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5 min read

Does Remote Work Necessarily Mean Work From Home?

Key points

  • Remote work does not strictly mean working from home; it refers to any work setup where employees are not required to be physically present in a central office or workplace.
  • Remote workers can choose to work from coworking spaces, cafes, libraries, or other locations with reliable internet connections and conducive work environments.
  • While work from home is a popular remote work option, some individuals may prefer alternative workspaces to maintain a separation between their personal and professional lives.
  • Remote work arrangements depend on the company’s policies and preferences, which may allow employees to work from various locations or require them to work from home.

Remote work refers to the ability to work from a location other than a traditional office setting. This can include working from home, but it can also include working from a co-working space, a cafe, or any other location outside of the office. Remote work is becoming increasingly popular as it allows for more flexibility and can make it easier for people to balance work and personal responsibilities.

Work from home is one way in which an individual can work remotely. In this article, we look at the pros and cons of work from home (WFH) and look at why it may make sense, in some cases, for workers to work remotely from a non-home location. 

What’s the difference between remote work and work from home?

Remote work refers to the ability to work from a location other than a traditional office setting, while work from home (WFH) specifically refers to the practice of working from one’s own residence. Remote work can include working from home, but it can also include working from a co-working space, a café, or any other location outside of the office.

Work from home (WFH) can be considered as a subset of remote work as it is a specific way of implementing remote work

WFH is becoming increasingly popular as it allows for more flexibility and can make it easier for people to balance work and personal responsibilities.

What are the benefits of work from home?

Work from home, also known as telecommuting, can offer a number of benefits for both employees and employers. Some of the most notable benefits include:

  1. Increased flexibility — working from home allows employees to create their own schedules and work when they are most productive. This can help to reduce stress and improve work-life balance
  2. Reduced commute time and expenses — by working from home, employees can save time and money that would have been spent commuting to and from the office
  3. Increased productivity —studies have shown that working from home can lead to increased productivity and job satisfaction (for more information check out our detailed explainer on the key benefits of work from home). This is partly due to the reduced distractions and increased sense of autonomy that working from home can provide
  4. Cost savings for employers — allowing employees to work from home can also lead to cost savings for employers, such as reduced office expenses and the ability to hire employees from a wider geographical area
  5. Improved employee retention — companies that offer flexible work options, like working from home, tend to have happier, more satisfied employees which in turn can lead to improved retention rates
  6. Greater access to diverse talent — remote work opportunities increase the pool of potential hires for companies, allowing them to tap into a diverse talent base, regardless of location.
  7. Environmental benefits — remote work reduces carbon footprint by reducing the need for commuting.

It’s important to note, though, that working from home will not be appropriate for every company. 

What are the challenges of work from home?

As well as the benefits, working from home can also come with a number of challenges that may affect both employees and employers. Some of the most notable challenges include:

  1. Isolation and lack of social interaction — working from home can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness, particularly for those who are used to working in an office environment with regular face-to-face interaction
  2. Distractions and lack of boundaries — it can be difficult to separate work from personal life when working from home, and it can be easy to get caught up in non-work-related tasks or activities that can interfere with productivity
  3. Difficulty in staying motivated — without the structure and routine of a traditional office environment, some employees may find it harder to stay motivated and focused on their work
  4. Technology and communication challenges — remote work can also present challenges with technology and communication. Technical issues can arise, and it can be harder to stay connected with colleagues and managers. For this reason, it is important to only select roles for work-from-home or remote work where that context is appropriate (read our in-depth hiring guide to see how this might be considered for personal assistants, for example). 
  5. Difficulty in managing and monitoring employees — managers may have a harder time monitoring and managing remote employees, which can lead to trust issues and a lack of accountability
  6. Lack of professional development opportunities — remote workers may miss out on professional development opportunities that are only available in-person
  7. Difficulty in maintaining work-life balance — the line between work and personal life can be blurred, making it harder to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
  8. Difficulty in maintaining security — remote work can also pose security risks, particularly when it comes to sensitive information and data.

Work from home vs remote work — which is best for you?

Working from home has its benefits — the comfort of familiar surroundings, reduced or eliminated commuting time, and increased flexibility in managing personal and professional responsibilities. It can also be cost-effective, as there is no need to rent additional office space/pay for co-working spaces or spend on transportation. However, taking a remote job should mean greater flexibility in work location: Employees can choose from coworking spaces, cafes, libraries, or other locations that suit their work style and preferences. For some workers, this means a healthier work-life balance by separating the home environment from their work, reducing potential distractions, and fostering a sense of community with like-minded professionals.

Ultimately, remote work provides an adaptable framework that empowers individuals to design their optimal working conditions, whether it be from the comfort of their home or elsewhere.


Staying productive while working from home can be achieved by setting up a designated workspace, establishing a routine, and setting clear boundaries between work and personal time. Plan your day with a to-do list and prioritize tasks, while also scheduling breaks to avoid burnout. Minimize distractions, such as social media or household chores, and maintain open communication with your colleagues and supervisors to stay aligned with team goals.

Maintaining a work-life balance while working from home can be challenging but is essential for overall well-being: Set a consistent schedule, including start and end times for your workday, and stick to it as much as possible; create a separate workspace to differentiate between your personal and professional areas, and establish boundaries by communicating your work hours to your family or housemates. Don't forget to take regular breaks, engage in hobbies, and stay connected with friends and family to maintain a well-rounded life outside of work.

Article By

Fact checked by Charlotte Evans

Reece is RemotePad’s finance and accounting specialist. Reece is the go-to contributor when RemotePad advises on the financial implications of remote work and hiring employees, locally and internationally. Based in the southern New Zealand city of Dunedin, Reece has a Bachelor of Commerce degree, majoring in Accounting, from the University of Otago.

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