They seem to be close concepts. But in fact, remote work and freelancing are very different. And it is better to understand in advance what are the similarities and what are the differences. Let’s figure out which type of work is better for whom. What is a better choice, remote work or freelancing?

What is freelance and remote work?

These concepts are often confused, but they have a crucial difference:

Freelancing is self-employment, a private practice. A freelancer searches for clients, fulfills orders, gets paid, does the paperwork, bookkeeping, and pays taxes. In essence, freelancing and self-employment are close concepts.Remote work is work for hire. The difference from working in an office is that the employee performs his duties from home. There is an employment contract signed with him. There are paid vacations and sick leave. Nowadays many jobs are like this.

How freelancing differs from working remotely?

For convenience, we made a table with the features of each type of employment.

Distinctions of freelancing (self-employment))Distinctions of remote work
You look for clients, negotiate terms, prices, deadlines, execute orders and get paid.You are hired to do a specific job. The job duties depend on the position.
A freelancer is not an employee and is not subject to the requirements of formal employment.A remote worker is no different from an in-office employee. He is entitled to paid vacation, sick leave, and maternity leave (if he is officially registered).
You can manage your own working time. You can tailor your work to your personal needs.The schedule depends on the employer. Some companies allow you to work when it is convenient for you. The main thing is to do tasks on time. In some cases you are required to be at work at a certain time.
A freelancer can work under a contract, be self-employed, be an individual entrepreneur, or start a company.When working remotely, an employment contract is signed with the employee. Provided that he is officially registered.
Less social guarantees. Seniority is accumulated if contributions are made to the Pension Fund. For example, self-employed people do not pay such contributions, so their seniority is not accumulated.More social guarantees. Accumulating work experience for a pension.
The software and computers needed for work are purchased from personal funds.The employer may provide their own software, and reimburse the cost of the Internet. In some cases, they may provide a corporate laptop or computer, or pay for training or professional development.
A freelancer’s earnings depend on his ability to find profitable orders and sell his services. Can be many times higher than working remotely.Usually, you can make less money remotely than you would on a freelance basis. However, many are more comfortable working remotely, as there is no need to look for clients and negotiate with them. Salary is usually piece-rate.
More suitable for people with an entrepreneurial streak who want to try out their own business.Will be convenient for people who are used to working for hire, but for some reason want to work from home on a more flexible schedule.

To summarize, we can make the conclusion that the transition to freelancing, whether it is after an office or a remote job, needs to be prepared on many counts. It is necessary to study freelancing exchanges, to pay a lot of attention to building a personal brand, to understand how to set the price for your services and to know how much you are worth in the market in general.