What is remote work?

… and what can it do for my business and as a worker?


Remote work is labeled many ways.  We define it as work completed in an environment other than the employer workplace.  This can include working from a home office for employees & contractors and/or working from any other imaginable environment (hotel, beach, in transit, etc.). Remote work is a fast growing trend in the workplace with 3 out of 5 North American workers stating they can work remotely.

There are also web-pages with information specific to “What is remote work?” for workers and employers.

Using this page

This page is designed to help beginners understand the concept of remote work. Browse the the page or click on the following links to review content. Page content links: profiles of remote work, common myths, what is driving remote work , more resources.

What is remote work?

There are a variety of terms to describe the process of working from a location other than the traditional office. Common terms are telecommuting, home, remote, mobile, virtual, or cloud working. The frequency with which remote work is being done may also affect the “definition” of the activity. The main categories based on the scale and relationship of remote work application are represented visually in the following graphic.


What are profiles of remote work?

There are different levels of remote work engagement. Click on an image below to go to a new page explaining that concept.

Hybrid employee

The employee works part of the work week in the main office and part remotely.

Full time Employee

The employee works full time from a remote office location for the employer.

Outsource / contractor

A single individual or entire department that performs work remotely. Not an employee.


A short term remote work application OR use of online meetings / conferencing.

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Online meetings & conferences: remote work

Working remotely can be as basic as using online meetings and training within your organization. This module includes an online meeting resource page with detailed information for companies or individuals interested in remote communication such as online meetings, client/staff training, conferences, etc. Online meetings can save time, money and be more effective when done properly. There are even carbon calculators to show how much carbon your company saves by NOT driving or flying to the next meeting.

Click here to find out more.

Remote work: myths and facts

Common Myths

  1. Hard to manage

  2. Employees less engaged

  3. Employees less productive


  1. There is methodology and a variety of management tools to make remote work easier.

  2. The concern of remote worker isolation is valid but can be overcome. (see resources)

  3. With the right employees organizations often experience an improvement in productivity

What is driving remote work?

The growth of remote work is being supported by a number of factors.

Devices and infrastructure

Devices such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets together with broadband infrastructure and new applications are making remote work much more achievable and productive.

  • instant and secure access to work data

  • cloud computing (see Cloud tactic)

  • broadband/hi-speed Internet

  • remote access devices

Business/worker benefits

Both employees and employers can benefit from remote work options. ( see Why remote work?)

  • retain and attract skilled workers

  • save money and travel time

  • less distractions

  • individual work environment for employees (family-friendly, etc.)

Culture & generation

Employers need to engage with a new generation of workers who are showing a preference for remote work options.

  • Visit the page “Right for you?“ for more information on the effect of company culture and generational behavior on remote work.

Top 5 Pros Employer

  1. Improved HR capabilities

  2. Increased productivity

  3. Budget friendly

  4. Lower infrastructure costs

  5. Real time access

Top 5 Cons Employer

  1. Culture clash

  2. Infrastructure compatibility

  3. Loss of “real time” interactions

  4. Training costs

  5. Management challenges

Top 5 pros Worker

  1. Saved time

  2. Budget savings

  3. Access to infrastructure

  4. Flex location

  5. Increased production

Top 5 cons Worker

  1. Work methodology

  2. Isolation

  3. Lack of infrastructure

  4. Face to face networking loss

  5. Stability

More resourcesclick here for  resource pages defining remote work and case studies. Resource links include community pages on Wired, Fast Company, PC magazine and video channels in YouTube.

How many remote workers are there in North Carolina? 

A 2013 survey suggests there are quote a few people working at least a day from home. 

ScreenHunter_347 Dec. 20 18.06

Want to know more?

Having reviewed the different modes of remote work above, the next section will tell you why remote work can be good for business. Click here to go to the next section on “Why Remote Work?” to evaluate how it may benefit your particular business.

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All rights reserved.