Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 44

Thread: What do planners wear to the office, what do the offices look like?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    258

    What do planners wear to the office, what do the offices look like?

    It's kind of a silly question, but just now as I'm sitting here in my cube at work (I work for a land developer), I had a vision of myself as a rogue planner in jeans and a sports coat. Something tells me I won't be able to escape the formalities of the business world in planning. What do you guys wear to the office? And, what do your offices look like? Are they clean lined, modern working spaces, or old school utilitarian with books everywhere? Do things differ from small town to big city?

    p.s. I realize this is asinine, but like I said, I work in land development, things are slow.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2001
    Location
    West Valley, AZ
    Posts
    3,895
    Government planning: In all of my jobs, my workspace has consisted of a small cube about 8'x8' in a drab color, with a couple shelfs lined with codes, manueals, guidelines, and other documents. Cube walls are covered in various maps and lists. My lighting is a blend of overhead florescent office lights and under-shelf mounted florescent lights. I see natural light down the cube hallway, but it doesn't impact the lighting in my area.

    I dress business casual here, last job was a bit more business formal. A sports jacket works, but not with a t-shirt underneath and certainly no jeans until friday.

    I don't call my workspace "clean lined" or modern. It's certainly not old-school. It's conventional, standard, drab office space.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Down by Dun Ringill
    Posts
    6,170
    Blog entries
    6
    Montana definitely has a more relaxed style of dress. Most planners seem to wear jeans and a casual shirt. Me, I don't like jeans, so I wear Dockers, a dress shirt and a sports coat most days.

    I moved into a renovated office about a year ago. It is pretty nice. Freshly painted walls, new wood trim and a brand-new door. No complaints.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  4. #4
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    9,035
    Blog entries
    2
    I am in a corner office with many open-able windows and a closable door.

    I am wearing sandals, jeans and an untucked short sleeved shirt.

    This is true, but I work in the sticks and don't really care about anything.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2005
    Location
    The Gig City
    Posts
    2,675
    Depends on what I am doing that day.

    As a director I try to limit jeans until Friday but occasionally I have to hit the road and go to some sites I'll wear jeans for that. Usually it's khakis of a variety of color and a button up short or long sleeve shirt with the occasional polo shirt. On days I know I will be shackled to my desk all day doing phone calls or ordinance and letter writing I will dress down a little but always presentable in case anyone drops in.

    My work space is a very nice carpeted enclosed office 12X10 three walls are solid and one is all glass with blinds (always up though). I have a decent leather chair and a solid desk with a book shelf (full) and a table (full) and 2 file cabinets (almost full).
    @GigCityPlanner

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Michigan (Detroit ex-pat since 2004)
    Posts
    4,827
    Almost any contemporary workplace short of a law firm is on corp casual. What that means is subject to local option.

    When I worked for a DDA director, I admired his natty suits M-Th, and then he'd be in slacks and a plain shirt on Fridays. when I worked for a mjaor city, I always bumped it up a couple of notches above my (much younger) colleagues due to seniority reasons.

    At the twp where I worked, Friday was jeans day, from supervisor to the admins.

    Office appearance depends on the age of the building. Some have cinderblocks. Some have windowless cubes.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Coragus's avatar
    Registered
    May 2002
    Location
    Kzoo
    Posts
    1,097
    Polo shirt and dockers/slacks Monday through Thursday, more casual on Friday. I've worked in a county planning office where ties were demanded of the guys, but that's been a lot more relaxed since the director became eligible for retirement!
    Back home just in time for hockey season!

  8. #8
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Oklahoma City
    Posts
    2,904
    Another 8x8 cubicle with no natural lighting. Dress is either business casual or khakis and city polo, with Fridays allowing "conservative denim pants" (according to our employee manual), but still requiring a collared shirt or city polo.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Back in SE Texas
    Posts
    1,726
    I am an assistant planner in a small suburb. Dress pants and polos on Mon-Thurs. I will wear a shirt and tie on days of BZA, Plan Commission or Council Meetings. Fridays are polos and jeans.

    My office right now is a cubicle with two small shelves (actually more like metal cabinets) full of codes, standards, and binders of useful information from workshops I have attended. Not very conducive for plan review.

