Laura Berlinsky-Schine
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Seventy-two percent of respondents to a Statista survey said work-life balance was a very important factor when they were choosing a job. But, unfortunately, nearly half of Americans consider themselves workaholics.

With an increasing number of people working remotely, it can be difficult to suss out whether a prospective employer offers a good work-life balance. How do you figure out this important aspect of company culture without setting foot in a physical office?

1. Ask your LinkedIn connections.

If you have direct connections that currently work or formerly worked with the employer you’re considering, reach out to them and let them about the company culture. (Admittedly, your contact will probably speak more candidly about their experiences if they no longer work there.)

Don’t limit this to direct connections — see if you can speak with connections of connections, too. This will likely work best if you ask for an introduction from your contact. 

2. Check the reviews.

People are more likely to speak frankly about their experiences working with employers when they can do so anonymously. The good news is that there are plenty of forums that allow employees to do so. 

Check reviews for a prospective workplace on sites like Fairygodboss and Glassdoor. These platforms a full of anonymous opinions from current and former employees, who can give you valuable insights into the work-life balance and other aspects of the company culture.

3. Be strategic in your interviews.

When you do have the opportunity to interview with a hiring manager, use this as an opportunity to uncover information about the work culture. While you can’t necessarily come right out and ask, “What’s the work-life balance like here?” (you can, but you might not get the most honest response), it’s possible to read between the lines in the answers to strategic questions.

For example, you might ask about the organization’s policy on remote work and initiatives aimed at employee wellness. You could even ask about the hiring manager’s hobbies and interests outside of work to help you get a sense of whether they seem to have time to do the things they love away from the office.

At the end of the day, it’s impossible to completely understand company culture and assess how work-life balance comes into play at a prospective employer. But it is possible —and critical — to do your due diligence and evaluate the employer prior to committing to a role with them. Your wellness and mental health depend on it.

What's your no. 1 piece of advice for sussing out whether a company has good work-life balance? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!

About the Career Expert:

 Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket and The Haven.