Adjusting to New Spaces

I’ve recently moved work locations within the same organization and it’s proven to be a very tumultuous experience. It’s still the same organization, but I work with different people all together, and each site has it’s own regulations and ways that they do things. So it’s a bit of a culture shock.

I came from a small, cozy site that was tight knit and friendly. My new site is also friendly, but it’s crazy. There is constantly 100 things going on around me at any given time and the processes are completely different. It’s also huge, and the demographic I work with has drastically changed. I’m not working with the same people and as somebody who has recently started in the field, those colleagues were somewhat of a security blanket to me.

That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy my new site and I have been learning new things and settling in, however, it’s always hard to get settled in to a new place; whether that is a new job, new home, or even just a new routine.

Here are some tips to help it along:

Get to Know the People Around You

I am a firm believer that the people that you live near and work with can make or break a home or work experience.

My crazy neighbours have proven this time and time again and my coworkers have made me love my job even when it gets a little on the dry side.

Getting to know the people who surround you will really help you adjust. Even just asking questions when they make remarks or you see them doing something (ie: asking a neighbour how old his or her baby is when you see them, or a coworker how long they’ve worked at the company) can be helpful.

Change Things Around

One of the most frustrating things when I changed sites at my job was coming to a new desk where nothing is where I was used to it being. This really impeded my productivity and wasn’t so good for my feng shui.

What really helped with this was changing things around to being similar to my previous work station. This helped me tremendously because I didn’t feel as if I were in such a foreign place.

I also found that mimicking my old living room layout in my new apartment helped me adjust as well.

You can change it around once you get used to your surroundings in other ways, but this helps with the adjustment period right off the bat.

Bring Familiar Items

I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of this before, but my desk at my new work location hasn’t felt exactly like mine, and didn’t until I set up my pictures and favorite office supplies and my calendar and certificates.

It took me awhile to unpack my box from my old work site, and I couldn’t really place my finger on why I felt like I was squatting at somebody else’s desk temporarily. The desk was designated to me, so why didn’t it feel like mine?

I finally got around to unpacking my box and putting my pictures of my boyfriend and the dogs and my certificates and things, and when I did, I felt much more “at home”.

This made my desk feel much more lived in, and was good for my productivity because I didn’t feel like I was in a strange place anymore.

Give It Time

It’s always hard to stop the “out of my element” feeling that you get when you are in a new place, but with a little time you’ll feel just as comfortable as you were before.

Taking some time to get to know your surroundings will really help with feeling comfortable, instead of just jumping right in to the activities that you need to get to, but sometimes that’s not an option and giving yourself time is valuable.

Change is difficult for humans to accept, and even more difficult to adjust to, so don’t expect too much from yourself. Sometimes, time is all that will help.

So, have you had to adjust to change in the past? What has helped you? 


Adjusting to New Spaces — 7 Comments

  1. It can be really hard to get accustomed to a new place. Like you, I never feel like a space is my own until I put up pictures of my family. Then, I need to get my drawers organized so that everything feels comfortable for me and I can find everything. Good luck in your new group Daisy!

  2. Good tips. I’ve had to deal with changing locations at work before and I agree that it can be not so fun. For me it was getting to know the people around me and having familar things on my desk. Like you say, it just takes some time to get comfortable.

  3. They just recently renovated our entire building, and in doing so, the taller cube walls went away and instead they are only four foot walls, and you share space with 1-2 other people in your ‘square’. It definitely has required a lot of adjustment but as you say, time has made it so that I’ve adapted. I also have my earphones where I can put on some music if people around me get too loud.

  4. I remember when I was working in an office setting and how things would change. I was never a fan. There was one time when I had an office to myself and they ended up sticking someone in with me. I thought it sucked even though I was friends with him.

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