Graduating in the midst of one of the most uncertain times in recent history is pretty daunting, but there are currently lots of opportunities out there for graduates, and the way that life has changed due to the pandemic, has meant that a shift in the workplace is ripe and ready to be taken advantage of!
Many employers pre-Covid were hesitant to allow employees to work remotely – a lot of people worried that productivity would slow if people were left to their own devices. But, not only has this been proven to be false, but for many the opposite is true. Working remotely has changed the work/life balance and this shift comes with a host of benefits; for both the employee and employer.
Even with the restrictions placed due to the pandemic easing, many companies are keeping the hybrid approach to work for now, which means graduates are entering a working world that’s different from ever before.
Although you may still have to go to the office some days, here's a list of our favourite benefits of working from home, to help you prepare for your first flexible graduate job:
1. Less Commuting
Let’s face it, commuting is most people’s least favourite part of the day. Being sandwiched in with dozens of other people on packed trains, or letting your Spotify playlist loop for the eighth time in a traffic jam is nobody’s idea of a good time. With most workplaces now offering remote working, or a split between office-based and remote working, commuting time for the average person has been completely slashed. And, for those who do still have to commute, there are far less other people out at rush hour due to the more flexible working day. Not only is the travelling and traffic itself a pain, but it can be stressful. Less commuting means less stress and anxiety, and more time for a little extra sleep or making a decent breakfast.
2. You’ll Save Money
This one is pretty much guaranteed, you’ve just left the student world and in an entry level role, things might still be tight financially (although you probably won't have to live off Pot Noodles like you did that time at Uni!) Even on transport alone, you’re going to save a lot of money; either in public transport costs or significant savings on your petrol and parking bills. Food is another way you’ll be kinder on your bank account – eating lunch out every day quickly adds up, particularly now the sunny weather is calling us to posh city-centric beer gardens. There’s still plenty of time in the evenings and at weekends to socialise, so you can keep more money in your pockets while still scratching that social itch.
3. A Healthier Work-Life Balance
In the past, it often felt like the rest of your life was being crammed into the spare time outside your working hours, wherever you could fit it. But it’s not like that anymore, with many companies offering flexible working hours. Meaning, that as long as deadlines are met and productivity is achieved, you can work hours during the day that suit you and your needs a little better. It gives you more opportunity to do a morning gym or yoga class, or being at home if you have deliveries or packages due. The little things like that make balancing work and the rest of your life far, far easier.
4. Higher Performance and Productivity
Yep, it’s official. Studies have shown consistently that over half of people working remotely, or with a split, perform better at home. There are a few reasons for this. There’s much less going on around you to distract you, so you can focus on the work you’re doing and impressing your new boss, instead of trying to block our office-chatter or worry and background noise. Lots of people who have been working from home have had to chance to create a personalised office environment at home. Having a quiet space set up specifically for your work in a place you’re comfortable in makes a huge difference to your performance levels, and stops you getting stressed. There’s no limits to how your workspace can be in your own home –it can be whatever you want, and people love it.
So, what’s our final opinion on flexible working for grads? At the moment we are in an unprecedented (yeah we hate that word too) time, where people have been required to work from home, and things are a little different but that’s a great thing for you! The idea of managing yourself and being at the mercy of your Zoom connection can seem a little daunting at first, but the freedom and overall improvement to happiness that flexible working can offer will help you thrive in your new role.
Here at Forward Role, many of our current available roles involve some kind of remote working. We have positions across multiple sectors, and our consultants are keen to help recent graduates stand out, and step in to their new working environment. Get in touch for CV, interview and career advice from our team of experts!
Charlotte Ferguson is Office Administrator at Forward Role