How to Tell if an Office is Right for You

Written By Fritz Hillegas

Often, the office is thought of as a dreaded place where stress levels are high, the level of satisfaction is low, and the hours slowly pass by; however, this doesn’t need to be the case! While title, company and compensation are all factors that seem to be the most important when searching for a new job, company culture can be just as central to not only your happiness, but also to your success. When on the market for a new job, there are a few things that one can look for to determine whether a workplace is right for you!

Research

When looking through different jobs one of the best ways to get an initial impression about the company is to simply look it up online.

  1. Most companies have their own websites which can have a wealth of information about their policies, their mottos, and the different initiatives they’re working on.
  2. In addition to the company website, their social media accounts can give some helpful insight into the goals and focus of the company. The kind of articles, photos, and messages that a company posts can speak volumes—for example, if a company shares a lot about diversity and inclusion in the workplace, it can be a good sign that those are key to the company culture. Also, if the employees are featured from time to time it can show that the company really cares about the people who work there.
  3. Finally, a lot of the time there are blogs online from current and past employees of companies that talk about what the company culture is like.

During the interview

While doing research can be a good way to form an initial impression of a company, one of the most dreaded parts of the job-finding process, can be the most informative about whether or not a workplace is the right fit for you! During an interview, there are 3 important things that you should do.

  1. Take notice of the way people are interacting with you in the office. Are they friendly and open? Also, notice how the employees interact with each other. Do they seem happy? Do they interact with one another?
  2. Figure out who your boss is, and try to meet with them if it’s possible. A boss can have a greater impact on your overall happiness in the workplace than you think. Do you interact with them well? Do they seem genuinely interested in talking with you about this job opportunity?
  3. Ask questions about company culture! There is always a part of the interview where the interviewer asks if you have any questions. This is your time to get more information about the role! Ask about office mixers/activities, what the usual team dynamic is, etc.

During the process

One of the easiest ways to understand a company’s culture is to see how they are running the hiring process. Do they seem to be actively engaged in the search? Does it seem like hiring for this position is a priority? Do they seem excited/enthusiastic about the job?

Final Thoughts

We all know that looking for jobs can be hard, and sometimes there aren’t as many options as we would like; however, it is of the upmost importance to make sure that you are in a workplace where you feel welcome, inspired, and happy. Using these tips and tricks is an easy way to figure out if a workplace is right for you before you even step foot into the office for the first day of work.