Interviewing for remote jobs? A guide to assessing whether a company has a great remote culture

According to the ADP People at Work 2022 report, 64% of employees would seek new employment if forced to return to the office full-time; more than half of employees would take a pay cut rather than give up flexibility and at least some remote working time.

As the Great Shake-up continues, employees continue to seek out new opportunities that better align with their desires for work-life balance and flexibility. The recent Microsoft Word Trend Index revealed that employees place a high value on positive culture, mental health and wellness benefits, flexible work hours and generous paid time off.

So how do you make sure you land in an organization that has a positive remote culture and truly supports remote working? Here’s what to look out for during the recruiting process:

Remote or hybrid work benefits from the full membership of the C suite. A lack of enthusiastic support from business leaders could be a huge red flag – the last thing you want to do is land a new job only to suddenly have to return to the office full-time or on company-mandated days. . During interviews, be sure to ask why a company is offering remote work. Do they feel like they are offering it reluctantly because employees demand it? Or are they happy to give employees flexibility because they think it’s a better way to work?

Applicants are not excluded based on geography. If the job posting specifies that employees should be within a small radius of the company’s headquarters, that could be a warning sign. While requiring employees to be in a certain area doesn’t guarantee the company hasn’t fully embraced remote working, it does mean you’ll want to ask a few questions about its approach to remote working.

The company has remote work policies in place. When Covid-19 sent organizations into remote mode overnight, most simply avoided it, doing their best in the face of an unprecedented crisis.

Well, that was over two years ago. If companies plan to permanently adopt remote work, they have had plenty of time to intentionally develop policies to support remote workers.

A few signs that a company has a well-thought-out hybrid workplace strategy:

  • Employees receive a remote work allowance to optimize their home office.
  • Employees have the opportunity to become digital nomads.
  • There are no strict rules regarding when employees must be at their desks.
  • Telecommuters are evaluated on results achieved, not hours worked.

The company is adept at working asynchronously. During interviews, ask what a typical day looks like as a remote worker. Non-stop virtual meetings could mean the company hasn’t effectively shifted to a more asynchronous mode of working. Employee burnout caused by too many meetings is a pervasive problem – the Microsoft Work Trend 2022 Index found that meetings have increased by 252% since March 2020.

Remote collaboration tools also provide insight into a company’s comfort level with asynchronous work. Has the company invested in quality tools and training to ensure remote workers know how to use them? Are they using one suite of tools for all of their remote work needs, or have they overwhelmed employees with numerous tools with overlapping capabilities?

The company views remote workers as valued human members of the team. Without strong relationships, remote workers can easily disconnect and disengage. Does the company have any strategies or policies in place to ensure that remote employees meet occasionally in person? Do they value employees who connect on a human level? How do they help employees build their internal network? Does being remote have an effect on promotion criteria?

The company lives its core values. A company’s values ​​only mean something if they actually live those values ​​every day. Turn the tables on interviewers and ask for recent examples of their company values ​​in action. If they can’t answer this question, employees probably don’t really know the values, and the platitudes posted online don’t accurately reflect the culture.

Be sure to ask this question of everyone you talk to throughout the process. If the stories all line up and the culture seems healthy, it probably is. If there are cropping issues, you will hear discrepancies.

The company accepts that working remotely means that life and work don’t always fit into neat boxes.Finally, you can learn a lot by paying attention during video interviews. I recently gave a virtual talk to a company. I briefly saw dogs and babies on the towers and the team started the call with a brief moment of congratulations. From this quick observation, I could tell that they have a caring and supportive culture and they make personal life intersect with professional life – a reality of working from home.

As employees continue to re-evaluate their priorities and plan their next steps, they will seek out opportunities that allow them to live a more balanced life with greater well-being. Before accepting a job offer, it’s important to assess whether a company is truly committed to remote or hybrid working and has the necessary resources and policies in place to ensure workers thrive at home. distance.

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