Remote Employee vs. Independent Contractor

Working from home, whether as an independent contractor, remote employee, or business owner is not for everyone. This is not to say that others cannot work from home, but not all are interested or have the desire to succeed. It requires a certain level of dedication and determination, as well as necessary skills, experience, and equipment. But we’ll discuss those later! For the moment, I want to explore the different ways to work from home. And not to confuse anyone, I feel Entrepreneur/Business Owner is a more intense level of being an independent contractor, but it’s still in the same category.

Working from Home…Let Me Count the Ways

Remote Employee

By definition in the Cambridge Dictionary, remote working is a situation in which an employee works mainly from home and communicates with the company by email or telephone. This can be customer service positions, data entry work, or even health care professionals. There are more companies hiring remote employees to work from home because it is cost-effective, and have access to a wider selection of qualified candidates. Companies like Convergys, Aetna, and 1800-Flowers look to hire remote employees. The positions range from seasonal or temporary to part-time and full-time employment. At times, health insurance companies hire nurse, physicians or individuals with advanced educational backgrounds to work from home. A great way to find companies hiring remote employees, or even freelance work, is It’s an amazing way to get connected with employers and preferred jobs; check out my rundown on FlexJobs here. Another good way to find remote positions are job boards such as Indeed and Monster; enter “remote” or “work from home” in the search box. Although there are a lot of scams out there, this is a good start to finding remote work.

Independent Contractor

As a general rule, a person is considered an independent contractor if the payer, or customer, only controls the end result or provides a task to be completed; not how it’s done or by what means. Companies may impose a deadline for completing the work, but basically just want it done.  For example, an employer may provide training or guidelines as to how the job needs to be completed, the hours that must be worked, or dress code; and may enforce consequences if those guidelines are not followed. On the other hand, a mystery shopper is given a task and specifications of end result, but not how or which tools to use. If the job is not completed, it is simply given to another contractor.

Independent contractors can work in any career field, but they all have at least one thing in common — they offer their services or skills in exchange for payment. A few differences between working as an employee and an independent contractor is that taxes are paid by the individual, benefits are not usually offered, and there is no agreement of continued work.  Also, most organizations provide a 1099 tax form indicating how much they paid for services. Independent contractors could also be considered entrepreneurs/business owners, but I’ll explain how to differentiate the two in the next section.  There are companies that look to hire individuals for time-sensitive or particular tasks, such as mystery shopping and demonstrating. Check out my post Become an Independent Contractor for more information on these type of jobs and where to find them!

Entrepreneur/Business Owner

You are the Boss! Just to clarify, I consider a business owner an individual who operates a traditional brick-and-mortar or offers services/products from an established organization like CTFO. An entrepreneur offers his or her own products or services, such as photographers, and examples of online entrepreneurs are bloggers, affiliate marketers, and social media managers.

This is taking independent contracting to the next level because you have much more control over all the aspects of working from home. There are no time constraints or deadlines, you decide how much to work or charge for services, and you must keep track of income and expenses. As an entrepreneur, you are also in control of the products or services you will provide and offer. I have several friends who sell Avon and Mary Kay products and make a decent living with their businesses. *Personally, I love Avon but it seems I have a difficult time selling more than buying!  J There are many business opportunities out there! Another factor I feel is different for a business owner is start-up costs. Although most works from home ventures require some form of upfront costs, whether for equipment, gas, or membership fees; it seems considerably higher if you are starting a business for equipment, tools, and/or products. Online entrepreneurs may have to pay for a domain, web hosting, and marketing tools for blogs or online stores. Of course, this is probably the most difficult and challenging level of working from home because you are responsible for all aspects of operating a business; but it can also be the most rewarding! But regardless of how you work from home, it is important to maintain a focused and dedicated mindset—especially for my fellow entrepreneurs!

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Knowledge is Power!

When I began searching for ways to work from home, it seemed a little overwhelming because there are so many possibilities out there. After researching and studying, it helped me to classify opportunities I came across and determine if it was one I would be interested in. I also felt more knowledgeable when deciding on business ventures and prepared to weed out the scams and undesirables. Although working from home can be challenging, it definitely has its rewards. Hopefully, this information will help you better understand the different ways you can work from home and which option is best for you!

If you are looking to Work from Home with a part-time; or even a full-time income source, click the link for more information on ways to work from home and what you should know before getting starting.

Please feel free to leave a comment with any recommendations or suggestions! Remember: Sharing is Caring!

