https://www.microsoft.com/

Both remote work and work from home are common trends in the workplace that offer real advantages for your team. In reality, your business will also have huge benefits, particularly when you think about the opportunity to add talented team members irrespective of their location. One of the questions to ask is, “does remote mean work from home?” Often, a lot of us think that work from home and remote work are the same. However, this is not the case. It is now time to quit thinking about the remote workers as those workers who are simply not in the office. Work from home is a temporary situation while remote work is a totally different work style.

Did you know?

Around 82% of remote workers have reported lower stress levels than traditional office workers.


What is work from home?

It is important for individuals and businesses to understand what is WFH. The working from home meaning typically describes an advantage, or profit, provided by co-located firms. It pays for one or more days a week, allowing workers to work from home. These days, work from home is often seen as flex days: days that you can use to schedule appointments or just have a day of rest from the busy office and get some focused work done. This WFH meaning will later help you identify how it differs from remote work.

Work from home is what is done when you are working in an office but stay at home on Thursday, for example, because you need a change in environment, or because you do not have any face-to-face meetings. In such cases, you decide to avoid going to the office. Work from home is also something you might occasionally do when you need a period of time without the constant intrusion of co-workers in your office.

Tip: Dedicate a specific place to do your work, this will help you to focus on work when working from home
You could carry your work laptop to home and set it up at the kitchen table or at your office. Generally, it reflects a big break from your daily routine and your usual work pace — which can be a really positive thing every now and then. It is mostly effective, since it is different from the ordinary way of working. You will still have your office's system and structure and in your absence, the people who work there would adjust their work.

You might be weary of work from home if you are the boss. Remember, nobody forgets to put the boss on an email only because he worked yesterday from home! You will still have your space in the office, so you know that you will still be requested for a conversation if somebody makes any mistakes. If you work remotely, the same is not always applicable, particularly if you are not the boss.

What does remote mean?

When the question of “what does remote mean” arises, it is essential to also keep in mind the working from home meaning. Remote work is not the same as work from home. It can occur from a number of places, such as caf├ęs or coworking spaces. There can also be remote work from home. Although more flexible, it is also not always known as flex days, because the default of working is independent of the location.

Remote working, or working all the time outside of the company's office, is vastly different from work from home. It is also essential to note that "remote work from home" is also different from just "work from home". Remote work from any location needs a different set of skills, capital, and abilities. It requires an attitude of proactivity and intense levels of time management skills. It also needs constructive communication and an almost hyper-focus on what is going on with members of the team because you do not have the typical face-to-face time.

Tip: One of the biggest challenges when working remotely is feeling lonely or isolated. To avoid this, it’s a good practice to frequently socialise with your colleagues and create a virtual water cooler effect.

Remote work allows you to build your own work atmosphere, which definitely has benefits because you can set up your room. Therefore, it will work out just fine for you. At about the same time, when you have to hunker down, you don't have the security of an office, cubicle, or desk.

The benefits of an office are amazing, as long as you are able to make your own toast or masala chai! And, there is some social life and all the other things that arise in the daytime. This could include your family members who forget that you are actually employed, simply because they see you at home or a coworking space. Nevertheless, remote work can be an awesome way to operate, with the right set of tools and a few productivity tips.

Now that you have understood the basic meanings of work from home and remote work, it is time to get an idea of the pros and cons of them both. Then, you can decide which one would suit your lifestyle better.

Pros and Cons of Work from Home

Pros:

With the increasing numbers of workers employed at home, it is clear that there are a variety of advantages for companies and individuals such as:

Better retention of employees

Work from home will help retain workers because they will not have to face long commutes every day.

Exposure to a larger pool of candidates

This will include those from more geographically distant regions, for example, or people who may choose to work from home. 
  • Possible improvements in productivity
  • There would be less interruptions, allowing more concentrated work.
  • Improved workplace satisfaction
  • There would be a stronger work/life balance for the staff.

