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There are quite a number of terms out there to describe a non-traditional working set-up of not spending your everyday 9-5 in an office. Working from home and remote work are probably two of the most commonly used terms, however, they should not be used interchangeably, as they come with totally different legal obligations and expectations. To understand the exact differences of working from home and remote work, we have created a quick overview of the definitions.
While a more relaxed approach to working conditions was already on an upward trajectory in the past couple of years, there is no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has been the final push to move workers out of traditional set-ups and into more flexible working conditions. Being forced to work from home has made not only workers but also their employers re-evaluate what is really necessary for their business, and a new, more open approach to work will see an abundance of employees probably never fully return to the office again.
What does it truly mean to ‘work from anywhere’? Is it really possible? And how are the terms we use to describe remote work being misused? Learn more in our podcast.
The State Of Work
Home office has become a new reality for millions of workers around the globe. While some companies already had regulations for this in place before the pandemic, COVID-19 has ultimately pushed employers to think outside the box and change their traditional approach to their working environment.
Working from home often sees employees take specific days of the week to work from home, while it is still common to have a few days a week or month in the office. These rules should be put down in writing in the general contract of employment, but that’s pretty much all employers have to think of before sending their workers off to work from home.
The big difference between remote work and working from home is that while a remote employee might just as well work from their home office, they can choose their location of work freely and without having to consult their employer beforehand. Whether you are in the same city but choose to work from home, or you are on a different continent altogether and spend your day in a co-working space, your employer has agreed that where you choose to work is entirely up to you.
There might be some exceptions when it comes to meetings or regulations for working in a public space, e.g. when handling confidential information or accessing company-owned networks, however, remote employees generally have more freedom than employees who are simply working from home.
Employers on the other hand, are faced with a more complicated system when hiring remote employees: Even if their new employee is located in an entirely different country, they still have to ensure they are complying with local labor laws and tax regulations. That’s why they often engage an employer of record to manage their remote employees and take care of more complex administrative tasks such as international payrolls and contract management.
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