extra totes laying in the middle of the van. The company brags about a high percentage of its managers being promoted from within, but this is only if you have managerial experience prior to working for ocado, you'll get 20 odd drops with 200 odd miles and not enough time between drops or to do drops yet be due back 10 minutes before your shift is due to finish. You get a 13 week roster that could change without warning at any point, and you don't recieve the roster until 2 week
Not many pros working at this place but getting paid weekly is good and your fellow drivers are friendly as they are in the same boat as you. The vans are preloaded and easy to drive.
The cons outweigh the pros significantly. I will first start with the managers all allegedly recruited internally and have claimed to be drivers themselves. if this was really the case they would be more understanding to the problems that Cstm's face on a daily basis but I found them to be apathetic and wholly lacking in interpersonal skills. You do not really have any interaction with the manager unless you have done something wrong. The marshals can be quite good but you do have bad apples who try and talk to you like your nothing the ironic thing is they are not paid a lot more than the Cstm's for the most difficult job at the spoke.
The vans are easy to drive but they are very strict on any damage on it and you can be given a warning or even charged for any damage done to the van. The van's brakes are really bad I complained constantly about them but a lot of things are brushed under the carpet. Ocado is very much a company concerned about cutting costs.
This is one of the worst aspects about the job. Ocado provides you with a device called the u1 and the sat nav on this system is abysmal and Ocado couldn't care less they expect you to bring your own sat nav or worst case scenario use a map. Complaints about the u1 are meet with a shrug.
Routes and deliver
This is a long review but it’s an honest one.
I’ve been here a week ( after training ). And I’m really going to be honest it’s physically and mentally brutal and draining. 6AM start now for me I live 12 minutes away by public transport but the buses don’t come regularly between 5-7AM they come 2 every hour and walking is very unlikely because it’s an 1hour and a half walking. Whenever I’ve been at the bus stop the bus driver has drove pass I’m guessing because of COVID and they don’t want to let too many people on which is fair as the bus is going to the industrial area so it’ll be packed with workers especially at those times as buses won’t come regularly, so I’ve had to get a Uber to work and that’s very costly.
Now the actual job is brutal ! You’re in a cold environment which is expected and you can get used to it as long as you wear enough layers. But the the actual labour is back crushing and feet torcher. You’re given pallets which you must clear by sending off the packages of food through the tote machine ( sends food upstairs basically) and some of these pallets can be filled to the point where it’s taller than you ( I’M 6FT1 ) now these cases of food are filled to the max so they are a bit heavy NOW MOVING HEAVY ITEMS AT THAT HEIGHT ISN'T SAFE ! Now the packed food such as ready meals, frozen chicken, fruits and yogurts etc are ok but packaged in boxes ones are a problem. Because you spend time messing around trying to open them and the managers who have been stand
I'm 18 and I'm between school and uni, so the unsociable hours dont really bother me. I work about 2/3rds evening shifts, usually done before 10, but ocassionally I'm put on the midnight shift. I don't really mind it but I can see why others do though.
Working late does mean being out on the street after dark. On a midnight shift, i was chased out away from a drop by a gang of masked men. I cancelled all my drops in that area, and management was very supportive in my decision to do this. If you ever feel unsafe, you can tell your manager and they will support your decision from my experience, even if customers dont.
The management for me was fairly good. The people are nice, and most are ex-drivers so they can relate to your experience, but the big downside is all the info they keep on you. Forgot one box on your second day? Expect to hear about it 3 months later. Picked up your phone once while in traffic? Camera saw you, go see your manager. It's not a matter of who's a good employee, the brightest star will still have some negatives on their profile.
The biggest suprise to me is how little of your day is spent behind the wheel. Even though the job title is Driver, i rarely get more than 3:15 of engine on time in a 7:30. Maybe its different in other depots.
The best part of the job is helping customers for me. 99% of the time you just say the same 4 lines and move on, but you do get customers who you'll remember for the rest of your life, for good or for bad. A
Questions and answers about Ocado Group
How are the working hours at Ocado Group?
Asked 13 Mar 2017
Terrible working hours. But some workers might be desperate, either to have 3 days off, or to get overtime or to just be in a job. This makes it difficult to proffer better working hours, which currently start at 4.45am making it impossible to get public transport if you live in, say, Luton and work in Hatfield. You'll have to be in bed by 8pm to wake at 3am. These appear to be sadistic hours at best, regardless of how many workers appear quiet about it.
Night shift, I believe, starts at 7pm to 5am. 10 long hours with three 25-minute UNPAID breaks.
If they had flexible 6 - 8 hour shifts e.g. 6 -12, 12-6 daily instead, I believe there'll be less sick leaves owing to fatigue or transportation issues. Many more workers will remain in the job for much longer.
Answered 24 Jun 2019
You’ll work on a shift pattern that covers both early mornings (could be as early as 05:30), late evening shifts (could be finished as late as midnight) and weekends.
Answered 14 Jun 2019
What should you wear to an interview at Ocado?
Asked 13 Mar 2017
Anything. They've got a reputation now as word has spread about how bad they are to work for so they're getting desperate.
Answered 29 Aug 2019
First impressions count! We would recommend that you're dressed appropriately for the interview (smart casual or even more formal is fine).
Answered 2 Aug 2019
How does someone get hired at Ocado? What are the steps along the way?
Asked 14 Apr 2017
If you have a heart beat you can start tomorrow.
Answered 11 May 2022
Telephone interview, onsite tour, job offer
Answered 9 Feb 2020
How should you prepare for an interview at Ocado Group?
Asked 14 Apr 2017
We would recommend that you do the following things before your interview;
First impressions count - so dress appropriately for the interview
Always do your research on Who we are (hint there's some info in the "snapshot" tab)
Re-read the job advert to make sure the job is right for you and you're aware of the pay, varied shifts that may be included (Delivery Driver, Warehouse Operatives)
Answered 2 Aug 2019
You do not need any preparation
Answered 21 Mar 2019
What questions did they ask during your interview at Ocado Group?
Asked 15 Mar 2017
Just be prepared for the rather random, marketing questions that they'll possibly fire at you. Sod the competency questions that you may be expecting... My interviewer proceeded to ask me if I had a good grasp of the English language, and if my CV was 'my own work'.
Answered 7 Oct 2019
We are always keen to know what you know about us
The other questions at interview are likely to be scenario based questions, where you would need to answer with examples of where you have dealt with this situation before. Or if you haven't had to deal with this before, then think about how you would deal with this situation should you face it in the future.