The Difference Between Freelance and Remote Work

As remote work becomes increasingly popular around the world, there are unfortunately many misconceptions and myths about what remote work actually is.

Making things worse, many professionals and organizations often use the term “freelancer” and “remote worker” interchangeably.

While there is undoubtedly some overlap between freelancing and working remotely, they are not always the same, and it’s crucial that we take the time to clearly define each term.

In this brief guide, we’ll explore the similarities and differences between freelancing and remote work and why it matters.

What is a freelancer?

At the most basic level, a freelancer is a self-employed professional who offers their services to one or more companies often with no long term commitment to any specific organization.

For example, as a web developer, if you agree to build a website for a client and are paid for only a single project, you would be classified as a freelancer.

Although not without its downsides, freelancing often provides an incredible amount of flexibility in terms of hours worked and deciding which projects they would like to pursue.

Some freelancers can perform their service while working remotely, while others are required to show up at a physical location as agreed to by the contract terms.

One of the major downsides of being a freelancer is that you often you must spend a significant portion of your time prospecting and looking for new clients. Freelancer income can often be variable, with some months going well, and others falling below expectations.

While freelancers can often work remotely, they should not be used interchangeably.

What is remote work and who is a Remote Worker ?

Now that we have defined, freelancing, let’s take a look at what “remote work” means.

According to RemoteYear, a leading media publication on remote work, “Remote work is a working style that allows professionals to work outside of a traditional office environment. It is based on the concept that work does not need to be done in a specific place to be executed successfully.”

In essence, if you go to an office everyday, but on occasion, work from home, then you turn into a remote worker on those days.

Compared to a freelancer who may work for multiple companies and projects simultaneously , as a remote worker you work primarily for one company full time – you just do it from a remote location of your choice.

People who work full-time for a company but don’t have or need to be at a fixed office location everyday are called remote workers – They either work from home or a co-working space at a location of their choosing.

The remote work style of working is increasingly getting very popular because of a variety of clear benefits compared to a traditional working role.

Benefits such as:

  • Less time commuting.
  • More flexibility for personal obligations such as childcare or running errands.
  • Access to a larger pool of talent.
  • Increased productivity.
  • Benefits and perks of a traditional job.

And much more.

Many professionals who work remotely note the improved work life balance, and as such, it is becoming an increasingly regular way to work.

As with freelancing, being a remote worker is not without its downsides.

For one, working remotely can often be lonely. Because employees are not tied to a physical office, it can be a challenge to maintain a social life and connect with your coworkers.

That said, many companies that hire remotely do hold regular in person events and meetups.

Another downside of remote work is at times, maintaining a high level of productivity can be challenging; in addition, it can be difficult to “turn off” from work at the end of the day.

Despite some of the downsides, many businesses believe remote work to be the future in many businesses across hundreds of industries.

Pesto Believes In The Future of Remote Work

At Pesto, we firmly believe that remote is big part of the future of work.

While not all companies should or need to go “fully remote,” many companies are turning to a hybrid approach of allowing their employees to work in an environment that allows them to be at their best.

Although freelancing can be a wonderful career choice for certain individuals, at Pesto, we help connect some of the top engineers in India with amazing companies in the US and help them land a job working remotely.

Our hiring partners are looking to hire full-time employees (not freelancers), which allows for Pesto graduates to commit fully to a company of their choice.

As more and more companies begin to hire remotely, engineers and developers who have experience in working remotely will significantly increase their value.

At Pesto, we not only help our students improve their coding abilities, but we dive deep into how to communicate and work effectively away from the traditional office setting.

If you’re currently a software engineer looking to unlock new career opportunities by working remotely for some of the biggest companies in tech, we invite you to learn more about our various program offerings.

We are committed to helping more and more people all around the world leverage the amazing opportunity to work remotely and contribute their talents to companies that are changing the world.