There is a difference between a house and a home.
A house is a structure, nothing more, nothing less. To build a house requires a technical knowledge, materials and some money. There are well built houses and there are some weak ones too. A house serves as a place to keep our stuff and protect us from the elements. But a home is different.
You can live in a house that doesn't feel like home. To be a home, it needs to feel like a place you belong. A place you feel at peace. Comfortable. A home reflects your personality, so it stands to reason that people like you will also like being in your home. And even if you don't own the house, the home is yours.
The same is true for a company, but sadly we don't have two words to make the comparison.
A company is like a house. It's a structure. Nothing more, nothing less. It requires technical knowledge, materials and some money to build. There are well built companies and some weak ones too. A company serves as a place for us to work so we can earn a living, pay our bills and protect our families. But some companies are different. Some companies also feel like a home. Some companies are more than a place to work, the people who work there feel like they belong. They feel at peace. Comfortable. These companies reflect the personalities of the people who work there, so it stands to reason that people who like it there are all alike. And even if you don't own the company, it still feels like yours.
The company that is like a house, focuses on the structure. Strategy and tactics are a way to increase sales, and money is the pursuit. The company that feels like a home, focuses on the culture - the very thing that makes a house into a home. Strategy and tactics are a way to share that culture, that belief, with people outside the company too, and money is the result.
The funny thing is, with all these contractors out there building all these fancy houses with all the latest modern conveniences, it is the homes that are more profitable, more innovative, have the most loyal customers and employees. If there is a storm, people rally to fix the home where others abandon the house. Our houses have value, but we value our homes.
It's a shame we don't have a word for companies that are built like homes. If we did, we'd probably have more of them.
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What's the difference between "house" and "home"?
You may have wondered what the difference between "house" and "home" is. Here's an explanation.
What "house" and "home" mean
A "house" is a building.
Specifically, it's usually a single-family building. Apartment buildings aren't usually called "houses".
A "house" is still a house, whether there are people living there or it's empty.
"Home" is the place where a person lives, or where they feel that they belong. It has more emotional associations than the word "house".
"Home" can also mean the place where you grew up:
I'm going home for the holidays.
How we use "house" and "home"
There's one important difference in how you use the words "house" and "home":
I'm going home now.
I'm going to my house now.
"Home" acts similar to words like "here", "there", "in","out", "somewhere", etc. "House" does not. You can see the same thing in this example:
It's so nice to be home.
"Home" carries more respect than "house", so you can use it when you want to be polite to someone. For example, you can write a formal 'thank you' note to someone who let you stay at their home:
Thank you so much for inviting me to your lovely home.
When you're talking to other people about your own place, you usually use "house" instead of "home":
Want to come over to my house this afternoon?
Phrases that use "house" and "home"
"House" and "home" are used in different phrases. Try to guess whether each of these phrases should use "house" or "home":
- a single-family ___
- a dog ___
- clean the ___
- on ___ arrest
- a ___ loan
- a ___ owner
- a ___ sitter
- ___ improvement
- ___ school your children
- a beach ___
- my ___town
Answers are at the bottom.
Other meanings of "house" and "home"
The word "house" has several other meanings as well:
We use the word "house" to talk about a country's parliament, senate, or other law-making group:
The House debated the bill for over four hours before putting it to a vote.
"House music" is a certain kind of dance music.
"House" can be used as a verb to mean "store" or "contain":
That building over there houses all of our heavy machinery.
You can also "house" large numbers of people:
Where are we going to house everyone?
A bar, restaurant, or casino will refer to itself as "The House":
A: How much do I owe you?
B: It's on the house.
A: Really? Thanks!
There are not as many different meanings of "home", but here are some:
- The main page of a website is called the "Home" page.
- In baseball "Home" is the spot on the field where players start and where they have to reach in order to score a point. "Home" is also used in a few other games.
* Answers: 1. a single-family home 2. a dog house 3. clean the house 4. on house arrest 5. a home loan 6. a home owner 7. a house sitter 8. home improvement 9. home school your children 10. a beach house 11. my hometownPrint this Article