Everyone’s job search is different. You may be a top performer whose learning curve has stalled, opportunistically looking. You may have just lost a job in a layoff. You may want to try a hand at a new strategy.
As you consider opportunities, you will weigh many factors. Who will you be working with on a day-to-day basis? What strategies will you focus on? What skills will you build? How will the job help expand your network? Will the role enhance your resume? Will the position set you up for career growth and success? What is the compensation and how is it structured? How long will the commute be?
Perhaps you are deciding between a job that requires you to be in the office full time, and another where you work in the office only a few days a week. How do you think about the trade-offs?
Remote work and flexible schedules have their advantages – reduced commutes can offer better work life balance. The quality of your work may be better when you are focused and rested. However, it can be hard to integrate into a new team when you are working remotely, and it may take longer to come up the learning curve.
An established in-office policy guarantees that your colleagues will be present, offering more opportunities to interact with them and build relationships. You can learn by osmosis, overhear conversations, sit in on calls and drop into offices. You may find that a company with an in-office policy has a stronger culture, as employees build deeper relationships in person.
In our experience, time spent in person has a positive impact on job performance and career progression. There may be times when it makes sense to prioritize on the job learning, and others when flexibility becomes important. A hybrid or remote work policy may be more attractive over the longer term with more tenure. Or it may continue to make sense to be in the office to stay on top of office politics and further advance your career.
So, how do you determine what works best for you? First, figure out your priorities for career-progression and work life balance (they may not be mutually exclusive). Evaluate the company offering the role. If there is significant interaction among staff on a daily basis, what will that mean for your ability to integrate and advance? Investigate how important working in the office will be and how flexible management is. It may be possible to negotiate location flexibility but avoid becoming an outlier on your team. Flexibility may also be earned over time once you have proven yourself.