For many years I earned my money through various back-breaking tasks. Even after I graduated with my bachelor’s degree, I was still walking ten or more miles a day lifting heavy boxes.
When I got a new job that utilized my degree, I was suddenly looking through glass windows in an office instead of looking at boxes in a concrete warehouse. It was weird.
This isn’t to say one type of work is better than the other. Whether you’re working in a warehouse or office, both can be fulfilling and lucrative. But there’s no doubt that they are two different environments, and changing from one to another requires a period of adjustment.
For anyone who is making or has just made this type of transition, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Being Busy Feels Different
Being busy at an office job is significantly different than being busy in a job that requires manual labor. In a manual labor job, it can feel like you’re running a marathon – you’re bouncing all over the place because things feel like a madhouse (especially on a busy weekend). When I’m busy for my current job, I’m still bouncing all over the place, but it’s bouncing across computer screens rather than a warehouse or store floor.
Both are exhausting, but in different ways. By the end of a busy day from my warehouse job I’d have no choice but to lie down because my feet hurt so much. By the end of a busy day from a hard day’s work in the office, I’m just mentally drained and ready to go to bed.
When I transitioned from working in a warehouse to an office, I realized that the tempo of the environment was just different.
With my job in a warehouse, even when it wasn’t busy there wasn’t much time for talk. I was constantly on the move, and my tasks were completely physical and concrete.
With my current job, there’s still always things to do, but the tempo is just different. Instead of walking around trying to help and lifting heavy items, I’m at my desk picking up new tasks – tasks that are much more abstract.
It’s always exciting to accomplish things – whether it’s literally getting something out of the way or checking an item off of your to-do list. It isn’t the same rush, though – there’s more of an ebb and flow to the office compared to the physical toll from a warehouse job.
Part of the job at the warehouse was moving around, and that completely flipped when I started working at a desk in an office. Now I have to make an effort during the workday to get up and get some steps in.
Here at SoGoSurvey, we have SoGoGetUp. When we were in the office before these Strange Days, we’d go as a team to walk for 10-15 minutes to get away from our desks and screens. Even with everyone working from home, I still take those 10-15 minutes to get up and go for that walk. I was used to having my feet hurt after a hard day’s work in the warehouse – now, I actually miss being able to walk so much on the clock.
Also, I have the option to consolidate a lot of my day when working from a computer – if it’s a packed day or I need to do something else during my lunch break I can eat while I accomplish tasks. I definitely could not do the same while bouncing around the warehouse. This new “flexibility” is both a blessing and curse because it allows me to get more done but gives me less incentive to get up and moving in the middle of the work day.
Whether the job is in a warehouse or in an office, recipies for success include some of the same ingredients: Communicating effectively, working hard, listening to feedback, and being a team player will lead you to success no matter where you’re working. Effort is noticed early on, whether there’s a lot of it or barely any. Make sure to apply yourself in any work environment and the adjustment won’t be too bad.
If you’re looking to learn more about your employees’ experience, check out the SoGoSurvey EX Tool.