    In November, the Planning and Building department is moving to the police department's old digs since they are moving buildings. I will have an office and we will have a large conference room with a big table for plan review. Woo hoo, for not having to share the Town Council Chambers for all meetings.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2005
    Location
    The Gig City
    Posts
    2,675
    Quote Originally posted by rcgplanner View post
    In November, the Planning and Building department is moving to the police department's old digs since they are moving buildings. I will have an office and we will have a large conference room with a big table for plan review. Woo hoo, for not having to share the Town Council Chambers for all meetings.
    Not to mention a holding cell for those bad developers who don't listen.
    @GigCityPlanner

  11. #11
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 1998
    Location
    Greensburg, Kansas
    Posts
    2,975
    I have a corner office in our double wide. In our former single wide, I shared the center section with 2 inspectors. Dress is dependent on the location. In metro areas, it was most always ties. Smaller towns are business causual or less. I still follow the adage of dressing as the boss. Well, except for the boss with double knit liesure suits with ripped pockets.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Back in SE Texas
    Posts
    1,726
    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    Not to mention a holding cell for those bad developers who don't listen.
    I have been lobbying for that, but alas no luck.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Plan-it's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2005
    Location
    In the Peach State
    Posts
    921
    As a Planning Director, I wear suits everyday, except Friday. On Friday I can wear business casual with a jurisdiction issued polo shirt. I work for a very conservative county and all senior management is expected to dress in this manner. I have an office. My employees have cubes with no doors and can dress business casual, as long as they are not giving presentations or meeting with Commissioners.
    Satellite City Enabler

  14. #14
    Cyburbian FueledByRamen's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2003
    Location
    A Dog in a Hat
    Posts
    449
    Everyday wear is cotton twill pants (khaki, black, or grey) and a cotton polo. Ocasionnaly I'll wear a button up shirt when I will have a pseudo important meeting. Fridays I usually go with jeans and a polo and when I will be having an interview or otherwise important meeting I will wear a tie. I should probably wear a jacket on these occasions, but I usually don't. No one has complained yet.

    My "system" (fancy word for double-cube) is currently half occupied (ie, I have it to myself). It is 7x8 on my side (too lazy to move to the 8x8, previously occupied side) and has low walls (4 ft high with a foot of glass above). I actually have plenty of natural light as the proper offices are located in the core of each floor and have glass walls.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Illinois as of 1/1/09
    Posts
    202
    I am the only Planner for my jurisdiction. I wear dress pants (either black or khaki) M-TH and jeans on F. In the summer I wear polos and in the winter I wear button-downs since it is colder. Occasionally I will wear a sweater in the winter, as well. I never wear ties or a sport coat to work.

  16. #16
    Since moving to the deep south, what I wear to the office has changed. When in the midwest, I wore dress khakis and a dress shirt. Now it is now business causual-dress khakis and polo shirt. On Fridays, it is jeans and a polo. On BOS meeting days, it is dress slacks, dress shirt and a tie.

    I have an office as do the rest of my employees in one of the county buildings. When we move into the new building-a former bank building- we will have offices and a meeting room.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  17. #17
    Zoning Lord Richmond Jake's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Jukin' City
    Posts
    16,768
    Slacks/Dockers and polo shirts during the week (I can still wear white trousers, even though it's after Labor Day), jeans and polos on Fridays. Sport jack or suits on Board days, dress shirt and tie for the planning commission.

    We're moving into a consolidated office in the fall of next year. Currently, offices are spread out to the inconvenience of the public. We're essentially in an office storefront.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 1998
    Location
    Greensburg, Kansas
    Posts
    2,975
    RJ, you cannot wear white after Labor Day. People in polite circles will whisper about you. Winter white is OK, but only after the first snow. Breaking these rules is almost as bad as a lady attempting to wear an off-the-shoulder or strapless dress before sundown. It just isn't done.

