Is Your Company Confusing Work at Home with Remote Work?

Did you know that your team members who work at home are not working remotely? In a world where companies had to quickly transition to work outside of the office, understanding remote work environments can present a challenge if want to set a clear remote work policy. Many companies think of remote work as an all-encompassing term that is directly related to working from home.

The truth is that remote work is not the same as working from home. If you want your company to create an ideal team workplace experience, you must understand the differences so that you, your company, and your team are on the same page.

What is the difference between remote work and work from home?

Remote work

This term refers to work that takes place outside of the office. Yes, remote can happen at home, but it can also occur in a café, park, hotel, etc. The main point is that your employees are the ones who choose the location, whether it is in another city, another state, or even a different country.

With remote work, you can ask your team members to keep a fixed schedule or provide flexible hours.

There are two types of remote work:

  • Fully remote
    Team members who do all their work outside of the office and are located anywhere around the world.
  • Partly remote
    Team members who do some of their work at the office and live near their workplace.

Work from home

The term “work from home” refers exclusively to a working model where team members are required to work from their home or place of residence.

This practice is more common for team members who work mainly from the office but like working from home on occasion, or team members who prefer to work from their home office for the most part.

Does remote work vs work from home influence team member performance?

Some companies limit remote work or telecommuting, because they feel that this is the best way for their team members to be productive. Another reason that some companies chose work from home, is because they want their team members to come to the office some or most of the time.

What you need to decide, is if you want your team members to have the freedom to work from any location of their choosing or if you want them to work exclusively from their home. The reality is that every remote environment has its advantages and disadvantages.

What are the pros and cons of remote work and work from home?


  • Higher productivity
    Productivity is still a highly debated topic; however, most studies show an increase in productivity when  compared to working in the office. This productivity comes from better time management and the ability to work during the hours team members feel more productive.
  •  Cost effective
    For starters, your company can save thousands of dollars by not having to rent office spaces or budgeting for the expense of maintaining one. Even if you decide to keep your offices, you won’t need the same amount of space or resources.A study by Global Workplace Analytics (GWA) showed that if a company allowed an employee to work from home just half of the time, it would save an average of US$11,000 per employee, and each employee would save between US$2,000 and US$7,000.GWA says that even before the global pandemic “surveys repeatedly showed 80% of employees want to work from home at least some of the time. Over a third would take a pay cut in exchange for the option.”
  • Happier employees
    Without the grind of everyday comings and goings, your team members will have more time available with their loved ones and less stress. When your team members have the chance to slow down, their happiness both at work and at home will increase, making them more productive.
  •  Greener planet
    It’s not just beneficial for the planet — letting your team members work from home or remotely reduces your carbon footprint, leading to tax breaks and financial incentives in some cities.
  • Retention
    According to GWA, “95 percent of employers say remote work has a high impact on employee retention.”

Want to learn more about employee retention? Read our blog: “7 Strategies That Improve Remote Employee Retention”

  • Better service
    If your team members are happy and satisfied with their job, this will translate into every business aspect, including customer service. Better service will, in turn, help increase profits.


  • Distractions
    Every environment, including offices, offers some form of distraction. However, when your team members can work remotely from any location of their choosing, they might encounter a significant number of distractions and even obstacles, such as lack of internet connection or communication issues while on the move.
  • Atmosphere
    Not every team member has a relaxing atmosphere at home — without a quiet place to go or with personal issues causing distractions, some team members’ performance may take a hit.
  •  Interaction
    Offices are places where your team members interact daily and build relationships. Without these interactions, it might be difficult for some employees to feel fully part of the team. This means you will have to spend more time fostering positive relationships.
  • Compliance
    What if one or more of your team members relocated to another country? Employee relocation has significantly increased in the past couple of years due to countries introducing remote work visas.However, you may want to limit visa requests at first, seeing as you will have difficulty attracting and retaining talent in a world where a remote system is increasingly becoming the norm. The only option is to figure out how to compliantly employ team members in multiple locations and protect your finances simultaneously.

Which is better for your team members: remote work or work from home?

You don’t have to choose between letting your employees work remotely or work from home exclusively. Just like your company is different, every team member within your company is also unique, and, therefore, not everybody will benefit from a one-sided approach.

A positive workplace experience starts by letting your team members work in their environment of choice. Some of them might benefit from being constantly on the move, from state to state, or even country to country.

Others might like to work at home most of the time — perhaps a couple of days from a coffee shop or at the beach while they take a break. There are those who like to have the option to go to the office whenever they feel like it or when they have an in-person meeting, and there will be some who like working in the office most of the time.

Many companies are adopting a hybrid-remote work approach. Hybrid means that you keep offices open for those employees who choose (or need) to come to the office, keeping them happy while also leaving the option available to work from home or remotely.

This approach is popular because it doesn’t shut out one group of team members. For example, if your company were to only choose between working remotely or working from home, there would be dissatisfied team members on both sides who would be forced to work in an uncomfortable atmosphere and even driven to quit.

The point here is that even though there are different labels for approaches to remote work, you don’t have to choose just one. Providing a great workplace experience means selecting the right path for your company.

Can the combination of remote work and work from home help your company?

A significant challenge of the combination of remote work with work from home while keeping your offices open is that it will take a serious commitment from your company.

Why is this the case?

Your company will have to ensure that team members at the office and at home have everything they need, while compliantly employing other team members on the other side of the world.

Making sure you deliver a top-class team member experience in all environments is no easy feat. You will need to start by creating a remote work policy, if you don’t have one yet. A policy will let your employees know where they stand when it comes to remote work, which will make their work environment choices more manageable.

The upside is that it will make your company stronger for a future where adaptability is the norm.

The great thing is that you don’t have to carry all the weight of this undertaking on your shoulders. A global employment platform can help you compliantly employ anyone, anywhere, without having to worry about setting up entities or dealing with international complexities.

How can a global employment platform help you deliver a great experience in a remote world?

When your team members are happy, your company is on the right path to success. A global employment platform can contribute to an impactful workplace experience by knocking down the barriers to global growth, allowing your company to hire international team members seamlessly.

Imagine not having to deal with the complexities of global growth logistics. You could dedicate more time and energy ensuring you’re providing a healthy working environment for your team members, regardless of their location.

As a global employment platform, Globalization Partners provides technology that makes onboarding international team members even more straightforward. Our software simplifies and automates key HR, finance, and legal tasks like locally compliant contract generation and expense management in a matter of minutes.

Say goodbye to worrying about how to compliantly employ team members across the world. Let Globalization Partners be your partners in a remote world.

Learn more about how to manage global employee relocation and how Globalization Partners can help you hire globally.

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