What is the Difference Between Work From Home and Remote Work?

With the implementation of lockdown and social distancing measures due to COVID-19, the world is seeing a rise in opportunities to work from home. This increase comes with some benefits, as most Americans who transitioned to working from home feel more productive and satisfied. Major companies like Microsoft have extended orders to work from home until the fall, leaving many questioning if it’s the way of the future.  

So what happens if companies keep their employees at home? If this happens, workers will transition from working from home to remote work. Although these two terms are similar and interchangeable in many ways, there are some differences to consider. 


What Does it Mean to Work From Home?

If your friend tells you that she’s working from home, you might automatically think she’s now a remote worker. Yes, technically, she works remotely, but the terms are different when you consider business strategy. Even before COVID-19, it was common to work from home on occasion. All it means is that you can efficiently complete your duties from the comfort of your home. The resources at the office aren’t necessary for the tasks at hand. It’s often reserved for temporary situations or contract workers.

Some jobs and duties cannot accommodate this trend. Some roles require face-to-face meetings or shared in-office resources that you can’t take to your house. But for many companies and businesses, COVID-19 has opened up the door to allowing more employees to work from home. If you’re a new or seasoned entrepreneur, you may consider this option for your staff to reduce costs. (See more benefits below!)


What is Remote Work?

Now that you better understand working from home, how does it compare to remote work? The main difference is that remote working is more permanent. Many corporations use remote workers for contract work or work that doesn’t require a lot of face-to-face time. Many digital nomads and freelancers opt to be remote workers, as they can take on numerous roles at a variety of businesses.

Remote workers can be full-time employees, part-time staffers, contractors, or even temporary workers. They work remotely permanently. Remote workers can make up entire businesses—it’s not uncommon for a whole online agency or organization to have a full staff of remote workers, and even start that way. With advances in technology, many daily tasks are possible over the internet. 


Should Entrepreneurs Pursue Remote Working?

With COVID-19 pushing many of us to work from home, companies are starting to consider the idea of remote workers. There are some benefits to this concept, including reduced costs and more productive workdays, as mentioned above. What happens when you aren’t paying for office space, equipment, and the like? You save money! Entrepreneurs certainly enjoy saving money, although logistically, it can be more of a challenge to coordinate with your team.  

Another benefit of remote working is that you can hire skill-specific staff short-term. Let’s say you require a web designer for your new website. You don’t need to hire a full-time employee for this, as you’ll only need this role temporarily. Remote workers can offer specific skills that you can infuse into your business when you need it. 


Online Tools

Although it is a challenge to organize a remote team, there are so many online resources available. There are numerous project collaboration apps and software to keep you organized, and there are tons of communication tools that help you stay in contact with your staff. You can organize payroll online and even coordinate employee benefits if you offer them! As many entrepreneurs are learning, working from home or remote working may very well be the future of business.

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