It’s quite common to hear about remote working and “working from home” in today’s workforce. There are benefits to both. But it’s important for companies to understand the difference between the two.
Both remote working and working from home are popular workplace trends that have real benefits for your team. In fact, there are huge benefits for your company, especially when you think about the ability to add talented team members regardless of their locations.
Working from home is considered a benefit while remote working is simply the way in which an employee performs his or her job. The distinction needs to be acknowledged. Almost everything about the remote work environment is different from that of an office environment.
The benefit of working from home is exercised when you work in an office but decide to stay home on a Tuesday because you have no face-to-face meetings scheduled. Or when you need to carve out some uninterrupted time to focus on a particular task. Or perhaps, you simply need a change of scenery.
You bring your laptop home and set it up on the kitchen table or in the living room. It is a significant change from your normal routine and your normal pace of work (which can be a very good thing once in a while). It's effective mostly because it's different from normal.
Remote working, or working outside of your company's office all the time, is fundamentally different. It requires a different set of abilities, resources and skills, as none of the “in office” structure exists. Remote workers need to create a dedicated space where work can be performed (which certainly can have its benefits).
When you are a remote worker, it requires additional effort to stay connected with your peers as you aren’t chatting while getting coffee from the office kitchen. And then there's life and all the other things that happen during the day — like family members who forget, just because you're there, that you're actually working.
With the right set of tools and a few productivity tips, working remotely can be an incredible way of working. But, it is not the same as “working from home.” Companies need to ensure they are setting remote workers up for success and not simply treating it as working from home.