Thanks for stopping by, and hope to see you soon!


  1. Nice summary of the different roles, I personally prefer the option of working for yourself.  I have been a remote worker for a company in the past, but it can be still quite stress even though you are working from home.  Being set tasks and having to achieve for someone else is not something I wanted anymore.  That is why I started looking into the working from myself Entrepreneur route with an online business.

    It gives me a lot more freedom to explore my goals and not what old boss wanted.


    • Thanks, John, and I appreciate you stopping by! I agree with you about being a remote employee; It can still be stressful because you have certain tasks to be done by a certain time. I’m much like you, once I got a taste of what it was like to work for myself, I had no desire to work for anyone else! Thanks again for leaving a comment, and all the best to you! 

  2. I’do concurrent their are many ways to work at home and all will depend with determination of person I love the way you have classified each category of work at home but my favorite one is the one the one I have to be my own boss to that will give me the real Independence IAM looking for and am will to go anylength to achieve that thenks for the blog it really helps in understanding what I really want and need.

    • It’s my pleasure, and thank you for visiting SAHBM. Oh, That’s my favorite too! =) Although it is hard work and takes a lot of determination, there is few things more rewarding than being your own boss. As long as you are dedicated to your success, stay disciplined with your work, and remember why you are doing this, success will find you! Thanks again for leaving a comment, and all the best to you! 

  3. Working from home is not for everyone. I am a Forex trader, so I don’t have to go anywhere to work. I didn’t like it, because I have to meet/talk with others. I’d kill myself all day at home. I worked in cafes or restaurants when I started. Now, I have investments in restaurants, hotels, shops so my job is more interesting, so trading is only one part and 1-2 hours of work in a day.

    Anyone can find good options to earn money online but you have to think about that can you work from home or not. Do you need motivation from your colleges/boss? Can you work to reach your goals?

    • You are absolutely right, Gno. Anyone thinking about working from home must consider whether or not they can handle it. Those are good questions to ask before considering the option of working from home. Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment! 

  4. Interesting topic that I think is valid to everyone, not just stay at home mums :DI think your list is great in exasperating out the different categories of working from home, however, I think it’s quite a difficult thing making a decision as to what category you might better fit under, but I guess this a all dependent on personal circumstances and what your ultimate goals in life are.

    Can you suggest any useful tips to help make a choice on which category may be th emost appropriate path, perhaps the pro’s and con’s of each?

    • You’re right, Bryan, this information can apply to everyone because nowadays, you see more of different domestic dynamics like stay at home dads and grandparents raising children. I agree, it can be difficult to determine which way is best to work from home but I feel if you have the information you can make a sound choice that is best for you. Thank you for your question (which I think I can create a post on later) =) and yes, I can. 

      One factor I think is important to consider is whether or not you’re ready to take on all of the responsibilities associated with operating your own business, such as tax preparation, record keeping, and backup in case of mishaps. For instance, I would not recommend someone who has little computer skills to start right away with starting a blog. I’m not saying it can be done, but some education and skill development would be suggested. 

      Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment! And for giving me a good topic for a post! 


  5. Thanks for the helpful post! I am quite sure that everyone has the desire to leave and work as an independent contractor or a remote employee but not everyone is willing to dedicate the right energy, time and the required spending to make it work out in a lifetime. And that’s why many die without fulfilling their financial destinies.

    Thanks for emphasizing the fact that working from home is quite challenging but highly-rewarding with time. So, without being determined to become successful online, it becomes difficult to reach the goal in a lifetime. Thanks for this vital and helpful information. Bookmarked this post for a frequent reminder!

    Israel Olatunji

    • My pleasure Israel, and thanks so much for visiting! When I first begin my journey to working from home, I had no idea what it would entail or the amount of effort it would take. No one told me how difficult it could be; so I wanted to be sure to be transparent about the level of dedication it takes to be successful working from home. I’m glad I was able to convey that. Thanks again for leaving a comment, and all the best to you!

  6. Thank you for this highly informative post, precise and straight to the point. I cant agree less with you that not everyone can work from home, because it self denial, working smart and dedication. I fancy the chances of becoming a remote employee than being and independent employee because am not the type that can cope with deadlines and pressure. 

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Clement. And I can understand trying to cope with deadlines and pressure, not many people like to. But then you have some who work best under pressure. This is one of the best things about working from home: there are so many options, there is something for everyone. 

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