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What does working remotely mean? And other definitions

If you’ve ever wondered “What does working remotely mean?”, you’re not alone.

The terminology relating to remote work is rapidly evolving due to the enforced lock-down.

To help, we’ve come up with a glossary of the key terms associated with remote work:

  1. Remote work refers to a way of working that allows you to work outside a traditional office environment. It is based on the belief that you do not have to work in a specific location in order to do your work well. 
  1. All Remote / 100% Remote / Fully Remote / Fully Distributed / Remote-First companies do not have a head office. Instead, they have employees working remotely from different locations.
  1. Remote-friendly refers to a company with flexible policies regarding where and when people can do their work. For instance, they may allow people to work in satellite offices or work some days of the week from home. 
  1. Telecommuting / Teleworking  is used interchangeably with remote work and refers to a work style where employees can work outside a company’s brick and mortar office. This could be from the home, co-working space or even cafe. 
  1. Flexible working / Agile Working refers to a way of working which disregards the traditional nine to five day structure and takes into account the worker’s personal needs. It can be broadly classified under 3 categories: flexi-time (flexible working hours e.g. staggered work hours), flexi-load (e.g. part-time, job sharing, weekend work) and flexi-place (e.g. work from home, hot desking).
  1. Work from home means your workplace is at your home instead of at the office.
  1. Permanent work from home refers to a long-term work from home arrangement where employees are not required to work at the office. This also means that employers can reduce their office footprint or let go corporate real estate space altogether.
  1. Work remotely means working outside your office. This could mean anywhere from home to cafes, hotels or co-working places.
  1. Work from anywhere means a company giving its employees the choice to work wherever and however they wish. It could mean working part of the time from the office, the employee’s home, cafes or co-working space. It could even mean from a different country.
  1. Digital nomads are people who travel to different locations and often work while they travel the world in a nomadic fashion. They can often be spotted working at coffee shops, co-working spaces or from their RV vehicles. They can either be working for themselves or for remote-friendly companies. 
  1. Distributed Team / Dispersed Team refers to teams who carry out their work from different locations. This can include collaboration between remote team members and those who work at the office. 
  1. Hybrid Model refers to a way of working which combines both remote work and time at the office. The proportion of time split between the two methods of working depends on the company’s policy.
  1. Co-working refers to working with other people in a shared office space. The difference between co-working spaces and traditional office settings is that co-working spaces offer flexible renting options and provide for everything from the furniture to the amenities. 
  1. Satellite office refers to a branch office location that is physically separate from the organisation’s main office. 
  1. Collaborative tools refers to different types of software tools and online services that allow people to work together on common projects, regardless of their physical location. It can be something as simple as email and to complex software like a project management software.
  1. Project management tools refer to aids that can assist an individual or team to organize work and manage projects and tasks effectively. There are many free and paid project management software such as monday.com, Trello or Asana
  1. Remote work policy refers to a company policy that describe the requirements and expectations of employees who work remotely. This includes eligibility for remote work, the approval process, scope of work and more. Here is an example of a remote work policy template here.
  1. Work-life balance refers to the ability to separate work life from personal life in a balanced way.
  2. Employer’s Duty of Care refers to an employer’s legal responsibility to ensure that their employees work in a safe and healthy workplace. The “workplace” does not necessarily just refer to the office but it covers any premise where employees carry out their work, including their homes.

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