What is the difference between the two? And which one’s better? Truth be told, there’s no right or wrong answer. This is highly dependent on your personal preferences. Let’s compare!

Remote Work

Because of the pandemic, everyone was introduced to working remotely. When doing remote work, you are still employed by a company or a startup (which could or could not be based in another country). Working remotely also means you work at home or wherever you want, following a certain schedule set by the company.

PROS

  • Stability / Certainty – steady flow of income
  • Your life will still have some structure, especially if you were used to working in the corporate world, so the adjustment phase will not be difficult. Every day, you will still need to report to work, but remotely.
  • Freedom & flexibility to work at home or wherever you please
  • You will have a mentor
  • You won’t have to continuously chase clients
  • You won’t have to spend on marketing to get new clients
  • You will learn new skills as you go along
  • Fixed work schedule and no work on weekends.

CONS

  • Less flexibility when it comes to your time schedule because you will have to follow a work schedule almost always
  • You could be earning less as compared to freelancing but this will only be true if you think you can get new clients consistently with freelancing
  • You will be reporting to an immediate superior, most likely the owner of the startup, and they can be demanding at times
  • When working in a startup, you will most likely work on other tasks or projects.

Freelancing

Similar to remote work, you can also work from home or wherever you want with freelancing. The difference is, freelancing allows you to dictate your own work schedule. Why is that? Because freelance jobs are mostly project-based.

How it works: you seek out clients who are looking for “skill-focused” freelancers based on the project that needs to be done.

PROS

  • Freedom to work at home or wherever you please
  • More flexibility with your time schedule as you work your own hours
  • You can earn more doing freelance work than doing remote work as long as you are consistently getting new clients who are willing to pay your asking rate
  • You will develop an expertise, hopefully something that you really want to do or are passionate about, and that would make your job more fun and exciting
  • There are a lot of jobs available to freelancers. You just have to know what to offer and how to market your skills.

CONS

  • You might have difficulty adjusting to your new lifestyle because most of the time, you will have to be self-motivated to finish your projects at hand and meet your deadlines.
  • Clients can be more demanding (than remote work employers)
  • You will have to learn how to market your skills to get clients and build your portfolio
  • You will have to spend on marketing to get new clients until you reach the point when word of mouth / referrals are bringing you new clients.
  • You will have to compete with a lot of freelancers offering the same skills, and most of the time, at a much lower rate

I have tried both freelancing and remote work, and personally, I prefer remote work because of the stability it provides. Acquiring clients on a regular basis has been stressful for me and to be frank, I have worked with a handful of demanding clients. Currently, I have 2 full-time remote work and my schedule is flexible, so I guess I have the best of both worlds.

On the other hand, I also know a lot of freelancers who are successful in their chosen fields. I believe the most in demand freelancers now are graphic artists, eCommerce web developers, and copywriters.

If you are interested to know how to get started working from home with no experience, here’s a useful guide for your reference. And if you want to enter the world of eCommerce, I created this Amazon VA masterclass, an online course carefully structured for both newbies and experienced remote workers.