June 2021
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TD Magazine

Distributed Worker

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Flexible work arrangements, including working from home and a hybrid model of part time in the office and telework, are increasingly the norm. While some companies employ remote workers, others are formed solely with distributed workers. So, what's the difference?

In the Work in Progress blog post "The Crucial Difference Between Remote Work and Distributed Work," Anthony Wing Kosner explains that for distributed workers, their employer doesn't have a central headquarters. "The word ‘remote' is in fact meaningless if there is no center to be remote from," Kosner explains.


Colocation is never an issue for a distributed workforce. He points out that "For these companies, the social contract for employment is not about showing up physically, but showing up mentally and engaging fully from wherever you are. The employees commit to being part of the team and doing the work, and the employer commits to making both possible."

Because distributed workers may live in different cities, states, or countries, asynchronous communication and collaboration are common. Kosner adds, "From a distributed work perspective, a company is just a collection of resources aligned on a common mission."

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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