As I continue to look for a house, I’ve realized that there is a good chance that I might end up living very close to the same area where I work. That means my commute, which right now is about 30 minutes, could actually drop down to under 10. Perhaps even five!
At first you might think, ‘wow, that’s great!’ You can go home for lunch – maybe even catch a quick nap. You’d bring siesta back to NYC baby! But upon further examination (because I must over think everything), I’m starting to wonder if it’s possible to live too close to work. Among the negatives:
1) No excuses. You will always be expected to be at work, regardless of the weather, irrespective of car trouble.
2) The chosen one. Living close to work will likely increase the odds that you will be asked, or expected, to do something on the weekend or afterhours.
3) Unwanted passenger. If your colleagues run into car trouble, and are forced to take public transportation, who will they ask to pick them up from the bus or train station (assuming it doesn’t stop in front of the office)?
4) Mini-world. A close commute means you will be shrinking the size of your world. If the trip from home to work is so short, you might be missing out on good shopping experiences or scenes of beauty.
5) Stale. Let’s face it, your current commute is boring enough. Even though it’s only a few minutes, think about how quickly it will become old.
6) The neighbors. I don’t know about you, but I like to keep my work life and home life segregated. That includes keeping what I do private from me neighbors. This cuts down on awkward conversation and unsolicited favor requests. Getting back and forth to work so routinely will tip them off to your schedule, and since they already know the neighborhood, they’ll know where you work.
7) Forever? Nothing is permanent, but purchasing a home near your job is a big commitment. It’s basically an acknowledgement that you are at your job to stay. Depending on your employer, that could work for you or against you.
8) Spoiled. Human nature always has us wanting more. In the same way high-speed Internet drives us crazy when it slows down, there’s a good chance you’ll want to trim that commute down from five minutes to four. We lose perspective quickly.
I’m the first to concede that the extra sleep you’ll be able to grab each morning trumps the rest of the list. Not to mention the additional time you’ll be able to spend with family and friends.
Now I open the floor to you. Would you jump at the chance to trim your commute to mere minutes?