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What does it mean to ‘work remotely’? And why it’s great!

Working remotely means working outside of the office, whether at home, in a coffee shop, a co-working space, or any other non-office setting. It can even mean working in another city or country.

Remote working is often portrayed as part of a dream lifestyle, where the worker is freed from the office and instead enjoys working on a tropical beach, for instance.

While this isn’t usually very realistic for most people, there are elements of truth to it. Remote work is a real option, now more than ever, and it does offer a fantastic opportunity to escape the commute, the office and the 9 to 5 schedule.

What does it mean to work remotely?

Working remotely generally involves making use of technology to do a job at a distance.

Remote workers make use of video conferencing services, email, collaborative working tools and other online services to do a job that would traditionally have been done in an office in an alternative “remote” location.

Working remotely usually means working alone, or at least, not in the same physical space as colleagues. Whereas traditional office workers would sit in the same room as their colleagues, remote workers will communicate on the phone, via email, and through video conferencing.

This doesn’t mean that meetings don’t still happen. Remote workers can and often do meet with colleagues and clients in person. However, their day-to-day work is conducted at a distance.

What is the difference between working remotely and working from home?

Some people suggest that remote work is permanent, whereas “working from home” is something people do temporarily. However, we disagree with this.

In our view, the only difference between working remotely and working from home is that working from home is more specific in terms of its location.

Working from home specifically means working in the place where you live. Remote work can be from anywhere. Other than that, they mean the same thing.

To put it another way: If you are working from home then you are working remotely. However, you can work remotely without working from home. For instance, by working in a coffee shop.

Where can you work remotely?

As working remotely doesn’t have to mean working at home, there are a wide variety of places where remote workers can open their laptops and get on with the working day. These include:

  • Coffee shops (just remember to keep buying food or drinks or free up the table after a reasonable amount of time)
  • Co-working spaces
  • Libraries
  • Parks
  • Beaches
  • Pub gardens
  • While travelling – for instance, while waiting at an airport or while on board a plane or train
  • Abroad, where you can work in all of the places above, only in another city or country

Is working remotely a good idea?

You might not be surprised to hear that, at Homeworker HQ, we think working remotely is a great idea!

In fact, there are many benefits to working remotely, both for employees and their employers.

These include:

  • Flexibility to choose your environment
  • No office distractions
  • No commuting time or costs
  • More time with family
  • And many other advantages of not being restricted to an office five days a week

Of course, remote working isn’t practical for everyone. But when it is possible to work remotely, it can revolutionise your work-life balance, reduce stress, save you money and free up time.

Remote working is becoming increasingly popular, so if you haven’t tried it yet, but you have the opportunity, we recommend giving it a go. You might just discover a healthier and happier way to live and work…

References and further reading

What is Remote Work – Remote Year

What is Remote Work – Skillcrush

Remote working isn’t the same as working from home – Inc (As explained above, we disagree with their point that working from home is a temporary benefit and fundamentally different to remote work)

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