Telework vs Remote Work: 7 Things You Didn’t Know


Have you ever heard of the word telework? It is often associated with remote work, but they offer different experiences and benefits. So, telework vs remote work, which one is the best in today’s world?

To answer that question we need to discuss what they are and how both of these ways of working affect the real world.

In this article, we’ll dive into 7 things that most people didn’t know about telework and remote work.

Knowing both of these is incredibly important as they hold the future of work.

Telework vs Remote Work

Let’s start our comparison of telework vs remote work by first knowing their origins,

And how they evolve to be what they are now.

1. The Origins and Evolution of Telework vs Remote Work

Learning the roots of both telework and remote work allows us to know their evolution process.

It might seem that they were invented recently but both have been around since before the technological advancement in the 2000s.

Telework vs Remote Work

Telework, which can also be called telecommuting, was first called by its name in the 1970s. Its goal is to reduce some of the problems that the world is facing during that time.

This includes:

  • Crisis in Oil.

  • Road Traffic.

  • Unhealthy work-life dynamics.

Remote work, on the other hand, means the same thing but with a broader scope. Working remotely means you can work anywhere at any location.

With the improvements in internet connections and the increase in digital tools, the traditional office environment will soon have its counterpart.

The rise of remote work began even before the Covid virus pandemic that started in 2020 and was inspired by the digital nomad movement and people who are tapping into their talents beyond the walls of their offices.

The evolution of these types of jobs leads to people working in a place they feel most comfortable in, which most of the time is their homes but it could also be in a coffee shop, library, or even at hotels and resorts, across the world.

The only thing they need is their selves, a laptop, and a stable internet connection.

Understanding the origins and evolution of telework vs remote work is important.

It gives us a clear perspective on discussing the next key differences between the two.

2. The Role of Technology

Working remotely would not have been possible without technology.

It is the advancements in technology that made this modern working arrangement practical and eventually accepted by the public.

Role of Technology

Traditional telework often means working from home and then on occasion, going to the office to report the work that has been done.

Or to get another project that will be brought home to be finished.

While remote work means working in a remote location, most of the time this will include several video meetings during the work hours to report on what everyone is doing.

Modern remote jobs often don’t have any physical office anymore.

Telework most likely will still have their main office or an on-site location they could go to to meet, but they just decided on doing the job in an offsite location since it doesn’t require anyone’s physical body.

In short, technology plays a crucial role in both telework and remote work, but the key difference is that telework will require more frequent visits to the main workplace location and meetings with other on-site employees.

3. Productivity Differences

One of the key differences between the two is their productivity levels.

Each of them has its unique advantages and disadvantages that are influenced by a lot of factors.


For example, telework is a combination of working at home and in the office environment. It has the balance of doing most of your tasks in the comfort of your home, while still being able to use the resources provided by the official workplace.

On the other hand, remote work allows flexibility in the choice of working in other locations or even time zones.

This also means a productivity boost, since employers are giving remote workers more time for themselves, without the hassle of preparing and going to the actual workplace.

But this also means that the productivity of remote work will depend on the individual’s chosen environment.

Because more choices come with distractions, especially if they chose a co-working space environment or a location in different countries.

One of the benefits of an actual office is the absence of distractions, which is one of the disadvantages of being a remote worker.

4. The Effect on Mental Health

The effect on mental health is another aspect to know when discussing teleworking vs remote working. They have almost the same advantages but their effect on someone’s mindset might be a little bit different.

Mental Health

Telework as mentioned above, balances the work between working at your home and in the office. This gives the feeling of still being in a traditional work setting.

Rather than home, it will feel like your cubicle or office will just be far away from your bosses. And that you still need to go to them when you need something or they need something from you.

Remote work refers to fully remote jobs. Stable internet connectivity is all that your manager or employer will ask for you. This way they can reach you whenever they need.

Although remote work sounds so good, sometimes it can be detrimental to the mental health of some people, especially those who can’t separate their personal lives from actual work.

But, most of the time, it will have a positive result.

I mean who wouldn’t want to get off work and then immediately look out the window to see the beautiful beach and sunset?

Nowadays, to be able to do that is the goal.

5. Company Culture and Team Building

Team building and company culture are obviously important.

Which one do you think has a more positive impact on these?

Team Building

Telework, requires you to go to the office from time to time, but still allows you to work at your home or at least in the same time zone as your employer.

Seeing someone face to face is still different than video conferencing.

Working with someone physically will still have a bigger impact on team building and company culture.

A telework center knows this fact and is one of the primary reasons for still asking their employees to come to the office.

Meanwhile, remote workers often will have an impact not on the culture, but on team building.

Imagine being able to hire someone from other countries, and building your team that way. Your company will have a mix of people from different backgrounds, bringing their rich and unique experiences to the team.

6. Environmental Impact

The environmental impact differs for both remote work and telework.

Environmental Impact

As you can already guess, telework just like normal working arrangements, still needs you to work in the office. This contributes to the total carbon emission, whether someone is commuting or using a personal car.

On the contrary, remote work significantly reduces these emissions because they don’t travel to work every day or any day at all.

However, since most of the time they can be working at home, then their electricity and water consumption might be even higher than someone working a traditional 9-5.

But generally, both of them are seen as having a positive impact on our environment. This is because both will require less or no office at all. Decreasing the construction of buildings and their energy consumption too.

In short, both will have pros and cons, but the pros should be able to outweigh the cons in this scenario.

7. The Future of Work

Telework and remote work are both part of the future of work.

Future of Work

As the role of technology in our lives continues to grow, more efficient tools will be created that will make these work arrangements even more successful.

Also, despite the improvement that technology will bring, some challenges will remain but as long the advantages exceeded the problems, then remote working will be here to stay.

Nearly all businesses now have an online presence. This leads to an increase in teleworkers and remote workers as this helps the company by cutting the cost that comes with offices.

Related: 7 Business Short-Term Goals to Boost Your Company’s Growth

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between remote working and teleworking?

The short answer is all telework is remote work but not all remote work is telework. Remote work refers to a working style that allows professionals to work outside of a traditional office environment, often from home or a coworking space. On the other hand, telework is a form of remote work that specifically involves technology to perform one’s job, and it often implies a blend of working remotely and from the office.

What are the different types of telework?

There are several types of telework, including regular (working from home for a few days each week), ad-hoc (occasional teleworking due to special circumstances), and fully remote (working from home or any location outside the office all the time). The type of telework implemented can vary depending on the company’s policies and the nature of the job.

What is the opposite of telework?

The opposite of telework is traditional on-site work, where employees perform their duties at a designated official workplace or physical office location. This means they follow a regular schedule and work in a shared space with their colleagues, often adhering to a standard nine-to-five workday.

Final Thoughts

If you search for telework vs remote work then you are most likely trying to choose between the two.

To decide which one is best suitable for you, you have to know their key takeaways and differences.

For instance, both of these works will involve heavy use of your brainpower rather than physical capabilities.

This means you are expected to have some knowledge and skills that can be applied in the technological world.

That’s all for my final thoughts on this subject, and I hope to see you in the next one!

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