Remote Work vs. Working from Home: Understanding Key Concepts

Last updated: February 03, 2023 3 min read

Have you ever wondered what differences there are between working remotely/remote work and working from home? In these post-pandemic times, you and others may use or have used these terms interchangeably. Some may even say they are the same or similar.

While they are similar, they are not explicitly the same. Working from home can be considered a subcategory of remote work, but remote work itself cannot be considered only working from home.

Find out the real meaning of these two concepts and the actual difference(s) between both.

What Does it Really Mean to Work Remotely?

Remote work

Working remotely or remote work is a broad term that means working from anywhere other than physically being in a traditional office with coworkers. It is believed that certain work does not have to be done face-to-face with coworkers and administrative staff co-mingling in the same physical location.

Remote work can be full-time or part-time. It also may not be the usual 9 hours a day work shift most are used to. Therefore, it looks different for many people, especially those working for companies, as various models are involved.

It can be work you do for a company as their employee or an independent contractor and work you do for yourself (freelancing or entrepreneurship).

When it comes to remote work, there can be rules set in stone, or you, the worker, decide what works for you regarding how many hours you should work, where you should work, who provides the necessary equipment for work, etc...

What is Working from Home?

Working from home

WFH is a type of remote work done in your home environment. For some in recent times, it was just a temporary fix until it was deemed ‘safe’ to be back in an office with other people. Now, it is a permanent solution for many.

For those who are employees of companies/businesses how often they work from home is usually determined by those in charge of staff. Aside from that, as mentioned earlier, not only employees work from home but some entrepreneurs who are sole proprietors, do too.

Some of the services offered by employees or entrepreneurs that can be done remotely or from home are:

  • Customer Service
  • Virtual Assistance
  • Web or Graphic Design
  • Online Teaching
  • Software development
  • Personal Coaching
  • Writing and Editing
  • Accounting
  • Consulting
  • Coding

Remote Work vs. WFH

So, what are the differences between the two? Working from home is remote work that can only be done from your home. If it is not where you live, then it is not WFH.

It is usually characterized by having a mock office set up in the home, mimicking the one found in traditional offices. Otherwise, it can just be your PC connected to your internet without being in a fixed location within the home. It could be on your patio, kitchen, or even bed (though not encouraged). Whichever work style suits you best.

WFH is beneficial for those who have special obligations at home, such as taking care of babies, small children, or even a sick relative. In addition, it also works best for those who seek a better work/life balance.

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Other Remote Work Concepts

When work is done anywhere outside of the home or a traditional workplace, it is generally called working remotely; however, several other terms are attached to these types of remote work outside of a home or office space.

Because remote work is a broad concept, other places it can be done are in a café, at the beach, while on a bus, plane, or car. If you have a reliable computer with the required software or tools to do your work and a reliable internet connection, it can be done. These two elements are necessary.

Let us explore two popular concepts below.

Co-working Spaces

Suppose you work remotely as an employee of a remote-first company with no physical locations, an entrepreneur, or a freelancer that desires the atmosphere of office spaces, or you lack the amenities/resources for an area dedicated to work that separates your workspace from family spaces in your home. In that case, the option of ‘co-working spaces’ may suit you.

Remote co-working space

Co-working spaces are basically office areas shared by freelancers, entrepreneurs, and sometimes other small companies working remotely. It is not your typical traditional office space but rather an alternative to the ‘work-from-home' structure that exposes you to an environment and people who are not necessarily your co-workers.

To access this type of space, you would have to pay a monthly rent or day pass to enjoy benefits such as Wi-Fi connection, networking opportunities, and printing services, to name a few.

These spaces are like hubs for different remote working individuals from various backgrounds to go to for work and human interaction.

Working while traveling/Digital Nomads

‘Work from anywhere,’ ‘working while traveling,’ or whatever you may call it as you know, is currently the most talked about trend in remote work. Digital nomads as they call themselves, are remote workers who travel to various countries and work.

This lifestyle is currently trending mostly because of the steep level of flexibility that remote work affords many, one being able to work while traveling, all thanks to work that can be done with only a laptop and a reliable data connection.

In addition, other reasons are better work-life balance and quality of life that working from anywhere allows. Those who opt for this style of work seek a ‘sense of freedom’ they would not have within the confinements of onsite work.

Working while traveling

Now more than ever, it is becoming increasingly more accessible for almost anyone to become a digital nomad. With more remote work possibilities emerging in many different industries, more countries worldwide are offering ‘digital nomad visas.’

More than 25 countries, as of June 25, 2022, have started to capitalize on this trend by opening opportunities to attract these nomads in the form of these visas, all with their specific terms and conditions attached that allow you to work and receive income in their countries legally for a period.

Many of these countries offer residencies for up to a year or even more, which is longer than a regular tourist visa allows.

Though it looks colorful in theory, this lifestyle may not be the best fit for everyone. Some cons that follow, especially when considering digital nomad visas, are the strict income requirements involved and it is not guaranteed that the government of whichever country you apply to will approve your application.

Also, many people are not cut out for constant traveling, resulting in travel fatigue and possible loneliness from doing it solo.



As you now know, remote work has a broad meaning to it. It is any work done outside the walls of physical office spaces which is typically technologically geared (you need to at least have the basics; a working laptop and reliable data).

It could be from the comforts of your home, in a coffee shop, on the go as you travel, or in another country halfway around the world on one of your frequent travels. The possibilities are endless, as long as you get the work done.

Working from home, on the other hand, is a form of remote work done strictly at home. Some employers, who set the standards for how remote work should be done by employees, require this form only. However, some are lenient, and it matters not where the work is done.

That is the difference between WFH and remote work.