Every company works differently to match the industry and operational goals they have. Some run the entire operations in the office; others run a remote-only operation, while a few focus on using either remote-friendly or remote-first models.

Many often refer to both remote-friendly and remote-first work models as hybrid work, but they are pretty different in terms of how they work and support the business’ operations.

Here is a short comparison of remote-friendly and remote-first models to show how different they are from one another, alongside their pros and cons for your consideration:


  • The headquarters handle the managerial aspects of the business.
  • Communication is done in real-time.
  • There is a strong focus on in-house or office work rather than remote work.
  • Critical decisions are made during face-to-face meetings and not remotely.
  • All meetings are done during office hours.
  • One’s performance is tied to how long one stays in the office. As a result, it may lead to employees being overworked and losing opportunities to achieve work-life balance.
  • A downside of remote-friendly work is that you may feel disconnected from your colleagues if you stay in remote work for a long time. As a result, it may affect your workflow and relationship with your colleagues.


  • Management can be located anywhere globally and be in different time zones.
  • Communications are not up-to-date considering where everyone is located
  • All the tasks are done remotely
  • Decisions are shared and formalised
  • In-person meetings are rare and recorded for distribution to all employees across various time zones.
  • Performance is measured mainly by one’s results and not how long they are in the office. Thanks to the flexible work hours and capacity to work remotely, employees are better able to produce high-quality work since they are in an environment they can focus on well.
  • People are at the centre of the operations wherever they may be, inspiring them to continue working for the firm and stay on for longer.
  • Since the tasks can be done remotely, remote-first companies can offer potential clients a more flexible work schedule and open more opportunities for qualified candidates to sign up.
  • This work model is also ideal because it offers a way for employees to achieve work-life balance and continue working even if there are events that prevent them from leaving their homes, such as natural disasters and pandemics.

As a business, picking the best working model will depend on how you operate, what your business goals are and what your organisation is like. A remote-friendly work model can work for you if you prefer a more traditional work operation but still offer flexibility. If you prefer a unique setup that offers high flexibility and focuses more on productivity, remote-first is the best option. Before applying new work models for your business, ask your employees what they prefer because their comfort level in working in such environments will determine how well they will do.

Working remotely? Here are some tips to help you remain productive:
How to Make Work Friends when Working Remotely
8 Tips to Succeed as a Remote Salesperson
How to Make the Most of Your Day When Working Remotely

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15 replies on “Remote-Friendly vs. Remote-First: What is the Difference

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