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How to Ask for Remote Work During Your Job Search

Key takeaways:

  • Do your research
  • Wait for the right time
  • Choose the proper approach
  • Negotiate for what you want

Remote work was commonplace during the coronavirus pandemic. But many businesses have now returned to “normal,” in office or on-site work. However, workers learned to enjoy the freedom offered by remote work, despite the time management challenge that remote work often introduces. Perhaps you are one of many workers who still want to work remotely for part or all of your job.

Understanding the Remote Work Landscape

The two main types of remote work arrangements are fully remote and hybrid. Fully remote jobs can be done from anywhere and do not require any time in an office setting. Hybrid arrangements require a number of days in the office, generally one to three per week.

Some industries and roles that can be conducive to remote work include customer service, technical support, software programming, other IT roles, sales roles, and many contract positions.

Research the Company

Before you get into an interview situation, you should do research to find out if the company offers remote work in its other positions or within the company. This information may be found on the company’s website, in job postings, or on sites that give reviews of employers such as Glassdoor and Indeed. Even a general Google search of the company name and remote work can be instructive.

If you find that remote work is offered, you can feel comfortable asking about remote options during an interview.

The Cover Letter

While it isn’t wise to mention an overt preference for remote work in a cover letter when you don’t know whether the company offers remote or hybrid options, there are ways to express a subtle preference for remote work in the cover letter. Mentioning that you value flexibility and work-life balance could be a way to broach the subject of remote work. Describing success in previous remote work positions could also hint at remote work as a preference and introduce the idea before the interview process begins.

young woman negotiating remote work in a job interview

Navigating the Interview Process

Ask Directly

When you ask about remote work options, you can ask directly if you feel comfortable doing so. The best way to ask directly is to say, “Do you support remote work?” This kind of direct question should get a direct answer from the interviewer, which will help you know how to proceed. 

Ask Indirectly

If you don’t want to reveal the extent of your interest in remote work during an initial interview, you can find out whether it is a possibility by asking about it more indirectly. A question like “Will most of the people I work with be onsite every day or will some be working remotely?” will help you figure out whether the company supports remote work.

Crafting your Resume

If remote work isn’t usually offered to employees, but the company seems willing to consider it, you can tailor your CV to show how you have been successful in remote positions. Targeting specific remote work accomplishments and including ways in which remote work was helpful in meeting goals will highlight your remote work successes.  

Giving examples of being self-motivated and managing time well could help to convince a hiring manager to let you try remote work, even if they don’t normally work that way.

Evaluating the Offer

When a job offer comes, it’s important to evaluate the offer in terms of its remote work aspects. Addressing remote work during the interview could lead to an offer of remote or hybrid work arrangements, but this is not always the case. 

Just as you would negotiate pay, benefits and other aspects of the job, you may be able to negotiate remote or hybrid work as part of the terms if they are not initially offered. If the employer seems reluctant, ask if you can try remote work for a probationary period to demonstrate that you can be successful.

GDH supports job seekers through job listings and a talent network that can connect employers who need to fill positions including remote positions with talent like yours. Browse jobs to find out if your talent is a match.

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