Remote work vs work from home often seems to be the same for most people. But when you are actively interested in getting one of the best remote jobs in a specific industry, understanding the core differences will put you on the right track.
The 2020 pandemic fostered social isolation and compelled many people to work from their homes. This new work approach was challenging to many employees used to traditional offices. But countless others are familiar with remote working—that is—working away from the office.
The terms remote working and working from home have become increasingly popular since the end of the pandemic. Both terms are also thought to have the same meaning. Although they both have similarities, there are considerable differences between both terms.
Knowing the difference between remote work and working from home is crucial to deciding your best work strategy. In this post, we will explain and distinguish both terms to guide you in making the best decision.
What Is Remote Work?
Remote work is an umbrella term that covers all work activities outside a traditional office environment. Remote workers are not required to always be present in an office. They can work from anywhere, whether from home, a coworking space, or a coffee shop, as long as they have a steady Internet connection and a laptop.
A remote worker can either be a fully or partly remote employee or a freelancer.
Fully remote employees work for a company that has a physical office. Although they work from their remote locations, they are required to work full-time. Partly remote employees also work in companies with physical offices and must come to the offices from time to time.
So, partly remote employees live close to their workplace for easy commuting. While fully remote employees can live and work from anywhere in the world.
Freelancers are self-employed remote workers that work with their clients directly. They are independent and have the freedom to create their work schedules. Many people take up freelancing with their full- or part-time jobs to make extra cash. While others build it up as a full-time business.
Remote work has thrived tremendously as technology advances. Also, businesses are evolving their work strategies and management of human resources.
Remote companies use a result-driven approach to measure work and increase productivity. They depend heavily on technology to conduct business activities, communicate and support teams.
What is Work from Home?
Work from home (WFH) means working remotely but only from your home. It is a privilege for employees who would otherwise work in a traditional office. Some companies give their non-remote employees a special privilege to work from their homes for a period. But it is temporary, and they are required to return to the office when the period elapses.
During the pandemic, employees in many companies shifted to working from their homes. After the pandemic passed, they returned to work in the office. Employees with special constraints like disability or geographic location can be allowed to work from home.
Work from home can also be a term for remote workers working specifically from their homes. These remote workers have their home office and all work gadgets in their residences. They can be remote employees working full- or part-time and using company-approved gadgets.
Read: Proven Productivity Tips For Working From Home
Remote Work vs Work From Home: What Are The Differences?
The terms remote work and work from home are similar in working outside the traditional office. Both terms overlap and are used interchangeably in many cases but vary in the following ways:
When you understand the definitions of the terms ‘remote work’ and ‘work from home, you find that they have some distinctions. Not every remote worker works from home, and not everyone working from home is a remote worker.
Remote work is defined as any work done outside a company-owned traditional office. The word ‘outside’ could mean anywhere in the world, whether your home, a cafe, the train, or by the beach.
Work from home is defined as any work done outside an office from your home. Many people who work from home often need a home office set up with the necessary gadgets to do work.
#2: Work Location
Remote work makes it easy for people to work from anywhere worldwide. Work location is not always fixed for a remote worker, but this can depend on the type of work.
Some remote workers have a fixed home office where they work from home. But others do not always work from their homes. Many people work remotely in coworking spaces with other workers.
Several freelancers work remotely from anywhere. For instance, digital nomads are freelancers that travel from one place to another while working.
Regarding work location, work from home encompasses workers who work only from their homes. Many people who work from home are fully or partly remote employees that require a home office setup. While others choose to work from home by choice.
#3: Work Strategy
Based on work strategy, remote work is a way of working, while working from home is considered a benefit.
Many remote workers can work from any location and have the freedom to set their work schedules conveniently. Remote work is primarily flexible and a result-driven work strategy. Some remote first companies offer their employees work-from-home benefits. But the employees have to stick to the company’s work schedule, ethics, work hours, etc.
#4: Work-Life Balance
Remote workers like freelancers have more flexibility in their work schedule and are more likely to balance work and life. They tend to have more time for other work-unrelated activities. Most remote companies also allow their remote workers to work at their convenient time.
Full-time employees working from home have less flexible work schedules. So it may be more challenging to have a work-life balance and do other activities.
Benefits like insurance and stipends are not available for many types of remote workers. Only remote employees can enjoy these benefits from their companies. Compensation depends on the kind of company, contract, employee’s status, work type, etc.
However, some companies offer stipends to freelancers working on an employment contract.
Read: Best Home Workout Routines For Remote Workers
Types of Remote Jobs You Can Do From Home
The pandemic era caused many businesses to suffer. But many other businesses flourished, and the number of remote jobs increased with time.
Most remote jobs rely on technology to be carried out. This is why many remote positions require digital skills and exist in web design, marketing, IT, and data analysis.
Whether you need a part-time or full-time job, below are some of the many remote jobs you can do from home:
- Virtual Assistant
- Social Media Manager
- Copywriting, Proofreading, and Editing
- Web Design
- Customer Service Representative
- UI/UX Design
- Marketing Manager
- Data Analyst
- Graphics Design
- Software Engineering
Is My Professional Background Suitable For Remote Work?
Working remotely may seem like a piece of cake. But it requires a good number of soft and hard skills. Many remote first companies look for job applicants who are skilled, well-experienced, and suited for their jobs.
To work remotely, ensure that your professional background is attractive to employers or clients. Here are some tips to get started:
Get the Required Skill Set
Some general skills required in remote work are:
- Ability to work independently,
- Strong written communication skills,
- Emotional intelligence,
- Ability to use digital gadgets comfortably, and
- Team player mindset.
Aside from these soft skills, ensure you have the hard skills for the remote work you want to apply for. You can take courses to hone your skills and boost your resume.
Have The Right Work Attitude
Being able to motivate yourself to work is a real skill. This is because, as a remote worker, you won’t see your teammates physically often, or you will have to work independently.
You can work from home or anywhere else, but these places may not be the best places to get you in work mode. Having the right work attitude can always keep you motivated. You can set up a home office and use productivity tools to stay active.
Remote work is not for everybody, but if you’re interested in joining those who work remotely, you must be tech-savvy.
It would be best if you were willing to learn how to use tech gadgets efficiently. First, get a laptop and learn how to carry out basic computer operations. Then, get other devices and software required in your field. You should also learn how to build your desired skill using your gadgets.
Be Confident and Ready to Learn
Confidence is also a needed skill in remote work. Remote companies look for people who can boldly share ideas, communicate effectively, and are ready to learn new things.
Read: Best Remote First Companies Hiring Regularly
The terms remote work and work from home have been used interchangeably since the pandemic. It is essential to know that although both terms are similar, they are not the same.
Remote work is a strategy where workers can work outside a traditional office environment. Remote workers can work from their homes and anywhere in the world. So they have more flexible work schedules and convenience.
Working from home means working outside a traditional office from your home. Some companies give their employees work-from-home benefits, which are temporary.
Not every remote worker works from their home, and not everyone working from home is a remote worker.