Welcome to Work SmarterFast Company‘s newsletter on career, leadership, and productivity advice. You can sign up to receive this newsletter every week here.

Fewer people may be job-hopping these days, but if you have been keeping an eye out for a remote job, you’re certainly not alone. “According to Google Trends, searches for remote jobs peaked in January 2024 and continue to be strong,” writes Stephanie Vozza. “What’s more, a survey by Flexjobs found that only 3% of working professionals prefer to be fully in the office.”

But all remote jobs are not the same. She spoke with Michael Wallace, CEO of Greenback Expat Tax Services, a fully remote company, about what to look out for. Red flags include a lack of communication during the interview process, or early indications of micromanaging tendencies. Neither of those things are likely to improve once you start working. 

Other bad signs? A job description that sounds too good to be true. “If a recruiter appears out of the blue to offer a role that represents a significant promotion or an unrealistic pay increase, [experts] recommend maintaining a high degree of skepticism,” writes Jared Lindzon in a recent story about how to avoid getting scammed when job hunting. You shouldn’t be asked to purchase your own equipment in advance and told you’ll be reimbursed.

But what are good signs that a company has a long-term strategy to support its remote workforce? Businesses should have clear, well-thought-out onboarding processes and should also have ample opportunities for remote career progression. 

Finally, all-remote teams should come up with ways to help their distributed workforce get to know each other. That’s different than “forced fun,” says contributor Aytekin Tank. “The best way to know what your teams actually enjoy is simply to ask. Solicit ideas and post event feedback with anonymous surveys,” writes Tank. “Employee-led activities, such as international book or film clubs and just-for-fun Slack channels, can also provide low-stress bonding opportunities for teams that can’t attend a happy hour or pickup basketball game at company HQ.”


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