Financial benefits

There would be savings on office space and other facilities.

Convenience

You will discover an ability to find sales staff in the vicinity of clients, rather than in your premises.

Health benefits

Work from home staff would have better health and wellness enhancements.

Cons:

While workers working at home have some drawbacks, most of these apply to those who work from home for all the time, as opposed to just a part of their working week:
  • Performance tracking challenges
  • The management and control of such employees' outcomes may be difficult.
  • Price of operating from home
Initial preparation expenses and the procurement of suitable equipment and modifications to meet health and safety requirements would be quite heavy.

Staff development challenges

There would be a difficulty in handling the workforce's growth and upgradation of skills. 
  • Risk to information security
  • Information protection problems may be more likely to arise.
  • Increased costs of telecommunications

For example, rising telephone or cable bills or supplying the employee with a cell phone for work purposes would be expensive. 
  • Problems with communication
  • It may increase feelings of isolation among homeworkers.
  • Decreased workplace morale

It can be more difficult to sustain team unity as workers work at different places.

Not all jobs fit work from home

A few professions are better suited to working from home than others. Operating from home, likewise, matches some styles of personality but not others. Some people may prefer face-to-face contact between colleagues.

Did you know?

According to the American Psychology Association, remote employees are more satisfied with their work and tent to perform better.

A move to work from home does not mean that workers need to work only at home. The most effective approach is always to divide time between home and workplace and you would want the homeworker to take part in meetings so that they are completely engaged and updated.

Pros and Cons of Remote Work

Pros:

Although the pros might seem to overlap with work from home, it is essential to note that remote work has considerably more autonomy in functioning than work from home

Self-creation of work environment

With remote work, you are not bound to any one specific location. Since you have the choice of working from anywhere in the world, you can choose from work in your own home office, a cafe, or a coworking space. Lately, the options are many for remote workers.

Zero commute

The cost of daily commute to an office space will reduce by a great amount. However, if your coworking space is quite far from your home, then the costs would almost be the same as travelling to an office.

Increased autonomy

Remote workers have a greater autonomy in their functioning. However, you must be cautious in exercising your freedom.

Cons:

There is a lot of responsibility that comes with working remotely. Several challenges might be presented.

Unpredictable working hours

Most remote employees find it difficult to know when their job begins and finishes. Continuous access to the workplace requires a deliberate effort to 'clock out', particularly through smartphones, instead of actually leaving the building at the end of the day. This can happen outside of your working hours, in the form of emails or calls, communication on off days or annual leave. On Saturdays, '20 minutes' of sending those emails can quickly turn into an hour or two. It is worth learning about the social and family implications this can have. This can hamper with time management as well.

Working while sick

Among office-based workers, the policy on illness is relatively clear: if you are well enough to work, come in; if you are too unwell to work, you can take the day off. Yet, the boundaries are blurring for staff operating remotely. The number of sick days that people can take in certain situations while operating remotely diminishes. With the need to drive to the office eliminated, it is always possible to sit at home with a groggy or bunged-up feeling, but still churn out some work. This might seem positive at first, but, in reality, for both employers or their workers, it is probably not so good. Operating when sick means less opportunity for workers to get the rest they need for swift recovery. Equally for employers, while the sick-working workers may be clocked in, there is no real guarantee of the quality of the work they will do.

Isolation

Isolation from your colleagues, and from the office's general buzz, can be another obstacle to remote work. Finding a quiet place to work for many is perfect for peace of mind and getting things done. Yet, after a while, it is easy to lose the stimulation of the world with only your thoughts and the occasional phone calls to break the silence.


Did you know?

60% will quit their job for remote work at the same pay rate.

Remote work involves a particular form of management, based on flexibility and employee self-responsibility. It is one that demands reliable access to information, positive attitudes, and relationships built on trust.

Since the difference between work from home and remote work has been established, you can now weigh the benefits and ills of each and take your pick!