Following on from yesterday’s post about the daily commute, my working environment is also very different now, compared to two years ago.

I was used to a huge office with hundreds of people on each floor, thousands in the building. I was used to a multinational organisation, with a coffee shop on the premises, a café or restaurant to get subsidised lunch.

I was used to a “managed” office space, requiring a security badge to get into the building, and onto the floors. I was used to “someone” fixing the dodgy light, “someone” cleaning each evening, “someone” filling up the snack vending machines.

The lights and heating were automatic. On the extremely rare occasions when I was the first person to arrive on my floor, the lights would come on as I walked down the corridor, all movement sensitive.

Now, I am working in a small office with a maximum of fourteen people. Most staff have front door keys. The first person in, puts on the lights and heating. Last one out, turns it all off. We sign in each day, time in and out and if we leave the building at lunch time.

One of my colleagues has the assumed role of DIY man, walking around with a step ladder to replace a light bulb, or getting a drill out to fix a new white board to the wall.

There is a kitchen / lunch room to make our own drinks, with fridge freezer, toaster, microwave. Tea, coffee, milo and milk are provided, with a colleague buying supplies out of “petty cash”. A coffee van does visit our office four days a week. The only snack and chocolate supply is a fundraiser box from a local school.


I’m in a shared office at the back of the building with no natural light. I know when it’s raining because I hear it on the tin roof.

I was used to fire wardens on each floor, regular fire alarm tests and evacuations that took almost an hour, walking down five or more flights of stairs. They take workplace health and safety seriously here, but their fire sign made me smile.


One colleague takes shredding home – for her chooks in her chicken coop.

Although I’m living in a city, it is a very different life to London, a small scale city with everything we want, but verging on rural life, beach life.

For now, I know I’m in the right place.