The main difference between telecommuting and remote work is that in telecommuting, the employees live a reasonable distance away from the office, whereas, in remote work, employees can live anywhere in the world.
Most of us use the two words telecommuting and remote work interchangeably. Both involve working outside the office. Although they are very similar concepts, there are some slight changes between them.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Telecommuting
– Definition, Features
2. What is Remote Work
– Definition, Features, Pros and Cons
3. Similarities Between Telecommuting and Remote Work
– Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Telecommuting and Remote Work
– Comparison of Key Differences
Remote Work, Telecommuting, Work form Home
What is Telecommuting
Telecommuting is the practice of working from a remote location rather than from a central place of work like an office. In telecommuting, employees connect to their co-workers or employers through the use of technology – internet, email, telephone, etc. Since everyone at work is connected via technology, there is no need for anyone to commute to the office. It’s important to note that in telecommuting, employees usually have an office nearby they can commute to. In addition, employees who telecommute don’t necessarily have to work from their home; they can work from anywhere they prefer – a co-working space, library, etc. However, they might be required to go to the office on some days for important meetings, team-building events, and other special events. Telecommuting jobs are available in many industries, including IT, customer services, and marketing sectors.
The term telecommuting is not a brand-new concept. In fact, it’s a few decades old. It was coined by the NASA engineer Jack Nilles in 1972. He believed that telecommuting could be a good solution to traffic and the shortage of nonrenewable resources. Today, the term telecommuting is gradually being replaced by the two more popular words, remote work and work from home.
What is Remote Work
Remote work is the practice of working remotely from a location other than a central office. At its core, remote work is very similar to telecommuting. The difference actually lies in the distance from the office. In telecommuting, employers usually hire candidates who live somewhat close to their office even though the employee does not have to commute every day. However, in remote work, employers may even hire people living across the globe. For example, an American employer might hire a remote worker from Pakistan, or a Chinese employer might hire a remote worker from France. There are no geographical boundaries in remote work.
The concept of remote work and work from home became highly popular after the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the practice of remote work has both advantages and disadvantages. The main advantages of remote work include its flexibility, better work/life balance, cost savings, more freedom, and the ability to hire and retain topic talent. Some research studies have also shown that remote work can increase employees’ productivity. However, there are some disadvantages to working remotely, as well. These include social isolation, loneliness, and decreased collaboration.
Similarities Between Telecommuting and Remote Work
- Both telecommuting and remote work involve working from a remote location away from an office.
- Therefore, they have very similar advantages and disadvantages.
- In general, these two words can be used interchangeably.
Difference Between Telecommuting and Remote Work
Telecommuting is the practice of working from home with the use of the internet, email, and the telephone, while remote work is the practice of working remotely from a location other than a central office.
Distance from Office
Generally, in telecommuting, employees live somewhat close to their office. However, in remote work, employees can live on the other end of the world from their office.
Popularity of the Terms
The term remote work is more popular than the term telecommuting. In fact, the term telecommuting is gradually being replaced by the term remote work.
Telecommuting and remote work are two very similar concepts. The main difference between telecommuting and remote work is that in telecommuting, the employees live a reasonable distance away from the office, whereas, in remote work, employees can live anywhere in the world.
1. “Why Working from Home Benefits Enterprise Businesses: Remote Work Guide.” Wrike.
2. “Is Telecommuting the Right Choice for You: The Complete Guide to Telecommuting.” Work from Home 101.
1. “Video-conference-skype-webinar” (CC0) via Pixabay
2. “American woman working from home during coronavirus pandemic” (CC0) via Raw Pixel