How can you tell which employers truly embrace flexible work arrangements? Examining how companies fare in the following four areas can provide critical information. Consider the factors below when looking for signs of great flexible companies.
Here are four signs you’ve found a great flexible company:
1. The Company Has Been Recognized for Its Flexibility
Start with FlexJobs’ searchable Guide to Best Companies for Remote, Part-Time, and Flexible Jobs. Employers listed have a history of offering part-time, remote, freelance, and flexible working options.
And a Google search on “Best Places to Work” also can yield fruitful results, such as the annual Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list. Read the winners’ blurbs; flexibility often plays a part in creating the happy, engaging environments that land companies on these lists.
2. Flexibility Is Mentioned on The Company’s Website
“More and more companies are specifically highlighting flexible work options in their recruiting materials and on their websites because they know it’s an important factor that prospective workers consider,” says Cali Williams Yost, CEO and founder of Flex+Strategy Group | Work+Life Fit, Inc.
She cautions, however, to pay attention to where on the website the reference to flexible work is found, as this can provide a clue as to whether or not it’s a sounds-good perk or truly part of the culture. “For example, if it’s listed under ‘benefits’ I’d do some more sleuthing,” Yost says. “However, if it’s mentioned in a section describing ‘About Us’ or ‘Who We Are,’ that’s a signal that flexibility is just the way [they] work.”
3. Employees Confirm the Flexibility
Present and former employees can provide insight as to the extent of an employer’s flexibility. Dig around your network and on LinkedIn for possible contacts. (Glassdoor also has some firsthand reviews that can be helpful.)
Ask employees what they know about the company’s stance on flexwork based on their own experience. Even if they themselves hold a traditional in-office position, they can answer telling questions, such as how often they deal with remote coworkers, whether remote work seems limited to certain departments or positions, and what the watercooler word is on how management feels about alternate schedules.
4. Interviewers Bring Up the Subject of Flexibility
Lastly, consider an interviewer who broaches the topic without prompt to be a good sign. This action typically signals that flexible arrangements are engrained in the company culture and should be discussed from the start. It also can indicate that this employer realizes the importance of flexibility when trying to attract candidates.
Use the lead to learn more by posing follow-up questions, such as “On a given day, how, when, and where are people working?” or, “What supports are in place to keep telecommuters and in-office staff connected?” Prioritize listening over negotiating at this point—you’ll have plenty of time to work out individual arrangements with this great flexible company after getting to know each other better!
Written by: Beth Braccio Hering