New Job? How Close Do You Want to Be to the Office?
For some people, escaping at the end of the day is all about distance. For others? They want to be home as soon as they can. If your new job isn’t close to the old one, would you consider moving? Are you a commuter at heart or do you like the convenience of having your whole life in one neighborhood?
There are a few reasons you might want to be closer to work...or farther away! We've compiled a few pros and cons to get you started.
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Pros of working close to home
Getting there and getting home
If commutes are stressful to you, minimize them. Do the crowds on the subway make you cringe? Does traffic make you anxious? Maybe you'd prefer to walk or bike to work. Bonus: You get in some exercise every day, totally by accident. Just make sure you have a plan for rainy days, and a plan to clean up if you arrive sweaty and winded.
Caring for your pets
If you have a dog that needs a walk in the middle of the day, or as soon as you get home at night, you may want to save yourself the cost of a dog walker by working close to home and going for a visit in the middle of the day. A brisk walk in the middle of the day can energize you for the afternoon, and you'll save money since you'll be much more likely to eat a bag lunch at your desk instead of going to a restaurant.
Flexible time with family
Some parents prefer a shorter commute because it allows them more time to be with their families. If you leave the office at 6 pm, but don't get home until after 7, the chances of sitting down to eat as a family go way down when the kids are younger.
Though renting or buying near your workplace may be more expensive than other neighborhoods, you may save in other ways. Transportation costs money, after all. And going home for lunch is cheaper than going out if you forgot your lunch box. And you won't have to pay that dog walker we mentioned. Do some research in your area to find out the true cost of living close to work.
Getting home sooner
At the end of the day, if all you want to do is hit the couch and put your feet up, the closer that couch is to the office, the better. Wouldn't it be nice to put on your stretchy pants and pour a cup of tea less than an hour after you leave work?
Less need to be organized
Are you forgetful? If you’re the kind of person who regularly leaves something at the office and has to turn around and go get it, close is better. (Sure, you could change, become one of those organized people. But is that really likely?)
Cons of working close to home
Time to think
For some people, a commute offers welcome alone time. They wear headphones and read on the metro, or listen to the morning news in the car. For some, a commute can be a nice transition time.
Being close in an emergency
Got kids? If their school or daycare is near where you work, you may not mind living farther away, because you can still make it there quickly for school plays or emergencies.
Speaking of kids, the school district
In some places, your child may qualify to go to school in the district where you work. Even if you like where you live, a job in a different district could be a great way to access programs and services your child could benefit from.
Yep, this made both lists. Depending on where you live, your mileage may vary (literally and figuratively -- ha!). Sure, you’re paying for a commute one way or another, but the savings on housing might be so large that you still come out ahead. You know your budget. Make sure your choice of where to live helps you stick to your budget!
Really getting away
Ideally, you love your job and your co-workers. But you might still want a break on the weekend. The farther your home is from work, the less likely you are to run into co-workers. Your job will be out of sight and out of mind, so you can unwind properly.
Of course, there are nice neighbors everywhere. But do you love your current neighborhood? Do the people there really look out for each other? If your new office isn’t as close to home, so what? You won’t need to run home to let the plumber in, because your neighbors are there for you. (Just make sure you offer to get their mail when they’re out of town to return the favor!)
How about you? In an ideal world, how close would you like to be to the office?