Learn English – word/phrase to describe someone who works from home



With the rise of the Internet, more and more companies are starting to see increasing portions of their workforce able to accomplish their work from any location with an Internet connection and a phone. In some cases, this can be a part-time thing (such as someone who works one day a week from home but is at the office the rest of the time) or an occasional thing (such as someone who telecommutes when sick to avoid getting his/her colleagues sick as well. In other cases, there is no office for the worker to go to; the worker routinely works out of his/her own home. (For the purposes of this question, I'm not so much asking about someone who has built his/her own business from home (e.g. someone who makes things and sells them on Etsy), but the concept I'm looking for might include such a worker in its definition.)


I am specifically looking for a word to describe someone who works from home full time. The idea is a word (or short phrase) that means: "an individual who routinely works a full time job as part of a larger company, but who does so all or most of the time from a home office."

In particular, I wonder if there is such a word or phrase that specifically includes the word home or a derivation of that word?

Other notes:

There are a couple of obvious candidates that I think are specifically excluded from consideration:

  • telecommuter: This is the closest example I've come across, but as I understand the word, it implies that the worker is not working from home on a regular basis (i.e. the worker also works out of the office a significant portion of time). It also, in my mind, doesn't necessarily imply that one is working from "home"; one could just as easily telecommute from a coffee shop or a park bench. I should acknowledge that my impression of the meaning of telecommuter does not appear to jive with the definition available at The Free Dictionary. The definition at Wiktionary does a better job of approximating my personal understanding. Does anyone else agree with my assumption that telecommuting is inherently less than full time?

  • freelancer: May apply to some people who work from home full time, but not all people who work from home are freelancers (see the part of the requested definition about it being full time work for a company), and not all freelancers work from home.

  • homeworker: I have never heard this word used in real life. Ever. I'm not convinced that people would understand what it means. (Especially because it's superficially similar to the unrelated concept of a homemaker.)

  • self-employed: This term implies that one is one's own boss, i.e. that the worker is not employed by a larger company/organization. I'm looking for the concept of working for a company but doing so out of your own home instead of at the company's office location (if it even has one). I suppose a self-employed person who works from home could possibly be a subset of the term I'm looking for, but the concept I'm trying to get at is at best a superset of this definition, and perhaps even different altogether (this is why, for now, I'm including "part of a larger company" in my idealized definition, above).

Best Answer

Consider teleworker:

someone who works from home, and communicates with their employer, customers etc using a computer, telephone etc.


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EDIT: As the dictionary definition says, the means of communication with the employer are not limited to computers. Phone, beeper and other means are possible. A teleworker seamstress with no computer is therefore also possible. Maybe she uses her Android smartphone, or a landline, why not? From a job site called Telework Recruiting:

We are looking for an experienced seamstress to become part of our London team. Candidates must be able to work from home with their own equipment.