If you are the best man for the job, you will be snowed under offers. Should you go for the company thatoffers you the best pay package? Or the best work environment or a generous mix of both? Things are actually not that simple, because each of the companies offering these packages could be hiding behind a vicious work environment. Therefore, think holistic and proceed with caution by following the tips given below:
If you are really keen on joining a company but have one niggling doubt about its work culture, it’s best to do some sleuthing before accepting that offer letter. Just park yourself outside the office building just before office hours. Notice the body language, the talk and the urgency with which employees do things or say something. Observe them at the end of the day and watch out for their facial expressions. They will either sport happy faces or relieved faces who prefer the comfort of their home. However, you can’t make a conclusive decision just based on this, so read on, to see if your assumption adds up.
Sometimes, particularly if you are a prized candidate, it helps to be more candid and in-your-face. If the company trying to woo you finalises your candidacy, ask the HR person for examples that are the best testimony for their core brand values. If they share some heartwarming stories without any hesitation and with much passion, you know they are standing by their ideals. Tick that checkbox.
Endorsement from past employees
LinkedIn is the best tool to ask old employees who served in a similar capacity that you are going to occupy. Their experience will not just be about the work but also regarding the culture, the subordinates and the superiors who made all the difference, for better or worse.
One walk through the office will give you some indications on their work culture too. Ask for an office tour; they will not deny that to a potential recruit. If you see spaces with people collaborating furiously or largely absent from desks or completely immersed in their work, every scenario gives off a certain vibe. Feel it and judge if it’s positive or negative. For example, if there are too many personal items on a person’s work desk, it could mean that this employee is either a long-time worker or plans to stick around for long. It shows that they like their job or they have no other option but to stick to this job.
Lunchtime is the best time
Sometimes, it’s best to check out the office during lunchtime. You could observe all the clues outlined above and this one. See if the employees are happily chatting each other up or are they working and eating at the same time. If it’s an isolated case of eating at the workdesk, don’t bother. But if you spot too many people indulging in this, it talks of a certain unhealthy pattern where the company loves workaholics without giving them enough time to feed themselves. What’s worse is a company that does not allow people to talk to people from other departments or mandates that each employee eat at their workdesk only.
Go to the loo
Yes, but not to help you arrive at a decision of accepting or rejecting the job offer but to look for more cues. If the toilet is clean and tidy, with enough toilet paper, it indicates an organised workspace. If it’s the reverse, you wouldn’t want to work here.