As its approaching four weeks since I moved at work I thought I would list the positives and negatives of the move so far. Thankfully there are far more positives than negatives which is comforting since I moved from a place I worked at for twenty years and that takes some getting used to I can tell you.
Lets deal with the negative first.
I feel like a fish out of water. Yes I am doing the same job but in a different building with people I have yet to know. It was to be expected to feel like this, I knew it and had been warned by many others to expect to feel like this and it could take upto twelve months before I know people really well.
Having spent two decades in one place, knowing the building and the people so well from the cleaners to senior management I could do the job stood on my head with my eyes closed such was the familiarity of the place. Some people did explain to me that they try to move every three years or so to avoid being so familiar in one place and to see other places, how things are done differently and to keep challenging yourself. Whilst everyone has been kind, polite and friendly and I am sure I will have no issues settling in, it feels very unnatural not to be able to put names to faces and vice versa. There is something comforting in seeing a face you recognise and having conversations with those people.
I am expecting it to take around a year to get to know most people, who you can and cannot trust, who has common interests with you, etc. So I shouldn’t feel too downbeat as I knew this would happen and everyone who has ever moved has had to deal with this same feeling.
Now the list of positives.
The first thing I notice is the commute. Having swapped a 30 minute morning commute and anything up to an hour evening commute for a 10 minute journey, I have more time to myself in a working day and it feels like one barrier has been removed from my work life.
The journey home was particularly draining. After working ten hours the last thing you needed was driving home in rush hour. I used to come through the front door at home mentally exhausted from being out of the house for twelve hours and enduring a slow crawl home in the traffic. Often in an evening when I left work at eleven or midnight I would have to negotiate overnight motorway closures and all manner of detours which left me wondering when would I ever get home?
Even if the roads were clear I would feel shattered getting home and really did not feel up for having to walk the dogs before I went to bed. It all felt like a chore and a draining end to my working day.
The opposite is now happening. Before I know it I parking up outside my house. I feel more alert and awake when I have returned home, the effect has been very noticeable. On the odd occasion where I have finished slightly later than planned I haven’t been fazed as I know I will be home in no time at all. Facing a long journey home on top of a longer shift would have annoyed me greatly such was the mental barrier of knowing I had that drive to do.
Even silly things like receiving a text off my wife prior to leaving work asking me to pick up some food from the supermarket on my way home would have annoyed me. All I ever wanted to do was to get home after a day at work, the thought of delaying that return by stopping at the shops wound me up. Yet now its no longer an issue because I am still getting home sooner even with a detour to the shops.
My old works had very little staff parking which caused everyone a great stress. With little safe parking you had to find all manner of places to park that were free as the cost would easily run up in a month and somewhere safe for you and your car. With most car parks charging you to park you resorted to either parking at a tram stop which was free but another mile in the wrong direction from work or on some small bits of land or residential streets to keep the cost down.
Some people had their cars broken into, sometimes you got wet in the rain walking the distance from your car to work and on afternoon shifts you would move your car into the staff car park after 5pm when all the daytime staff had vacated for the day. It added so much extra time to your day driving around for somewhere to park then have to go and retrieve it again later. Now I have a large secure car park with plenty of spaces to choose from. No longer having to drive around looking for alternatives places to park. Your day is already a busy and stressful one, you can do without adding to that stress by worrying about where you are going to park your car even before you have walked into the building!
The team I have joined are a friendly bunch. From my supervisors to my colleagues they are all helpful, chatty and I have been made to feel very welcome. Everyone pulls together and helps each other out. We are constantly laughing and joking despite how busy the day is which is important. Yes you need to knuckle down and get the work done but its nice to work in a relaxed and cheerful environment at the same time.
There are no personality clashes on our team nor between the other teams which is very refreshing as I have come from an office that did on a daily basis suffer from bitching, whinging and moaning which really does grind you down. We all need to be surrounded by positive people in our lives whether personal or work lives, no one can thrive when surrounded by negative influences.
So these are the main differences I have noticed in just four weeks. Overall I am happy with the move and do not regret it. It will take time for me to get to know the people but it will happen in the end. What strikes me is the positivity amongst the team and the environment in which we work despite it being a busy workplace. The journey times and ease with parking have meant I am more relaxed and have less to worry about and have less stress in my day.
The whole situation still feels strange. I still feel like the new schoolboy on his first day at school every time I turn up for work just because the journey and my environment still feels very new. That will change overtime I know that. For now I still overthink everything as it is all new, but its good to remind yourself of the positive impacts on the move and to focus on those rather than any negatives.