Staffing
Home Office & Remote Work: How are they different
by Carlos A. Vázquez   |   May 11, 2020   |     6 min read

Home Office & Remote Work: How are they different

Remote work and home office are popular trends these days and are definitely proposals that bring real benefits for companies and teams. In fact, straightforward, its main appeal is the ability to add talented members to the team, regardless of their location.

However, there is a problem that is causing a lot of confusion. Working from home and working remotely is not the same, so it is time to define each term and find a way to incorporate them into your operating strategy to grow your company.

Working from home

It is a straightforward definition. Home Office is to work from home, either temporarily or permanently. This means that you can take advantage of the comfort of your home and extend an office to carry out your work activities a few times a week, or that your home becomes your full-time office and thus avoid commuting to company offices. 

If you’re going to telecommute from home or members of your team will, you need to establish systems to succeed, things like a dedicated home office space, defined work hours, and set clear boundaries with friends and family who share your home space. Once these systems are established, your home can become an ideal and productive workplace.

On the other hand, home office is not the same for everyone; there are actually several ways to take advantage of it depending on the combinations and responsibilities of your role.

Home Office as an Independent or Freelancer

Home office has long been associated with independent workers or freelancers who prefer to work from home to avoid spending on expensive office spaces. Arguably, freelancers have been the firsts to create a path of how to work from home and continue making a profit. 

If you ask any full-time freelancer, they will surely tell you that doing home office provides a lot of freedom. 

In this case, if you have ever considered outsourcing a task to freelancers, they will most likely be doing the work from their own homes. 

Doing Home Office for a company in another city or country

You have probably heard of company employees being sent to other cities or abroad for a long time, or even being hired away from the company headquarters. 

In these cases, if you have a single employee in that city, there is little to no point in renting expensive offices and all the management that entails. If the company is expanding or giving international talent the opportunity to join the ranks, the most efficient way is to allow them to work from home in their own city.

An employee who works 100% out of the company’s main offices can be considered as a remote employee, and if his/her workplace is also at home, then he/she is a: Home Office Remote Employee.

If you are an employer looking to hire home office remote workers, you can engage in all the tasks and paperwork that it involves having an employee in another country, but that it is sometimes overwhelming for small human resources teams. However, you can rely on staffing agencies to make it easier. 

Part-time home office as a benefit

Working from home as a benefit is what you do when you work in an office but stay home on Thursday and Friday because you need a change of scenery. Or maybe when you don’t have face-to-face meetings, you decide to avoid the office to stay home. It’s also something you can do on occasions when you need to block interruptions from your coworkers who keep coming into your office when you’re in the middle of something that requires all your concentration.

With part-time home office benefits, you can take your work laptop home and place it on the kitchen table or on your desk. Overall, it represents a significant change from your regular routine and your typical work pace, which can be an excellent thing every now and then for you or your team members. 

Although it has the framework and appearance of remote work, people who work in this way cannot be considered remote or full-time home office employees.

On the other hand, there are also 100% home office employees who are occasionally required to be in person, either in a coworking office (when the entire team works from home or remotely), or at the company’s headquarters to an all hands on deck session.

Remote Work

We can quickly define remote work as work that does not take place in a traditional office; In other words, remote work means that you will not go to a physical business office Monday through Friday and will survive there for the duration of an eight-hour shift. 

However, remote work can be defined much more broadly: working anywhere with Internet access.

Unlike the home office, remote work can be done at coworking offices, company satellite offices, at the remote employee’s home, or while the worker travels the world.

Remote work without an office

This is pretty much the same thing we talk about before with remote employees working in other cities or countries at home to save the company rent and administration expenses, especially when you or your employees are the only workers in that area.

So remote officeless employees are also: Home Office Remote Employees. And while they can actually choose their workspaces, they almost invariably do so from home.

There is also a large community of remote officeless workers called digital nomads, where remote workers take advantage of the power of the Internet to carry out their occupation and/or to sell their knowledge to other people or companies from anywhere in the world, whether under contract or as freelancers. In other words, working remotely allows them to lead a “digital nomad lifestyle,” that is, to be able to work while traveling.

Remote work in office or coworking

When companies like yours decide to grow and expand their tech teams, they are often limited to the pool of talent available in their regions. However, it is well known (at least in the United States) that labor shortages are forcing companies to look for talent beyond their reach.

That is why more and more companies turn to staffing agencies to build remote tech teams in countries like Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina. 

The hired team members may belong directly to the company’s payroll or be in the payroll of a remote staffing firm, where the agency is the one who manages the payroll and other benefits such as social security.

In this case, companies seek to give their employees a workspace either in an office rented exclusively for the company or in coworking spaces that have become very popular.

Remote employees with office spaces can also access the benefits of a part-time home office or even be part of a larger team of people who work from home in different cities. 

Summing-up

Remote work is different from working from home, so let’s stop talking about them as if they were the same.

Now that we understand their differences, the possibilities to combine remote work and home office are many, and it will depend on your imagination to grow your company or tech team.

In my case, I work remotely from home and would not do otherwise. I love the freedom it gives me and how everything fits into my life. And, when I need a change of scenery, I can work from Starbucks (or wherever) during the day.

If you want more information or help to build a remote team, download our free ebook: The Ultimate Guide to Build and Scale a Tech Team in Mexico. 

 

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