INSIDE: When we look at remote work vs. telecommuting, is there a difference? We’ll tell you the pros and cons of each and help you determine which one is best for you.
We have seen, and continue to see, important covid-19 changes in terms of our way of working.
Many people lucky enough to do so have replaced their cubicle with a work-from-home office. Companies are increasingly focusing on their online strategies and are increasingly posting remote opportunities and telecommuting jobs.
If you’re looking for work-from-home opportunities, you may be wondering what the difference between remote work and a telecommuting job is.
Or maybe you didn’t even think about it and now you’re wondering if there’s any difference between the two.
Well, the answer will soon be clear. Let’s talk about the differences between telecommuting and remote work, the pros and cons of each, and some of the places you can look if you want to find a new job.
Differences between teleworking and remote work
The terms telecommuting and remote work are often used interchangeably, however there are some subtle nuances between the two.
Telecommuting is the practice of working from home using the telephone and the Internet to connect with other team members and perform work tasks. With telecommuting, the idea is that you can work from home part of the time, but you can also spend part of your time onsite in a physical office. Basically, you’re doing exactly what you would do in an office, only at home.
Working remotely means you can work from anywhere in the world. You are not tied to a physical location and are not expected to spend any part of your time in a particular office.
So while these two types of work are very similar, the biggest difference between the two is that with telecommuting there is the option, and perhaps some expectation, that you could spend some of your time in an office. As a result, you may not be able to live anywhere in the world if you want a certain telecommuting job.
Pros and cons of remote work vs telecommuting
Because there are some differences between remote work and telecommuting, you may want to weigh the pros and cons of each before opting for one type of work or another. While they are very similar, there are some important benefits and challenges associated with each.
Advantages of remote work
- You can live and work from anywhere in the world. You are not tied to a geographic location.
- No commuting… ever
- No office attire required
- Flexible schedule
- You shape the workplace – you can set up your office where and how you want
Cons of remote work
- Difficulty creating a distinction between work and life.
- Trying to find reliable wifi
- Working in different time zones
- It may be difficult for you to take a vacation
Advantages of teleworking
- Variety – You have the option of working from home or from an office
- Reduced commutes: you don’t have to commute every day
- Presumably reliable wifi
- Coworkers to connect
- structured work schedule
- You don’t have to try to navigate different time zones
Cons of teleworking
- You may still have to travel from time to time
- I still need to shop for office-appropriate clothing (but this may be a positive for some!)
- You need to live where you work, you can’t be a global nomad
- You have to work a regular 9 to 5 hours
So now that you know the difference between the two, how do you decide which style of work is best for you?
You can start by thinking about the lifestyle you want. Do you want to travel much of the time throughout the year? Do you want the freedom to move and live where you want? Are you comfortable working alone? Mind taking a conference call in the middle of the night to accommodate clients on the other side of the world? If so, then perhaps remote work is right for you.
On the other hand, if you crave stability and routine, like to dress up for work, and like to work in a team, then perhaps a job that allows you to work remotely is a better option for you.
Setting up a space to work remotely or telework
While we have established that there are, in fact, differences between working remotely and telecommuting, when it comes to the practical side of things, there isn’t much of a difference. The equipment you need to work remotely is quite similar to the equipment you need to work remotely.
If you’re going to work from home, whether your home is in the suburbs of the US or in a beach shack somewhere in the tropics, you’ll need the following:
- A quiet work space. Hopefully, you have access to a room with a door because a quiet space is usually more productive space! Somewhere you can set the right furniture – a desk and a comfortable chair.
- A laptop or desktop computer. Obviously, you will need some type of computer to do your work.
- Reliable Wi-Fi. While reliable Wi-Fi can be harder to find if you’re traveling the world, it’s very important. A slow or unreliable connection can lead to dropped business calls and a lot of frustration.
- Headphones. A headset is essential if you do a lot of Zoom or Skype meetings. This is especially true if you’re going to be working from coffee shops or somewhere you can’t use your laptop’s speakers and microphone.
- task light. If you’re working remotely and wake up for a Zoom call in the middle of the night, a work light may be a better option than turning on bright overhead lights.
Companies hiring for remote jobs
Do you want a job or career that allows you the flexibility to work from home and from anywhere in the world? If so, there are a ton of great job sites you can check out that have a lot of remote contracting companies. Whether you want a position like freelance writer, computer programmer, or a remote career in customer service, there are plenty of remote job opportunities available. Start your search at some of these popular sites:
- FlexJobs – We have written a lot about FlexJobs before – check out our job search subscription service review.
- Remote.co – This site focuses exclusively on remote jobs with opportunities from a variety of locations around the world. Jobs are hand-picked to avoid scams and junk jobs.
- We work remotely – Receive job offers by email every day.
- workspresso – Browse job postings and share your resume.
- power to fly – This is a job site aimed specifically at women. You can easily search using a specific job title, company, or keyword to find in-person or remote jobs in your field. You can also search for networking opportunities in your area.
Are you ready to start your remote search?
The world of work is changing. There are more and more companies allowing their employees to work from home and there are tons of organizations looking to hire for remote opportunities. Businesses are now realizing that employees don’t need to be confined to a specific physical location to be efficient and productive. If you’ve been contemplating a remote career, now is a great time to begin your job search so you can begin to experience all the freedom and flexibility that comes with working remotely.
–By Jessica Martel