I have written 3 blog posts about why I think it's bullshit for a company to move from the suburbs to the city. I've deleted each one for being to wordy. So, here's a top 10 list...
- When I accept a position at a company, one factor is the proximity to my home. I want to have a work, life balance and you deciding to move the company to the city means I might have made a different decision when I took the job.
- "But you'll get to experience the city!" Everyone says that, it's not true. Maybe if I was 22 and could get back to my place whenever I want, but I have a family I want to see occasionally. Think about your average day and how much time you spend hanging out and enjoying your surroundings. It's maybe a half hour at lunch, tops.
- It's a sprint to the office/train. I wake up and I'm rushing to make the train, then I get to the city and I'm rushing to get to the office. Then the day is done and I'm rushing to get to the train again, so that I can make it home before 7pm. It sucks.
- It costs me more to get to work every day. My train pass is $150, I've taken 5 cabs (due to weather or timing) which is about $50, I've had to park at the train station 4 times which is $12, and I've had to drive to the city to drop off/pick up gear twice (48 miles round trip x 55 cents a mile, plus $28/day to park) which cost me $108.80. That's $320.80 or $120.80 more than what I was spending to drive.
- It costs more when I'm at work. I just had a Caesar salad and a Diet Dr Pepper. It was $10. The salad dressing wasn't even included in the $7 salad price. My first day I got a Coke and a bottle of water and it was almost $5.
- I can't go out for a beer after work. My friend's company screwed them too and moved from the burbs to the city. But for me to meet up with them for a beer or two I have to miss spending any time with my wife or putting the baby to sleep. If I don't get on a train between 5 and 6:30pm, I don't get home until 8pm.
- The flip side of number 6 is that if I have to do anything in the suburbs before 7pm I can't make it. By the time I get to the train, get to my home, walk there, put my stuff down, get everyone together, get in the car and pull away it's 7pm at the earliest.
- I work in the loop, like most everyone else. Even when I want to do something after work, there's nothing going on after 6pm or on weekends. Everything happens in neighborhoods, nothing happens downtown in the loop.
- Even though you're in the city, you can't get to anything. If I need to go to the camera store I have to either drive down (see costs above), take an hours worth of trains/busses/walking, or take an expensive cab. Even if all I need is a USB cable I have to walk a mile to Best Buy or take a $7 cab. And that's assuming what I'm looking for is popular enough to put on their small amount of shelf space. And I can't go to the one by my house on the way in because it opens at 9 and I'll miss my trains.
- And finally, people who don't work in the city always talk about how great it would be. It's not.
(Btw, I think it would be just as bad if it was a company in the city moving to the suburbs. People take jobs based on location.)