I started at a new company about 2 months ago. Its a large warehouse, so there is a main front office where my team works from their work stations. I've been working at a temporary workstation for the time being, but recently found out that I am going to be moved to a desk that is at the back of the warehouse, which is no where near the team that I am on, which I regularly work and collaborate with. There are currently no more open desks at the front office.

I understand that as the new guy, your workstation isn't always the best, but there is someone else that started in a similar position to mine on the same exact day, also brand new to the company, that got a brand new desk in the front office. I spoke with my boss, but they said there's nothing that can be done. I want to prove myself at work by being included on important projects and stuff, but I'm worried that I may be left out of this and the impromptu meetings/discussions/conversations and general office stuff that happens that isn't scheduled since I will be nowhere near them.

My company promotes a strong team environment and culture, but I'm not sure how I can be a part of this if I sit separate from my whole team. What should my next steps be?

  • Not an exact duplicate, but have a look here for the team aspect.
    – nvoigt
    Aug 12, 2016 at 5:42
  • 1
    Look on the bright side - you will at least get some exercise walking to have a chat with team members
    – Ed Heal
    Aug 12, 2016 at 7:48

3 Answers 3


You have already asked and been turned down, so work with what you have and find the positive side, don't carry on asking straight away, that isn't a good look, it makes you seem like you cannot take instruction etc,.

Use it as an opportunity to show that you can work well unsupervised. Many people would like this position. You don't have as much social contact but you can concentrate a lot better.

Make an effort to cross the Warehouse at breaks etc,. and have a quick chat about anything you feel like talking about just so no one forgets you exist. If your work is solid then your time will come. I've been asked how to tell a good employee and it's pretty simple. The guy I rarely hear from, who causes no problems, and always has his work done properly (basically when this chap/chappess finally does ask for something, he/she is taken very seriously and I'll go to a lot of effort for them).

You've been there 2 months, concentrate on earning your keep and respect workwise, after a bit more seniority people will take you more seriously.

  • 1
    +1 I would add that in addition to these, call an occasional meeting at your cube. Not to be a jerk about it, but to let them know how you have to travel. Your coworkers might get the idea, "He has to come all the way from there" and put their own pressure on management. Aug 12, 2016 at 15:31
  • The guy you rarely hear from, who causes no problems and sits 100m away gets the worse of the tasks. If you are isolated then the chances of getting the "work done properly", whatever it means, are lowered, potentially significantly. It's a strange idea to isolate a new employee - it's not a good sign for the future.
    – tmaj
    Aug 13, 2016 at 11:58
  • BTW. What are "breaks"?
    – tmaj
    Aug 13, 2016 at 11:58
  • @Tymski look for the positives, you can find negatives anywhere, but doing so is not constructive or good for morale... it's just whining.
    – Kilisi
    Aug 13, 2016 at 20:59
  • Haha. If you don't fight for stuff you don't get it. It's nothing to do with positivity or negativity, it's just laws of the office. Do you seriously think that, on average, the person not sitting with the team gets the good work? What did you mean by breaks?
    – tmaj
    Aug 14, 2016 at 22:06

I worked remotely for most of the past decade, where remotely means hundreds of miles. Part of what that required was that I make an extra effort to reach out to the rest of the team to stay involved, keep them informed, etc.

Compared to that, walking down to the other set of desks occasionally really isn't a big deal.

  • Agree. I've worked with people for years that I've never met. Video conferencing will also work (and may drop a subtle hint that you're too far away!)
    – PeteCon
    Aug 12, 2016 at 16:53
  • This is a valid point, but it managing 50km requires different skills than managing 50m.
    – tmaj
    Aug 14, 2016 at 22:10
  • Well, I can't meet my friends for lunch, or walk over when I need higher bandwidth. But that just makes my point: if true remote work can be managed, walking 50m or sending a text message or picking up the phone really are not hardships worth moaning about.
    – keshlam
    Aug 14, 2016 at 22:17

It is great that you recognized this problem and actively trying to solve it.

The secret is to be persistent without being seen as always complaining.

I would suggest two things:

  • Write to your colleagues, not just the boss, and ask them for help with this. If your team has retros, bring this topic to the table.

  • In a friendly way, ask your boss about the plan and timescales to address the issue. If you see that there is a genuine will to solve the problem then it will be easier to deal with this.

If this is not going anywhere I would ask the team to rotate a team member to the desk every now and then.

If the team is unresponsive to your ideas you need to answer a hard question if putting up with this problem is worth it.

  • Thanks for your response. That's my concern.....I'm not complaining, but don't want it to be interpreted as that. It's definitely a fine line. A couple other employees have expressed to me that they don't think me moving to the back is a productive idea, due to the nature of my work and the frequent communication I have with others, with one even saying that they would offer to put two desks in their office, but there just isn't enough space in their room.
    – bwp8965997
    Aug 12, 2016 at 3:52
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    I would caution against a new hire enlisting a bunch of colleagues to try to get a change that was turned down by management. This could easily be perceived the wrong way and backfire. I think @Kilisi is right that this is something to back off from for awhile, and perhaps revisit later.
    – user45590
    Aug 12, 2016 at 8:17
  • @dan1111 If asking for help for something that is clearly wrong (and isolating a new hire is wrong) gets you into trouble - run away.
    – tmaj
    Aug 13, 2016 at 12:01

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