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Remote Work Vs Work From Home: What’s The Difference?

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If you’re on the hunt for a new job, then you will have noticed that there are lots of different and new, flexible ways to work nowadays.

Gone are the days where people work solely in an office 9-5, as more and more people are realizing the importance of a good work life balance. 

This is why so many people choose to work flexibly. This means working the same amount of hours, but sometimes working at different times during the day, or working away from the office, or part time in the office and part time at home. The possibilities are endless. 

When it comes to flexible working, some of the terms that we see most often are ‘remote work’ and ‘work from home’, and these phrases are often used interchangeably, but they actually mean different things. So, let’s take a look at both in more detail, and clarify what the difference is! 

What Is Remote Work?

In the simplest terms, remote work or working remotely, is when someone works in any place other than the office. This could be in a coffee shop, on a business trip, in a co-working space, or at home. 

If you’re working remotely, then you are still working, just not in the office, and you can work wherever you find is most convenient or productive. You can work remotely from anywhere in the world, as long as you have an internet connection and a laptop or phone with you. 

Some employees may choose to work fully remote, depending on their personal circumstances, whereas others like to work partly remote, so they still have the convenience of the office, but can work elsewhere on other days of the month. 

For remote employees, they may still have to work the dedicated working hours decided by the company, whereas other companies may be more flexible, and simply require employees to do the work in whatever hours they please as long as it meets deadlines. 

Working remotely can be highly beneficial for some people, as they can work in whatever environment that they choose. If they are remote full time, then they can live in any part of the world, and still have their job.

The only issue is that having this freedom to decide where you work for the day requires a lot of self discipline, management skills and motivation, as you’ll still need to be as productive and responsive as you are in an office, just wherever you choose to work.     

What Is Working From Home?

Working from home and working remotely are two different things, but we can understand why people get confused. Working from home is a form of remote working, as you are not working in an office, but in the comfort of your own home. 

Working from home is not strictly designed for remote employees, as anyone can work from home if they choose to. Some people may work from home from time to time because they have a large project to complete, and need to be alone away from the office.

When you work from home, you can work in any place within your home. This could be in the kitchen, in the bedroom, in the living room, or in a designated office space.

Working from home can be highly beneficial for some people, as they prefer the peace of being in their home and can be more productive in their own living space.

Working from home can also be very effective for those that have dependents such as children or someone else in their care.

It helps them strike a good balance between work and home life, and allows them to care for their families whilst also being able to work instead of having to take time off, take sick days or lose out on earnings due to other commitments.

It also banishes long commutes to work, and gives people more down time to enjoy after finishing work, instead of sitting on the subway or in traffic to get home.

One of the main issues with working from home is striking a solid work/life balance, as some people may struggle to shut off from work when their workspace is also their home.

Much like working remotely, working from home can either be done during the same work hours that your job permits, or your employer may allow flexible working hours so that you can work whenever suits you, as long as your tasks are completed and deadlines are met on time. 

What Is The Difference Between Remote Work & Working From Home?

Remote work and working from home are often terms used to describe the same thing, but they are actually different. One of the main differences between working from home and working remotely is that working from home is just that…you work from home only.

Working remotely can be much broader than that, as you may be working whilst traveling, or you could be in another country, or on a business trip abroad and still working remotely. 

When working remotely, you may work in a different space all of the time, such as in a coffee shop one day, at home another day, in a business meeting space the next week or abroad in a hotel the following week.

It can always be different, and you may be moving around due to the nature of your role. Remote work can also be referred to as distance working, mobile work, remote job or working from anywhere.

It is an arrangement with your employer, where you do not commute to a place of work such as an office or store, and instead you work in a range of different places and locations.

Working from home is also working remotely, but only in the home. It is not as flexible as working remotely, as you may be only working in the home.

Working from home is often considered a short term or temporary situation, as many people may choose to work from home some days when needed, but still have an office base to return to, where the majority of their job takes place.

Working remotely is often more of a lifestyle, and tends to be a benefit of a role that does not need to be done in an office space, and is therefore typically more of a permanent solution and working arrangement. 

Pros & Cons Of Working Remotely

Working remotely has lots of benefits such as more freedom, flexibility, and decreased infrastructure costs. If all employees of a company work remotely, then there is no need to hire or rent an office building and incur running costs either. 

Working remotely also gives employees the chance to structure their own working day, which can often increase productivity, as they are able to work wherever they are in the world.

One of the main advantages is a better work life balance as there is no commuting to work, and no long days stuck in a dingy office. 

However, there are some disadvantages, too. Some employees may feel isolated and alone, as they may not get face to face communication often, and there’s not so much of a sense of teamwork, or guidance from managers.

There’s no real sense of collaboration as you will be working by yourself wherever you are, and it can be hard to find information from other employees as they may also be working remotely or hard to reach. 

That being said, this setup does work for many people, and it does depend on the employee. You have to be very self disciplined to work remotely, as you do not have a manager watching over you or guiding you through the day. 

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Pros & Cons Of Working From Home

The pros and cons of working from home are pretty much the same as working remotely. Employees may be more productive and will enjoy their job more as they have a better work life balance, and are able to spend time with their families.

Working from home employees also do not have to commute or spend money on parking and traveling into work. There is also more flexibility in terms of errands and appointments, and fewer interruptions from colleagues. 

However, there is also the issue of loneliness and isolation as there’s a lack of social interaction, and some people may struggle to find a routine when working in their own space.

It can also feel mentally exhausting being in the same place for work as you are after work, and you may need a change of scenery from time to time. 

Again, this setup also works well for many people, especially those who have children, as they are able to be with them and hold down a steady job at the same time. 

Wrapping Up

To conclude, working from home and working remotely are two very similar things, but they do have their differences.

Working remotely means working anywhere in the world in order to boost productivity and employee satisfaction, whereas working from home means that the employee is working from their home, which may be a temporary solution or a work arrangement.

Whilst working from home is a form of working remotely, working fully remotely is not entirely the same as working from home. 

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