Lonely Planet Reviews | Glassdoor

Lonely Planet Reviews

Updated June 20, 2018
75 reviews

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3.0
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Daniel Houghton
32 Ratings

75 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Diverse co-workers, interesting company history, great work-life balance, relaxed atmosphere" (in 6 reviews)

  • "Great work life balance, great people" (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • "Upper management not very good at communicating with employees" (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "A re-aligned and exciting future"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Designer in Franklin, TN
    Current Employee - Product Designer in Franklin, TN
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Lonely Planet full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The negative reviews, while all hitting on very rational issues, are absolutely dated at this point. If you look into the history of the company you can see that there was a shift in management and complete restructure of the company. These reviews were all in the wake of those restructuring pains. Today, LP definitely thrives in the following:

    - A very talented and passionate digital product team
    - New, very senior leadership with a shared vision for the future
    - Opportunity to create and have an actual impact on experiences for thousands of truly loyal users
    - The ability to wear multiple hats and be involved in every facet of the design/development process
    - An extremely generous work/life balance that stays true to the companies core travel values

    Cons

    While so much has changed in the past few years for the better, there are still many political battles our digital team is faced with. All verticals of the company have really began to align on our shared vision for the future of LP and it's very exciting.

    The biggest con is that the talent pool for digital designers and developers in Nashville is exceptionally barren. Our mission to only hire the best definitely has our team feeling under-resourced but doesn't affect how much we ship.

    Advice to Management

    The unique digital product team at Lonely Planet is really under the wraps. It would be wise for management to make the team a bit more discoverable to potential candidates.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Constant pivoting of direction made progress nearly impossible"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager
    Former Employee - Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Talented people. Creative minds. You get to travel from your desktop. Laid back atmosphere. Friendly coworkers.

    Cons

    As other reviews have mentioned, there is a severe lack of experience at the highest levels of management, leading to a lot of distrust among employees and constant pivoting of where the company should focus. Most of the good leaders end up leaving out of frustration. The inability to recruit high level management has left important positions empty, creating more strain on other departments.

    Advice to Management

    Get out of the way. Let the many smart employees you have on staff do what they are good at.

  3. Helpful (5)

    "Great Brand/Product, Terrible Place to Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Lonely Planet full-time

    Pros

    Lonely Planet has a strong world-wide brand, a legacy of great quality content, incredible art direction and digital design team, and passionate talented employees.

    Cons

    I experienced a passive-aggressive and secretive culture, internal distrust and closed-door meetings, brutal politics, lack of clear direction, lack of communication, lack of feedback, and a low level of process and operational maturity. Management lacks outside experience, maturity, and ability to coach/develop talent.

    Advice to Management

    Not sure where I would start.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Do not recommend"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Lonely Planet full-time

    Pros

    Great people, pto, work from home, and nice office atmosphere.

    Cons

    Confusion throughout all teams. No one seems to be on the same page regarding processes or content. Management needs to be more involved.

    Advice to Management

    Get involved and listen to your team’s suggestions and trust their expertise.


  5. Helpful (8)

    "A place to park your career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Nashville, TN
    Former Employee - Manager in Nashville, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Lonely Planet full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    You won't achieve much, but you can park your career here for a while (as long as you're not in management - see below). You'll be surrounded by young, friendly people. You'll have short workdays, long lunches, and time off when you want. You will get little management supervision (but lots of direction). You can work remotely as much as you want.

    Cons

    Regardless of your position, you will likely report directly to the CEO (usually via some informal "group leader") due to the high management attrition and difficulty in recruiting replacements. You will not get performance reviews or business/product updates. Your work will be driven by decisions without discussion and focused on features that are dictated from above rather than discussed. Much of this will be driven by Sales commitments you are expected to support. You will deal with many problems with few easy solutions. You will find a culture where it matters how friendly you are with the CEO. You will not get paid handsomely.

    Advice to Management

    The travel publishing business is mature and not growing. Lonely Planet wants to innovate a change. But the digital business is run like it's stuck in the 1990s. So it suffers from a constantly revolving inventory of new managers who quit or are fired in frustration. As per other reviews, Lonely Planet needs to replace senior leadership to fix the persistent issues, and enable proper management of the business overall. If interviewing with Lonely Planet today, my first question would be about the state of the current management structure.


  6. Helpful (7)

    "Confused Brand"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Lonely Planet full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Co-workers and people are awesome at LP

    Cons

    Growth Opportunities, Upper Management, No direction, Communication, Compensation way under averages, No real review process, Ethics

    Advice to Management

    Communication, lack of empathy for employees


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Great People, Great Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Lonely Planet part-time

    Pros

    The people are great, very flexible hours and fantastic support system. The projects are interesting but may get mundane depending on the cycle.

    Cons

    Very little room for growth. Especially with the recent restructuring, many employees (senior and junior) were laid off.

    Advice to Management

    Give employees more potential for growth. There could be more support from the higher-ups.

  8. Helpful (13)

    "Great brand, great product in need of adult management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Nashville, TN
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Nashville, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Lonely Planet full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Lonely planet is absolutely brand you should work for if you like to travel. You can't beat Lonely Planet content. On the content side they have awesome machine that keeps generating great content and ideas.

    Cons

    If you look at LinkedIn you will see lonely planet has had revolving door for CTOs. This is a company that can't figure out how to develop technology that surfaces great content they have. Their management doesn't communicate at all, you will be happy if you receive some note from CEO once in 6 month. They take on product development with goals, milestones in mind. There is no reason why certain projects are done, they don't measure anything. Think twice before accepting job offer from lonely planet if you are tech minded person. If you just want to float along and have very low stress job sure go ahead and join this company.

    Advice to Management

    Hire someone who know how to manage, communicate with employees. How can you run a company without single person in charge of HR issues. You have no process in place for 6 month/12 month reviews, this is not how you run company.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Great Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Lonely Planet full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Though I cannot speak for all teams at Lonely Planet, I strongly believe that LP is a place where you can come work and feel at home. People are engaging and creativity is constantly flowing. I would be willing to bet the majority of negative reviews on this site are from disgruntled past employees that were stuck in their old ways and didn't like change, ultimately parting ways with the brand. Management seems to do a great job motivating their employees and promoting a culture of free thinking and innovation. Be ready to hit the ground running from day one.

    Cons

    Although I do not have any cons in this point of my career, I feel that the overall Lonely Planet mission could be communicated throughout the organization a little better. This would help all teams understand the greater product of Lonely Planet and how each teams part plays into the bigger picture.

    Advice to Management

    Keep investing in your team below you and remember that they are the brand's greatest asset. Continue to promote to your employees that we are one big family and loyalty to the brand will continue to rise.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "A storied past and a promising future"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Lonely Planet full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - The company has an incredible history and despite the ups and downs of the book industry, it has stayed the course and continued to provide travelers with amazing content
    - Definitely more focus on driving a technology transformation considering where the company was during the BBC days. The progress seems to now be coming thick and fast
    - Management team that is deeply invested in the future of the organization.

    Cons

    - Being a global company, it's not always easy for us to find a single-minded culture across the organization. That at LP, as in any other company is a work in progress.

    Advice to Management

    I know it's hard to turn a company like this around but despite a lot of criticism and challenges, the management team led by Daniel Houghton (the CEO) try really hard to steer the ship in the right direction. Despite Daniel and some of the other senior leaders being young, they have learned how to keep the company striving forward. Keep driving what y'all are driving and things will finally move in an upwards trajectory. It's good to be a part of that journey.


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