Three Ways to Vet Your Remote Workplace Before Joining
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With more and more people looking for remote work opportunities, many companies are portraying all the right things to possible employees to draw them into the organization. However, a majority of these organizations are yet to have a dedicated and effective remote or hybrid work strategy in place.
Now, the promise of flexibility that comes with remote work would hardly mean anything if the workplace is not even sure of how to form in-person connections or set a company culture. So, instead of blindly going for any remote working opportunity that comes your way, know about the ways to assess such a workplace.
Let’s get started!
Find Out About Company Values and Culture
It is important to start with this basic truth while assessing the remote culture of a company: All the elements required for the right remote company culture tend to be the same as the ones required for good company culture at a workplace. When vetting if a potential remote workplace is right for you, it is important to start by considering if the organization has cultural principles that align with its values.
Typically, healthy company culture is based on consistent, clear core values. Strong core values need to be more than a marketing buzz that shines on the company website. In fact, these values need to differentiate company culture and outline what kind of employee behavior should be rewarded. When an organization has clear core values that get constantly reinforced and rewarded, it gets easier to make sure that all employees are going in the same direction, regardless of whether they are working remotely or not.
So, to start with, it’s important to research the company during the application process to know more about the company’s values. You can either find them on the company website or ask about them during your interview.
For instance, you can ask your interviewer to talk about the company values and notice the way they respond. Do they know about the core values, or do they look surprised? See how they respond and see if they’re confident about their replies.
Also, you need to research outside your interview. Look at the company on the online review sites to note what former and present employees have to say about the working experience and work culture. When a company has consistent, strong core values, it shows up in its online reviews.
A company with stronger core values also has a healthy, consistent culture that is a must for efficient remote work.
Know More About the Remote Working Strategy
You need to find out whether the company actually has a good remote working environment or the flexibility and remote work is just to attract people to apply for the job.
The truth is that most companies laid out the remote work rules and policies in a hurry in 2020. A majority of them are yet to figure out a workable remote work strategy. In fact, as per recent reports, 40 percent of employees claim that the company hasn’t outlined a clear vision for the future workplace model.
So, you will have to clarify a couple of things before you join the company. Ask your interviewer about how frequently you will have to be present in the office as a remote employee. Your employer should have clear regulations and guidelines about how often remote employees need to come to the office, particularly when the role is said to be partially remote.
In addition to that, you need to inquire about the prevalence of remote work at the company. Remember that being a part of a completely remote team or organization and being just one remote employee for a team that usually works from the same office are not the same thing. You can ask to talk to another employee who is remote working for the team that mostly works together from the office.
Lastly, it would help to know about the kind of technological infrastructure the organization has put in place and the ways in which this tech helps with remote work. Collaboration tools and digital communication are necessary for remote work. An interviewer should have no problem sharing with you all the digital tools that they use regularly in the office.
It is worth mentioning in this regard that you do not have to depend solely on an interviewer to get all the information. There is no harm in reaching out to the former employees of the prospective company to know more about their experience of remote work. Since they do not work for the company anymore, they will give you an honest answer regarding the pros and cons of remote working for the company.
Look Into the Available Facilities for Personal Connection
The most common misunderstanding about remote work is that the remote employees never get to connect and discuss in person. But the truth is that the best remote organizations know that making a way for employees to bond and meet in person builds the connection and trust required for efficient virtual work.
You need to ask if the organization has small in-person meet-up events, all-company social events, coworking weeks, or other such opportunities for employees to connect in person. Organizations that invest in such meeting opportunities create valuable connections among the teams that remain fruitful all year.
It is important to remember that most people do not want to work from their homes to stop meeting people. They simply want the stay away from the daily commute or look for more flexibility in their lives. They want to be a part of in-person connections and team-building initiatives. It is crucial for you to know whether the company you are considering has those opportunities before you accept the remote job.
With employees actively looking for remote work opportunities, the market is going to be full of such job roles. But not every company will offer highly rewarding opportunities in this regard. So, make sure to assess the company well before accepting their offer.