Work is increasingly changing thanks to digital advancements and new technologies. It’s one reason why you hear more people (and companies) talking about “working remotely” and “work from home (WFH).”
And the majority of the conversations around this way of work use the terms “remote work” and “work from home” pretty interchangeably. But you might not realize there is a bit of a difference between those two phrases.
While it might be okay to say either or in conversation, everyone has a somewhat different view of what and how you exactly are working. Let’s explore a bit further below.
Is Remote Work the Same As Work From Home?
Remote work doesn’t always mean that you do your work from home. A remote worker might be at a coffee shop, co-working space, or travel to different locations while working full-time. Where if someone works from home, they are in their own home office or workspace within the place they reside.
I know, I know you might be thinking that this is just semantics. In a way, you are correct. I typically say either or to most people who ask about my work, but I’ve realized over the years that there really is a subtle difference.
The main reason to understand the two terms is when it comes to interviewing and applying for jobs where you won’t be in office.
It’s important to know the difference and to be able to ask questions about how you can work.
For example, some companies might be okay with you traveling and working, as long as you meet deadlines and 40 hours per week. But other companies might have specific hours, time zones you can align with, so it might be better if you only work from home.
Does a remote job mean work from home?
A remote job typically does mean you will be working from home. However, there may be much more flexibility for you to work anywhere as long as you have good internet access. It’s best to clarify and talk to the hiring manager if your remote work can be done beyond your home.
If you work from home, can you work anywhere?
If you work from home, typically you can live wherever you’d like as long as you meet the requirements of the job. Some companies who offer work from home will have specific time zone overlap or hours they’d like you to have, which might mean you have to live in certain locations.
How is Remote Work And Work From Home Similar?
While there are some differences, here’s how both these phrases align and can be used interchangeably to mean the same thing.
- Remote work and work from home both mean you are not always working in a traditional office setting.
- Working remotely and working from home can also mean work that is freelance, part-time, or full-time.
- Both working situations all require good communication and organization skills to ensure effective work and results are delivered consistently.
How is Remote Work And Work From Home Different?
Both phrases represent working outside of the traditional office, but here is a more thorough break of why they are different.
- Remote work can be done from anywhere, as long as you have a laptop and reliable internet.
- Remote work can be fully remote or part-time. Maybe it’s each workday or maybe you have a few days a week (or month) that you need to be in the office.
- Remote work may include certain required hours to be active where other companies are open to a more flexible schedule as long as deadlines are met.
Work From Home (WFH):
- Working from home means you are working from where you live, like a house, condo, or apartment.
- When working from home, your company might be okay with you occasionally going to a coffee shop or co-working space, but typically will not want you traveling all the time.
- When you are working from home you’ll have specific hours that your place of employment will want you to adhere to.
- With work from home, you’ll most likely have more office needs like external monitor(s), printer, desk, office chair, speakers, lighting, etc.
Each has a different sense of feeling included.
Everyone feels differently when it comes to working outside of the traditional office. Only you can truly determine what feels right to you and it’s worth exploring if you are unsure.
Many times, working from home full-time has triggered a sense of loneliness or feeling isolated from the world to some. You don’t have the casual desk “drop by,” lunchroom socializing like you once did, or just to chat quickly on breaks.
If that’s the feeling you get, it’ll be good to consider joining online communities, doing virtual hang with your co-workers, volunteering, joining sports leagues, or just scheduling a socializing event outside of your job with friends on a recurring basis.
Personally, I do my best work from home and find I am more productive. I tend to fall between being more introverted but still crave some socialization.
For me, it’s ensuring at least one or two nights a week I do things outside of work or socialize with others. This has certainly helped me not have a feeling of loneliness.
Remember, remote work and work from home can mean different things to different people and companies hiring remotely. Generally, most people see those terms as interchangeable, but it’s good to understand the nuances when you are looking for a job.
Think about what type of working situation you are looking for and would prefer, then start diving in. Also, make sure to understand what the company expects of employees who are not working in the traditional office.
You never want to just assume the company view is the same as how you view remote work or work from home.
Happy Remote Working!