Most of your questions have been answered already but I feel I have to add to the travel answer.
As a new starter it largely depends on where your exchange is so for me although my prefered work area is within 10 minutes travel my current exchange is a lot further away.
Its more like 45 minutes away without traffic and 98% of the time I am sent to the area around that EX rather than my PWA.
Its in the city center of Manchester so travel time is almost always at least an hour and a half morning and afternoon.
There are some things you can do to get your home commute shorter like contacting control in the afternoon and ask for a job closer to home. They do try and accommodate and that means your travel home is shorter. Although there are times when they cant or simply that your job isnt finished so you cant.
The basics are this you have to give an hour but if your job is 5 minutes away then you give 5 minutes they dont expect you to set off at 7 if it will only take you 5 minutes to get there..
We were told once youve been here awhile your manager will look at your travel time and if it it takes you 10 mins to get to your patch then he will reduce your travel time.
That hasnt happened for me but as I say my Exchange is a lot further away. I do know some of the guys I trained with have had there travel time reduced but no one on my team has our manager seems to like using the hour travel thing to avoid actually looking at why its taking 2 hours for me to get on site some mornings. I am not alone on that by the way.
Hours to start with will likely be 8 - 4:10 and for me overtime has been readily available so far not so much after 4:10 that doesnt seem to be offered as yet but the weekends are usually available or have been for me anyway.
I am told by my coach that after 12 months we are moved into local teams and when that happens its very likely my new manager will look at my travel times in the morning and look to change my exchange to one local to me. That will then give me jobs more local to me also.
I cant tell you how good it feels when I get up in the morning and instead of it saying city centre it tells me im just around the corner. It does happen from time to time but not nearly as much as it does for others
My comments are my own and represent my opinion only not that of any person or company I may have links to.
Edited by ShavedApe (Wed 15-Nov-17 22:59:13)