  19. #19
    Zoning Lord Richmond Jake's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Jukin' City
    Posts
    16,768
    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee View post
    RJ, you cannot wear white after Labor Day. People in polite circles will whisper about you. Winter white is OK, but only after the first snow. Breaking these rules is almost as bad as a lady attempting to wear an off-the-shoulder or strapless dress before sundown. It just isn't done.
    Off-topic:
    Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike....I'm living in the south. I wear white trousers year-round. And as for off-the-shoulder and strapless dresses, I've seen ZG sans clothes before noon--year-round!!

    I know, TMI.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Fat Cat's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Rockwood, MI
    Posts
    1,444

    Fat Cat

    I have worked in a few places (cant hold a job) and it has varied from cube farm to glass sided outer wall (private office w/ sofa and a conference tableand I was not a Dept head yet). Once I made Dept Head then I have always had a private office varying from 10x10 to 30x40.
    Dress depended on whether there was a dress code. I usually try to dress according to what the locals where.
    One place the CM was drawing up a dress code, I was a Director at the time and the city attorney was going to put in the code that everone had to wear a shirt with a collar, I pointed that I always wore tees or polos with a suit, so that was removed from the code. (the Council liked me)
    In the private sector I had a private office about 20x20

  21. #21
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lowering the PCI in the Hills
    Posts
    5,979
    In my current office people where all sorts of different things everyday. I work for the county planning and economic development department in one of the wealthiest counties but I wouldn't call the atmosphere conservative at all.

    I think the dress is different for each section within the department... those on the planning side have a uniform of khaki pants and blue oxford button-down shirt. Well, maybe that's not their actual uniform but it sure seems that way. On Friday casual days, they all seem to coordinate and wear the same cargo pants. On days they need to meet with communities or outside agencies they dress it up with corduroy blazers (yes, the planners here really live up to most of the stereotypes).

    The ED reps who meet with businesses and local politicians and go on trade missions generally wear suits and don't seem to ever be able to participate in the official casual days. Finance folks dress down a bit from that (maybe no tie for the guys and not quite a suit for the women). Marketing is another step down from the finance folks and so-on.

    And then there are a few people who wear sweats, t-shirts, and sneakers to work on an almost daily basis. There is an actual dress code but it never seems to be enforced. I think that I could actually show up in the San Diego Chicken costume and nobody would mind.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2002
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,713
    Most of my planning experience has been in historic but grungy old town halls.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2003
    Location
    De Noc
    Posts
    18,732
    Interior office with beige walls with the usual filing cabinets (2), book shelves (4), and overhead ceiling lights.
    Only wall hanging is my AICP certificate.
    "L" shaped work desks but do not match.
    Still have a pencil sharpener too.

    Friday dress code - blue jeans and polo shirt.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Va
    Posts
    4,604
    No jeans here the guys have to wear ties every day and the women tend to dress up more but we can get away with khakis and nice polos. There is no casual Friday.

    Small town in major metro area OK cube but need more storage

    Last job was 120,000 city with recently redone 1970's building, much nicer cubes and more wiggle room in how we could dress. Most days were chinos with nice shirt but Fridays were jeans and nice college sweatshirt day for sure.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Surburban Chicago
    Posts
    8
    I work in a smaller suburb of Chicago.

    I'm classified as a salaried professional and therefore don't have to wear a Village issued shirt. I wear a long sleeve button down dress shirt with a tie (starched and pressed), slacks or dress pants, and dress shoes Monday through Thursday. Friday's I'll dress down in khakis and either a polo or button down. I should note I take the train to work and ride my bike to and from the station on each end every day in my work clothes. I also keep a pair of boots at my desk for when I need to head out for a field visit.

    Even though I'm only in my late 20s, I'm still pretty old fashioned with how I dress and sincerely believe that as a professional, I need to look professional.

    I use to work at a non-profit that was very slack on its dress (shorts and old t-shirts were the norm), but still dressed about the same (shirt and tie) most days.

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 16
    Last post: 30 Jan 2013, 7:47 PM
  2. Effect of closing post offices?
    Economic and Community Development
    Replies: 45
    Last post: 29 Oct 2011, 2:31 AM
  3. Replies: 4
    Last post: 26 Feb 2007, 10:24 AM
  4. Moving Offices
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 14
    Last post: 30 Nov 2004, 12:49 PM
  5. Replies: 0
    Last post: 17 Jun 2000, 12:24 PM