Rivermate | Product owner - Andrew Simon

Global Work Glossary

What constitutes remote work?

Remote work refers to the practice of working from a location outside of a traditional office setting, facilitated by technology such as computers and internet connectivity. It offers flexibility in where and when work is performed.

Levels of Remote Work

  1. Fully Remote: Employees can work from anywhere, and there may not be a physical office.
  2. Temporarily Remote: Work is conducted remotely for a specific period, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  3. Partially Remote (Hybrid): Employees work remotely for part of the time and are physically present for certain activities.
  4. Remote-Friendly: Allows occasional remote work but may require some in-office presence.
  5. Remote-First: Remote work is the default mode, with optional office spaces for meetings.


  • Remote Work vs. Work from Home: Remote work encompasses working from any location, while work from home specifically refers to working from one's residence.
  • Remote Work vs. Telecommuting: Both involve working outside a traditional office, but telecommuting relies specifically on telecommunications tools.
  • Remote Work vs. Distributed Work: Remote work focuses on location, while distributed work relates to organizational structure and function.
  • Remote Work vs. Flex Jobs: Flex jobs refer to flexible working hours rather than location.
  • Remote Work vs. Hybrid Work: Remote work is general, while hybrid work involves a mix of remote and in-office work.

Benefits for Workers

  • Better Work-Life Balance: Flexibility in scheduling leads to reduced stress and more time for personal commitments.
  • Reduced Expenses: Savings on commuting, meals, and work attire.
  • Fewer Distractions: Reduced interruptions from colleagues and office environment.
  • Benefits for Businesses
  • Access to Global Talent: Ability to hire from anywhere expands the talent pool.
  • Reduced Turnover: Remote work policies improve employee satisfaction and retention.
  • Cost Savings: Lower real estate and overhead expenses.
  • Increased Productivity: Studies show remote workers are often more productive than in-office counterparts.


  • Employee Burnout: Blurred boundaries between work and personal life can lead to burnout.
  • Loneliness and Isolation: Lack of social interaction may cause feelings of loneliness.
  • Communication Breakdown: Remote teams may face challenges in collaboration and communication.
  • Home Distractions: Potential disruptions from family members, pets, or household tasks.
  • Technology Issues: Technical glitches, slow internet, and device malfunctions can hinder productivity.
  • Physical Health Concerns: Prolonged sitting and screen time may lead to discomfort and health issues.

Enabling Remote Work

  • Remote Culture: Cultivate trust, transparency, and support among remote teams.
  • Remote Tools: Utilize communication and collaboration platforms to facilitate remote work.
  • Remote Equipment: Provide necessary technology and ergonomic support for remote workers.

Myths and Misconceptions

  • Remote Employees are Less Productive: Studies show remote workers are often more productive.
  • Communication and Collaboration are Difficult: Technology enables effective remote communication and collaboration.
  • Remote Work Stifles Creativity: Remote work can foster creativity through autonomy and flexibility.
  • Career Advancement is Limited: Remote workers can still advance in their careers through online learning and professional development.
  • Meaningful Connections are Impossible: Remote work can facilitate meaningful connections through virtual interactions.

Future of Remote Work

Remote work is expected to continue growing, with a significant portion of the workforce predicted to be remote by 2025. The shift towards remote work is driven by increased productivity, diversity, and effectiveness, indicating that remote work is here to stay.

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