The workforce has fundamentally changed from onsite work being an expectation to businesses becoming more willing to have remote and hybrid positions. While this change may not be what you had originally planned, or the flexibility may be exciting, remote positions as a recent graduate have their advantages and disadvantages.
Why can it be more efficient to work remotely as a grad?
It can be more efficient working remotely as a graduate due to cutting down on travel time. On average Australians are spending 54 minutes per day (that’s 169 hours per year) commuting.
By working remotely you cut out the commute. That’s not just to and from work, but as video calls become key to businesses that will save you time on getting to meetings too. Not only will this save time, but also be cheaper due to cutting out fuel, public transport fares, or the cost of food and drink from your local cafe.
Now you’ll have time to spend as you like. That might be training, hobbies, or just relaxing with friends and family. The best part is the time is yours and you can spend it however you like.
Why might working remotely open up more opportunities for you?
A remote job as a graduate also means you don’t need to move for work which can open yourself up to a wide range of work opportunities. When remote you’re not limited by your geographical area but instead can apply for roles even in different states.
As more and more young people move back in with their parents due to the cost of living, you'll have the flexibility to be able to do your remote job from wherever you choose to be. The flexibility of remote work can foster a work life balance that allows you to be close to family and pursue different opportunities without needing to relocate for your career.
How is it less stressful to work remotely as a grad?
As a graduate everything will be new to you, but you’re likely a digital native which means remote work won’t feel as stressful! This is because you grew up with the internet, did some of your schooling remotely over video calls, spoke to your tutors via email - the essential skills of remote work are already there. Having this base of knowledge will make everything else more manageable.
The flexibility of remote work can also allow you to build a better work/life balance than being in-person allows. Where it might save on costs, it also saves you on time you can reinvest back into yourself. Having the chance to go straight to the gym after work in the time it’d take to commute from the office, or getting some life admin done from home in your lunch break can help alleviate pressure throughout your life. The important thing is you can use the extra time remote work allows in whatever way makes things more manageable for you.
How do I keep a work-life balance as a remote grad?
To maintain a work-life balance as a remote working graduate you can establish your boundaries within your life and environment. For example, exclusively work within certain hours of the day and don’t be tempted to check work outside of those hours (including checking emails!) You can also change your environment, this might be especially important if you relax in the same place you work. Instead work in one spot and then relax in another, or break up your day by going outside.
While maintaining a work-life balance from home might be challenging, doing these things before you begin will put you off to a great start.
What am I missing out on by being a remote grad?
As a remote grad the biggest thing you will miss out on is being face-to-face with your co-workers. In the end there’s no better way of developing relationships with them than being in the same room.
It’s easy to feel separate from the team when you’re by yourself and everyone is just signatures at the bottom of emails but you can still feel involved as a remote working graduate. Try to regularly touch base with your peers over email and video calls. Even though you may miss out on water cooler talk you can still speak to your co-workers if you need help or congratulate them on their achievements. Video calls make it easier than ever to feel fulfilled as a member of a broader team.
We discuss more tips for remote work on our podcast episode with GradConnection's very own Asaf Ben-Or! He tells us about his experience working full-time in an entry-level role from Melbourne with a largely Sydney-based team.
When working remotely as a grad, how do I stop getting distracted?
To stop getting distracted in your remote work try breaking down the task into smaller chunks while also planning ahead for distractions. Distractions are something you experienced in school, when studying, even us here at GradConnection understand it. But we can also help you manage it.
Distractions may not be unique to remote work, but they can be more prevalent as procrastination is easier without that supervision.
Professor Fuschia Sirois told GradConnection that procrastination is a form of mood regulation or “avoidant coping” we do to avoid difficult emotions attached to a task.
“It doesn’t mean that the task is difficult, the task can be a simple one,” she says. “But in our minds… there’s some difficult feelings around it.”
If you break down the task into smaller chunks, put yourself in a position that avoids distractions, and then plan for when they come up you’ll be well on your way to succeed in remote work. Oh and avoid working from the couch.
How do I find remote work as a graduate?
If you’re wanting to work remotely as a graduate you can search for remote jobs across Australia right here on GradConnection! Graduate jobs are available across industries as either fully remote or hybrid remote (e.g. 1-2 days in the office) opportunities .
Should I work remotely or in the office as a graduate?
Deciding if you should work remotely or in the office is a highly personal choice depending on what you’re looking for out of the workplace to feel the most fulfilled. If possible, trying a hybrid role is likely the best way for you to find out your style! In the end it’s about how you work best.