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What big private-sector firms are best on flex-time, remote work, etc.?


I have worked in public sector planning for a long time, and have grown very tired of the traditional workplace model (be in your office 8:00 to 5:00, no other options). I recently started applying for private-sector jobs, but was dismayed on my first interview with a large firm to hear that they don't have flex-time or telecommuting, and they expect you to be in your office for longer hours than any of the government jobs I've worked at.

Among the major private-sector firms that hire planners, are there any that offer good flex-time and remote work options?

Or should I just learn to code and take my "millennial" mindset over to the world of startups? :woozy:


Staff member
Most of my friends who work in private sector planning either A.) Travel a ton, or B.) Work more hours than me.

I would imagine that once you become a section head or run your own studio, you have a lot more flexibility. Otherwise you are eating what you kill and are expected to get more work if you have down time.

Personally, I would want my planning team to be physically in my office. Remote work isn't really something that makes sense for most of what planners do. If you are talking about graphic design or other components than I can see that, but general planning requires people to actually be there.

Good luck though. Hopefully you find a place that meets your expectations. :up:


I'd suggest a few more interviews before punting on the private sector planning thing. The policy (formal or informal) on work flexibility will vary by firm, by office, and by team.


It varies a lot, depending on where the firm is located, what type of planning it does, size, and whether it is a local firm or one office out of a national brand. As a transportation planner, I've worked at a transportation planning consulting firm with small offices in multiple coastal cities - remote work was way more possible there. I've also worked as a transportation planner in a civil engineering firm in a more suburban area in western PA and it was just not part of the culture except if you had fieldwork or a meeting/doctor's appointment and it didn't make sense to come back into the office if you didn't live close by. I negotiated for 2 days a work remote because of distance, but honestly that just made me feel more alienated from the team since I was the only one who had that arrangement.

I now work in public sector again in a large, coastal, liberal city and they have remote work options :). So I think it varies more on location and regional culture than anything else.

Lastly, just know that remote work and flex time is a double edged sword because it often means you have to put in way more hours since you can take it home. It will often also mean less PTO. Government usually doesn't allow flex work or remote work but gives way more PTO/sick days, etc. Private sector has more remote or flex options but way less time off. So just depends on what you really want; if you need to travel a lot to see family and friends in other states, flex/remote might be a better option.