Why is Remote Working not the same as Freelancing?

Posted on  

July 15, 2021

Published by: Codemonk

Before 2020, very few companies had seriously looked into the idea of letting their employees work remotely. Although not new, remote working skyrocketed from the earlier months of 2020, and things have not remained the same. Today, hiring a new employee often includes remote working negotiations.

As you look into remote work, you will also come across conversations associated with freelancing. However, these are two unique terms, even though they may crisscross. Without a shred of doubt, remote work is not the same as freelancing.

Let’s dig deeper into each of these.

What is remote working?

Remote working is a term applied to any employee working from any location apart their office premises. You could be working a few streets away in the same city, in a different city or a different country (maybe on a different planet!). The key premise is that you are not physically in your office premises and corporate IT environment. Instead, you are outside that and using Secure Access Technologies such as VPN to access your corporate IT environment.

Remote working is changing the traditional office environment as we knew it and helping individuals achieve better work-life balance. Companies such as Twitter have established policies that support WFH forever, while other firms like Apple are proposing a hybrid approach.

Undoubtedly, the future of work is deeply entrenched in borderless, co-located, remote, and distributed working under the facilitation of digital tools to remain connected.

From a broad perspective, businesses across different industries can explore remote working as an option for their staff. The option is often applied to works that are typically done online or via a local device. Tasks that need in-person attendance like ER doctor, postal worker, or construction worker do not fall within the remote working bracket.

One of the strengths of remote working is the ability to modify any work to fit within this category. For instance, HR duties were mainly done in person. However, the rapid adoption of virtual onboarding and virtual interviews makes it necessary to hire a remote employee while the HR professionals also work remotely.

What is freelancing?

The term freelancing is usually applied to workers who perform roles governed by a short-term supplier contract than a usual employment contract, that is, a permanent employment contract.

Freelancing applies to job functions that are temporary or ad-hoc in nature. However, it is often normal for companies to use freelancers and permanent employees interchangeably for the same job functions for a longer duration.

For instance, you can have a situation where two people handle the same duties, but one works as a freelancer while the other is a full-time employee. The key difference is that employment laws protect employees, and their payroll taxes are deducted at the source. However, as a freelancer, the individual is not completely governed by employment laws and will manage their tax affairs, either as an individual or a limited company.

As the gig economy rises, more people are talking about freelancing. Data obtained from Freelancers Union and Upwork reveal that about 57 million Americans are into freelancing as their source of income. At the same time, 53% of these workers are aged between 18 and 22.

Not everyone uses the terms freelancing to refer to this kind of work. Other related phrases include:

· Contract job

· Contract work

· Contract-to-hire

· Independent contractor

The model of operation of a freelancer is that they receive payment in return for a service that they delivered. As mentioned above, the freelancer enters into a short-term or part-time agreement during which they are to deliver the service in question.

In some cases, the freelancer could undertake what is called a “retainer” period. That means they agree to work for a set number of hours per specified period.

Remote working vs freelancing

A remote worker is a full-time employee at a given organization but does not work from the firm’s physical location. A freelancer agrees to deliver a service for a given period, after which the engagement ends with project completion.

In its basic setup, remote working is more of a location issue, whereas freelancing is more of a legal framework.

Whether a freelancer or a remote worker, your presence is not necessarily required at the office.

So, what type of work can you find with CodeMonk?

Well, CodeMonk stands for flexibility, and we aim to allow different models for different settings.

Our roadmap is as follows:

  1. Remote — Freelancing: This is our Minimal Viable Business. We are establishing all the workflows, contracts and product features required to enable companies to hire globally vetted talent on a freelance basis. Similarly, we are enabling freelancers to deliver their work and raise invoices seamlessly and get paid faster.
  2. Remote — Permanent: We are now setting up legal structures to enable employers to hire globally vetted talent permanently and provide required benefits. It’s great for employees looking for permanent work without the hassle of running a limited company and managing separate tax affairs.
  3. In-Office Freelancing: Although not our immediate focus, we will enable employers to bring remote freelancers in-office whenever required for their individual needs.
  4. In-Office Permanent: It’s not on our roadmap as all traditional recruiters and recruitment platforms focus on this. We believe it’s already overdone and no longer exciting.

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