Remote working has become a key part of many job roles in the modern world, offering flexibility and the ability to achieve a far healthier work/life balance that was previously unimaginable for many. The pandemic has certainly proven to many that working from home is a desirable lifestyle that can allow employees to produce high-quality work whilst boosting their mental health, but what exactly should you look for in a remote role?

Here’s what job hunters should focus on.

Company culture and values
Understanding a company’s culture and values is crucial, and potentially even more so when working remotely – as you won’t have the same amount of in-person interactions. Look for companies that pride themselves on upholding a supportive, inclusive culture, where communication is encouraged and employees go above and beyond to support every member of their teams.

You can research a company’s approach to working from home – do they have a remote-first approach or are most people expected to work on-site? Look for reviews from other people who have worked there, and don’t be afraid to enquire about remote working during the interview process.

Online platforms and communication channels
Effective communication is the backbone of remote working, so a company that can support you in this lifestyle should provide you with robust communication channels and online tools to be able to converse with your team. Instant messaging, video calls, and online project management tools are essential, and regular meetings should be held so that you don’t feel isolated from the rest of the workforce.

Having the right tools for the job is also essential for remote working, just as it would be if you were to work in an office or other physical setting. While some companies may provide you with a laptop, monitor, keyboard and software subscriptions, others may not – so be sure to enquire early on in the onboarding process to ensure you understand what you’ll need for your home set-up. Remote companies should also be able to offer you technical support to help resolve any issues quickly.

Work/life balance
Many people who have never worked remotely assume that people who do so will become lazy, unproductive and distracted, but numerous studies have shown that the opposite is true. However, remote working can blur the line between your professional and personal life, making it difficult to switch off from work. Therefore, it’s important to find a company that respects their employees’ time and encourages regular breaks, holidays and disconnection from work.

You can often find that a job posting from a company that upholds such values will highlight their positive approach to a work/life balance in their job listings, but if not, be sure to enquire about their stance on you being available 24/7.

Progression and career development
Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean your career should become stagnant. Look for companies that offer career progression with online courses, regular performance reviews and clear progression paths for their remote employees.

Employers who invest in the growth of their remote teams are demonstrating a positive long-term commitment to your professional success, so these need to be on your radar if you plan to work from home for the foreseeable future.