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Thread: Office relocation - oppressive commute

  1. #1
    Gromnir's Avatar
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    Office relocation - oppressive commute

    I changed jobs about 6 months ago, but today I was informed that there are plans to relocate the office in the next 6 months or so. The unfortunate part is that although the current office is a comfortable commute for me, the new proposed location is directly away from me and puts it outside of my acceptable range for a long term situation. The city I live in has poor public transit, and the combination of non-fixed schedules and locations of other employees means that carpooling is not an option. Additionally, we sometimes work 6 days/week so that means even more driving.

    To be honest, I feel like this was bait-and-switch, as I would not have accepted the position had I known about the upcoming relocation. Commute time is definitely important to me, since this is extra time out of my day that I do not get compensated for. I do not particularly like driving and consider it expensive, dangerous, and a waste of time. The wintry weather really reinforces the importance of this.

    Aside from the upcoming relocation, this job does seem to be an upgrade from my previous employment: moderate pay increase, fits my skill set more closely, more demanding hours in the office but less travel (this is a worthwhile trade), better work environment in terms of management and coworkers.

    I'm in a bit of a quandry on how to approach this. While I won't take any direct action until the relocation actually happens (because nothing is final until it happens), I do feel the need to have a solid plan in place. I own my house, so simply picking up and moving isn't easy.

    My options, as I see it:
    • Start looking for a closer job once the office relocates. I can handle the commute for a few months, just not as a long term situation. I always consider new jobs a gamble, because you never know how things will play out until you make the jump. Also, while there are fair number of potential opportunities near me, I would definitely be restricting myself because I don't live near the hotspots.
    • Renting a small studio apartment or renting a room from someone as a sort of weekday outpost. If I'm going to go this route, I would likely put myself within walking or bicycle distance. Daily exercise is very welcome.
    • Rent out my house and rent something more livable (as opposed to the weekday outpost).
    • Try to negotiate for some telecommuting, but I don't think this is feasible due to equipment and focus on teamwork.
    • Try to negotiate for 4/10s, but I think this would be a pointless gesture given how often we need to work extended hours near deadlines.
    • Try to negotiate for more money. I haven't been there long enough to entertain this now, but by the time of the relocation I will be there about a year. Management does seem reasonable and might give a modest pay increase due to extra cost/time incurred. This wouldn't directly address the issue for me, but it would make other options easier for me.


    Factors to consider:
    • The rental market should allow me to cover the costs of the mortgage, insurance, and taxes. The area my house is should also be fairly easy to rent. There are a few rentals on my block, so I'm basing my assessment on that. However, I would still be out maintenance/repairs, vacancies, and property management costs. I would not attempt this without a property manager.
    • I make substantially more than what my expenses are and could actually cover the costs of the house and renting something near work (including the nicer/livable option), though the costs are enough that I would prefer not to. Thus I could actually cover a vacancy.
    • Similar to above, taking a reasonable pay cut for a short commute is an option.
    • I don't really consider selling the house to be an option at this time. Shitty seller's market (despite strong rental market) and retaining the option to return if I don't stay at job for any reason. The days of staying at 1 job for an entire career are pretty much over. I may decide to sell at a later point, but holding out for a few years of renter-financed paydown + market upswing would be a big advantage.


    It's times like this where I am VERY happy that I do not have a wife and/or children and the associated expenses. I at least have some options besides "suck it up."
    Last edited by Gromnir; 07-01-14 at 06:38 AM.

  2. #2
    Eddie Willers's Avatar
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    It's good to see a brother consider all the options, and their relative merits, by using reason and logic.

    I would rent a weekday outpost and spend the next few months scoping out the situation, especially with regard to salary increase and security.

  3. #3
    grenade001's Avatar
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    Depends on what the commute it. If it is a 90 minute commute instead of a 45 minute commute, it might be better to rent a room close to the place and rent your house out, depending on what rents are like in the area and what boarders are charging.

    Personally I would cop it on the chin and use the driving commute as personal development time, where possible. I strangely find commuting to be somewhat relaxing (if you dealt with the people I do at work you'd know why) but it isn't for everyone. If you have to spend an extra $30/week on fuel, I think that is better than contemplating spending $150+/week on a rental pad. The commute based on the above example is only about four extra hours per week. Unless you are earning $40+/hour, it would be cheaper to commute the extra distance.

    Also try and get a raise to take into account the increased commute!

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