90% of my post-college jobs worked out because the office was at a convenient location. It was on my job checklist. Reputable company, good position, opportunities to grow, and close to home. Check, check, check, and check.
I’ve worked at my current job for about three years now. I love it. It’s a smaller company, so I get to interact with and learn about at least 5-6 different departments every day. The staff is great. We’ve had a few changes in titles and some people have left us. That’s normal.
I’ve trained clients, I’ve given presentations to educate my peers, and I’ve moved into a position to where I am in charge of my own department.
This job is also just a quick 25 minute drive from home. Without traffic, I can make it to the office in 15 minutes! It’s convenient because I can run errands at lunch, take care of holiday shopping nearby, and there are plenty of inexpensive and reasonable food options right by the office.
I’ve been very thankful for these circumstances. Now it’s time for a change.
Our leadership team informed us we were going to move to a new office location. It’s only 6 miles away, but it requires either taking the highway, which some of us have never had to do, or driving 25 minutes further on local roads. This might not seem like a big deal. But when we applied and accepted this job, our employers guaranteed us a smooth drive to and from work.
There’s a few things to consider if your office is moving to a new location.
Employers usually explain the office move details, such as when it will happen, how it will happen, and most important, where the new office is located.
If your employer hasn’t already spoken with you about this, then speak up! It’s important to know where you’re going to be spending your time and if it’s still reasonable for you.
Scope it out.
It’s a good idea to physically check out your office location. Find out about your parking options. Check out the restaurants and amenities around you.
I drove to the new office once we received the location details. In driving to the office, I took alternate routes, one way to the office, and a different road back, to see what the roads were like and which way might be quicker.
I found that the library is a 4 minute walk from the office, and a nice lake is about 6 minutes from the office.
Be aware of your surroundings.
This is something I am skeptical about. While I already see homeless people on the streets on my way to work now, I am at a safe distance from them. They ask for money while I’m in my car, but they keep walking through the stoplight traffic.
At the new office, homeless people hang out around the building, in the streets, on the way to the library and around the lake.
There’s a bigger safety risk at the new location, so it’s important to know what to expect, and how to prepare for the change.
Make a plan.
A longer commute requires an earlier bedtime, for an earlier wake up time, for an earlier schedule (morning gym time + breakfast + getting ready + reading + anything else we can fit in!).
Not only is more involved, but the parking and walking situation also factors in more time. From what I’ve been told, one option is a parking garage, and another option is a surface level parking lot.
Each option requires crossing the street (which is not something we encounter today), plus taking an elevator to one of the top floors in a high rise building (right now we are in a 4-story building on one of the lower levels). Right now, I can skip up and down the stairs to get to the office. That won’t be so easy in this new building.
With these factored in, it’s important to be prepared and allow some extra time on that first day to get settled. It will probably take a few weeks to get used to the new routine. When we have a plan, we hold ourselves accountable and it helps us get organized.
Take all of this into consideration and ask yourself, Will this work for me?
It’s all about the time, extra gas for the car, possibly costs in taking tolls and highways, emotions, and surroundings. Changing these factors can really disrupt our everyday routines.
For me, the extra time and drive is a big deal. To go from no hurdles to an obstacle course is a BIG change. I’m not being pessimistic. I’m being realistic.
Many of my coworkers feel excited to work closer to bars and restaurants. But I’m keeping in mind that I am at my job for 9 hours. When I clock out, I’m going home or I’m hanging out elsewhere. There is plenty to do in safer areas.
However, I will take advantage of the local businesses around me. I’ll explore. I’ll maximize my time and expand my horizons.
We must keep an open mind to adjust. If we don’t like it, then at least we gave it a try.