For many existing in a standard, office-based work environment, “working from home” can often seem completely interchangeable with “remote work” but the truth is that the two terms are actually very far from being synonymous.
As technology changes and planning and working with teams without any physical contact becomes more common, the entire dynamic of the workplace across many industries is changing irrevocably. This is having an increasingly large impact on how managers deal with, oversee and get the most out of their teams, so understanding the real meaning of working from home and remote work has become an important aspect of a manager’s skill set.
Working from Home vs. Remote Work
- Working from home is a temporary period away from a physical office, remote work is an entire career away from the office
When you are away from the office for a while you still know you will be coming back, you generally keep the same rhythm and tempo you would have had in the office, maybe getting up a bit later or wearing something a more comfortable but, overall, it’s just like the office but at home. Remote work means having to create your own tempo and motivation, setting your working hours and training yourself to avoid distractions and get your 8+ hours done, every working day, forever.
- Working from home can be offered as a perk to employees, remote work can mean saying goodbye to perks.
Remote workers, similar to much talk about the gig economy, can often be seen as temporary an dispensable. The lack of physical human connection means that employers or managers don’t build the same bond of commitment as they would with people they meet in the coffee room every morning. So, remote workers often find that instead of perks and bonuses, what they hope for is job security and just to be recognized in the first place.
- Working from home still enables you to keep a relationship with the team, working remotely means staying solitary.
As your time at home will only be temporary, work colleagues are unlikely to forget you exist because you’re gone for a week. Remote work however sees one spending a lot of time in a home office or cafe with no-one to seek advice from or blow off steam with about the job. It mightn’t be talked about much but being surrounded by people who actually understand what you do is a bonus in itself.
- Working from home means you can go back to the office if it’s not for you, remote workers can’t.
Though there has been a significant rise in co-working spaces, it’s still not the same as being with the rest of your team. Not only that, remote workers also can’t avail of all the benefits that get taken for granted at a work office, such as secretarial or accounting services, technical equipment and any food or drink benefits, like subsidized lunches or pizza to celebrate a project win.
Naturally remote work isn’t all bad and does have its own advantages but the attitude that it is the same as the comfortable perk of working from home undervalues remote workers’ contribution to teams. If you want to get full transparency and inclusivity for all your team members, whether remote, working from home or office-based, Clarizen’s cloud-based software can connect everyone with ease.