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Embracing Remote Work: A recent grad’s journey

Published: at 09:24 AM

On July 7, 2022, I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Mar Athanasius College of Engineering (MACE), Kerala. Starting my career with a remote job has given me the chance to work from various locations, such as cafes, beaches, and even the comfort of my own bed at home. Additionally, it has allowed me to experience the joy of traveling while working.

I embarked on my full-time career as an Associate Product Manager at Vahan. As a recent graduate exploring the realm of remote work, this blog serves as a reflection on my journey and an examination of my thoughts on remote work.

The initial months of remote work lacked excitement as it simply involved waking up at home and transitioning to work at my desk. Surprisingly, this gradually evolved into the convenience of working from bed. One day, the realization that “I can literally work from anywhere” just hit me. However, it took me a while to act on that and put it into practice.

During the first week of September 2022, I had the opportunity to travel to Gurgaon and collaborate with my co-workers. It was my first experience with the “work while you travel” approach, and to my surprise, I discovered a better work-life balance in this setting. I became more mindful of how I managed my time, ensuring I allocated sufficient hours for work and personal needs.

Enter “Goa”

Later, by the end of September, @Apsal, @Subin, and I decided to work from Goa! We spent almost two weeks exploring both South and North Goa. During the first week, we stayed in Canacona, South Goa. It was as fun as it sounds — I found myself working in the morning and exploring in the evening. The beaches in South Goa are incredibly peaceful. We even spent time stargazing near Patnem Beach, which was just a quick walk away from our Airbnb. We explored places like Cabo de Rama fort, the viewpoint, Butterfly Beach, and Palolem Beach! Butterfly Beach was a bit challenging to reach and involved a small trek, but the entire journey was worth it, and it remains one of my favorite beaches.

Working from Goa

Transportation in Goa is excellent! We took a KADAMBA shuttle bus for intercity travel and then a local bus to Arpora in North Goa. North Goa is the touristy party place. It’s a fun neighborhood, and the locals there are incredibly friendly. Baga Beach, in particular, is a lively place with numerous activities and a vibrant nightlife. I spent my time juggling between exploring places like St. Augustine’s Tower, the Basilica of Bom Jesus, and Aguada Fort. In Goa, you can rent bikes and scooters as cheap as Rs. 300 INR for a day to commute.

Exploring Goa

After almost two weeks of wandering through Goa, I took the train back to Kerala, where I live, to work from the comfort of my bed. I love Goa so much, and I would definitely love to stay and work there for a longer period sometime soon!

Backpacking through Gokarna

A few months later, along with Apsal and Serin, another friend of ours, I decided to go trekking through Gokarna in Karnataka. On a Friday morning, we took a train from Aluva to Kumta, where I ended up working from the train for a day. We reached Kumta late at night, accompanied by almost 30 strangers who later became great people to travel with. We backpacked to places like the Yana Caves in the morning, a cave formation made of limestone, visited Mirjan Fort, a historic landmark, and explored Vibhuthi Waterfalls in the evening. Vibhuthi Falls is a serene place where you can enjoy the sounds of nature and spend hours just being there.

Exploring Gokarna

Gokarna also has beaches where you can start trekking from one beach to another! On the second day, we embarked on the trekking route through Kudle Beach, Om Beach, Half Moon Beach, and ended at Paradise Beach! As a fan of beaches and someone who loves listening to the waves, I thoroughly enjoyed the entire trek and the mesmerizing views we encountered along the way!

The Bangalore Bash

Right after backpacking through Gokarna, we took an overnight bus from Kumta to Bangalore and decided to crash at Serin’s place. We met up with our batchmates from MACE and spent a few days hanging out with them. Since the weekend was over, both Apsal and I spent our mornings working from their apartment and explored Bangalore at night. We hopped through a few pubs in Indiranagar and explored Church Street, where I saw a lot of anime merchandise that I wanted to buy so badly! Bangalore is a really fun place when you’re with your friends, but the traffic there is just insane! After almost two weeks of working from Bangalore, I started feeling homesick and began my journey back home in the first week of December.

New Year at Fort Kochi

December flew by quickly, and that’s when @Subin, @Gokul, @Akash, and I thought, “Why not work from Fort Kochi for a few days until New Year?” On another Friday, I hopped on my bike and traveled to the Zostel in Kochi, where I met up with the others. We juggled between work and exploring the bustling streets of Fort Kochi during the holiday season, and it was truly enjoyable! December 31st was the busiest day, with the entire area packed with people from India and beyond. People from around the world gathered to witness the Cochin carnival, but it was so crowded that we couldn’t even get inside. So, we decided to party at a random stranger’s place who welcomed us with drinks and loud music! Dancing with strangers on the road was so much fun! And thus, 2022 ended with a blast!

The Kochi Base

A week after New Year’s Day 2023, I rented an apartment in Kochi with @Abraham and moved there to work remotely. However, instead of working solely from my apartment, I found myself working from cafes in Kochi, collaborating with @Andrew on work-related tasks. Occasionally, I even visited the beaches in Kochi to work from the seashore! I decided to take some time to lay low and focus on personal matters for a while. I even switched companies and joined Hoppscotch as a Product Manager in March.

To Shimla and Back

Fast forward to April, me and our team at Hoppscotch took a one-week workation to Shimla! I took a flight to Delhi, where I met up with our entire team, and we boarded a private bus to Shimla. The road trip was filled with fun, and we arrived in Shimla by the end of the day. We spent two days in Shimla, switching between explorer and work modes. Shimla is a remarkably beautiful place, and the architecture of the buildings is striking. We wandered through the streets, indulging in the local cuisine. In the evenings, we engaged in discussions about our plans for the next product release.

Working from Shimla

The following day, we visited another hill station called Kufri, where we embarked on a small trek. By evening, we returned to continue our discussions. The next day, in the early morning, we began our journey back to Delhi. We explored the streets of Delhi at night,

and the following day, we boarded our flight back to Kerala.

Is Remote Work for You?

Remote work can be really enjoyable if you take advantage of it. Being in the early stages of my career, I sometimes feel that not having an office limits my opportunities to meet new people and make friends. However, during my travels and while working from cafes, I have met and befriended many people. Additionally, Kochi hosts numerous tech events where I can attend and interact with like-minded individuals. Remote work offers the flexibility to manage your time as you see fit. I can choose to work in the morning, evening, or even late at night (unless I’ve caused a major mess at work). I find that I am more productive when working remotely because I am conscious of managing my time efficiently.

On the flip side, remote work can sometimes get lonely, especially when lacking social interaction. Additionally, if time is not managed properly, it can lead to an imbalance between work and personal life. There’s a risk of working more than 10 hours on certain days. Effective communication is another critical aspect of remote work. When working remotely, you may need to attend virtual meetings and compose detailed messages to ensure that your coworkers on the other side of the globe understand your thoughts and ideas.

Working from cafes and beaches

I enjoy working remotely; however, I can’t comment on whether I would have enjoyed working from an office as I have never experienced it. These days, you can find me either working from home, a café in Kochi, or even near a beach or lakeside. I’ll be starting my travels soon after the monsoon season sets in here in Kerala, so until then, I’ll be in and around Kochi.