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Difference between Telecommuting and Working from Home

Telecommuting and working from home are terms that cause confusion among many people. While the two might refer to working arrangements in which employees perform work outside the conventional working environment, they actually carry different meanings. The prefix tele basically means distance. Hence the phrase telecommuting means employees work from a distance without having to commute to central place of work. On the other hand, work from home involves persons stationed at home and independently working for different companies or businesses. However, regardless of whether you want to telecommute or work from home, you'll still be able to enjoy the same amount of convenience.

Main Difference between Telecommuting and Working from Home:

1. Telecommuting Involves Employees Working For Employers At Home While Work from Home Entails Working as Independent Contractors or Business Owners

Telecommuters are usually employees who work for their current employers without having to visit the work site regularly. Many companies use this mode of working to save money by allowing employees to carry out their duties from home. So long as the job description does not require any special hardware equipment, it can perfectly fit into the telecommuting job bracket.

Majority of people that work from home are business owners and/or independent contractors. For instance, a person running a home-based hair salon, a spares shop or day care center can fit into the work-from-home job description. Also, anyone that works from home with different companies on a contract basis can also be included in this bracket. Independent contractors are actually more like freelancers.

2. Telecommuters Are Paid a Pre-Determined Salary While People Involved In Work-From-Home Choose Their Own Compensation Rates

If you're working as a telecommuter, you have to adhere to a certain schedule set by your employer. That means you may sometimes be required to be in the central office or on job site at certain times. In addition, the salary you expect at the end of the month is dictated by the employer.

On the other hand, if you are working from home, you can set your own schedules, find jobs as you wish and certainly determine your own compensation rates. The biggest benefit of this kind of job is that you generate reasonable income by just working from the comfort of your home.

3. Telecommuters Are Usually Given Operating Equipment by Their Employers While People Working From Home Use Their Own Hardware and Software Equipment

Telecommuting is an arrangement where the employer provides all the necessary resources for the employees to use in working at home. That means the workers are provided with software to run certain functions of the company or organization. Some of the jobs that can allow you to telecommute include TV script writer, content designer, digital marketing associate, customer care representative, social media copywriter and more. You'll only need to visit the office or worksite for important meetings, professional development among other company events.

Unlike telecommuting, work-from-home jobs involve contractors who use their own equipment and software to operate. They also have the required expertise and experience to do the jobs. Such persons can secure contracts from different companies and complete tasks according to the timelines they set.

4. Most Telecommuting Jobs Rely On Computers and Internet While Work from Home Jobs Often Don't Need Software and Internet Connection

Telecommuting kind of jobs largely employ the use technology such technology as laptops, desktop computers, smartphones and Wi-Fi to be able to execute duties. For instance, a customer support representative needs to online most of the time to respond to calls or e-mails from customers or even join video conferencing at home. Hence, for one to be working from home, internet connection and reliable customer support software is a must.

With Work from home kind of jobs, all one needs is to have to have a sizable home office space for conducting business. For instance, people operating salons, jewelry shops or day care centers from home don’t necessarily need computer and/or internet connection. That's because their customers already know where to find the products or services and can make complains in person if necessary.

5. Most Companies Adopt Telecommuting as a Cost-Cutting Strategy While Work from Home Is Established On the Principle of Convenience

Majority of companies who adopt telecommuting do it with the aim of downsizing its workforce to reduce on costs. By employees operating from home, the company will be able to save thousands of dollars spent on paying workers commuter allowances and other extra monies. It's also a relief to telecommuters because this mode of working cuts on clothing, food and gas expenses associated with going to work. So the benefits for telecommuting are two-way: for both the employer and the employee.

People involved in work-from-home jobs do not need any work cost saving strategy because they have everything set under their home environment. They don’t need to pay office rent, commute to work or spend money paying a huge number of employees on a regular basis. Business owners or independent contractors working from home basically do so to enjoy the convenience and the peace of mind associated with working under a home-based office.

6. Telecommuters Follow Laid-Down Rules of Work from Employers While People Working From Home Are Mostly Their Own Bosses

If you're a telecommuter, you'll be required to adhere to all the rules and requirements laid down by the employer or company. Failure to do so might lead to suspension or being laid off. That means you must always strive to deliver to the expectations of the company or business.

On the other hand, if you own and/or operate a work from home job or business, you'll only set your principles right to ensure the business runs swiftly. The rules of engagement you create will mostly be in your mind and not written down, unless you are a contractor who's required to sign binding contracts.


These are just some of the key difference between telecommuting and working from home anyone would need to know about. While the jobs involve working from the home environment, the big difference is in the nature and terms of work. You can only consider telecommuting if you are working for a certain employer or company. And if you're a home-based business or independent contractor working from home, then you can classify yourself on the work-from-home category. In a nutshell, it doesn't really matter whether you want to telecommute or work from home. The biggest advantage of working at home environment is that you'll enjoy greater convenience as you save on a lot on expenses.

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