One thing that many workers today are looking for is a better work-life balance. And if you are reading this article, then it most likely is very important to you.
And work-life balance should matter to EVERYONE because today’s modern workforce is burnt out – that includes remote employees.
Everyone should have a healthy balance between enjoying their careers and for personal things that matter most in life. Now, this term is unique to the individual, so your definition of it might be slightly different from your co-workers.
Regardless, if you are interviewing for a job, it’s important you ask some telling work-life balance questions about working for a potential employer.
Remote Work + Work-Life Balance
In a survey by Deloitte, 77% of workers say they have experienced burnout at their current job. 91% say that unmanageable stress or frustration impacts the quality of their work, and 83% say burnout can negatively impact personal relationships.
Needless to say, most workers today have experienced some burnout and stress from work. And while you can’t completely eliminate some rough work days, it shouldn’t be a constant issue every work day.
Although I’ve personally found a massive ROI on my work-life balance being remote, it can be a struggle at first.
I had to learn to set break schedules for myself and ensure I had “co-worker boundaries” of when I will not be responding to work communications.
Even being a remote employee, it’s easy to get caught up in work when your computer or home office is right there. You feel obligated to check that email, respond to Slack on your phone, or work late into the night.
But hopefully, you have two things from your employer or future employer:
- A culture that supports work-life balance for all employees.
- Managers and co-workers that respect your personal time and work boundaries.
Discover remote jobs that you may be interested in:
Best Work-Life Balance Questions to Ask
Before you ask any of the below work-life balance questions, make sure you thoroughly research the company you are interviewing with. You may find some of these sample questions (or your own) might be answered.
For example, many companies hiring remotely have detailed breakdowns of their culture in job descriptions, on their careers page, or even via interviews with current employees.
Here are some top questions to consider asking during an interview about a company’s work-life balance. I recommend choosing the ones that matter most to you, no need to overwhelm the interviewer with every single question.
Also, you may have multiple interviews with either managers or potential co-workers, so I split these questions into two categories. Let’s dive in!
Work-life balance questions for hiring managers
During this interview process with a hiring manager, you can start to dig into the work culture more. This is a time to ask questions about the role, management style, and company culture.
1. What would a typical day look like in this specific job role?
2. What benefits does the company offer that supports work-life balance?
3. How do you and the company ensure employees have a healthy work-life balance?
4. How do you prioritize a healthy work culture?
5. Would this position require any travel and how frequently?
6. How would you describe your management style? Leadership’s management style?
7. Why is this position currently open? Is it a newly created role?
8. How do you help team members socialize and build camaraderie?
9. What kind of support does the company provide for working parents?
10. What type of person would work best here and find success?
11. How do you measure success (in-office or remote)?
Work-life balance questions for potential co-workers
Sometimes during the interview process, you’ll be connected with potential co-workers. This is usually after an interview with a hiring manager.
But these questions will be slightly different, however, you may still want to ask some work culture questions.
Hopefully, you’ll find that the sentiment is very similar to the managers’ answers. That is a good sign that there is alignment and that the manager wasn’t pretending things were great when they really are not.
Unfortunately, you have to be a bit skeptical in your interviews.
12. How often do you work late or beyond your dedicated hours?
13. How often do you check your phone? Slack/Teams? Email?
14. What do you enjoy most about working with this organization?
15. What did your onboarding or training look like? Has it changed since you started?
16. How does management support work-life balance for you and the team?
17. What support and benefits do you enjoy that betters your work-life balance?
Can You ask About Work-Life Balance in an Interview?
Asking about the work-life balance is completely acceptable to ask during your job interview process.
Some experts and other media outlets recommend waiting until your salary negotiation, but to me, that is entirely too late.
I would recommend not asking on the first initial screening call, but I find it totally acceptable to mix a few work-life balance questions during your conversations.
Why waste your time through constant interviews and negotiations if your needs do not align?
You for sure want to ask about the company and culture, which can hint more about the work-life balance. But don’t be afraid to get into some of the specific questions like the ones above.
I know it might feel intimidating, but they are also being interviewed by YOU to see if it’s a place YOU want to devote your skills and time towards.
How Else You Can Tell About The Work-Life Balance
Besides the interview and work-life balance questions you ask, there are other ways to assess the organization. Here are a few things to keep an eye on:
- Job description: watch out for lame buzzwords or things that suggest you need to work outside of regular hours.
- Look at the company reviews: Sites like Comparably and Glassdoor can give a window into what current and former employees think of the company. Some former employees might feel jilted and be biased if they were fired, so don’t just rely on that.
- Do some Googling – Search for the company and the leaders. See what sort of news articles, quotes, or other things pop up. Can give you a window into their beliefs and how they run the company.