Working from home: 19 things everyone knows to be true

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Kayleigh Dray
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Working from home: 17 things about working from home everyone knows to be true

From effortless commutes to demanding “co-workers”, here’s what we’ve learned about the WFH life…     

Boris Johnson has decreed that the UK is, as of today (24 March), in coronavirus lockdown. Which means that, you guessed it, more of us than ever are working from home at the moment. 

To help any WFH newbies, we’ve decided to spill what we’ve learned about the remote working lifestyle for you.

Happy reading.

The world is divided into two starkly different WFH types

Those who wake up early for a morning workout, and those who sleep until 8am/count it a major win if they change out of their PJs before the first WFH task of the day. Stylist’s Christobel Hastings, who 100% counts herself among the second group, admits that she sometimes even forgets to brush her teeth.

So which camp do you fall into?

The commute is effortless

All you need to do is walk from your bed to your computer, possibly via the kitchen to grab a coffee, and you’re there. 

Or, you know, it would be…

… if it weren’t for the fact that we’re all emotionally exhausted right now.

Mainly because we have constant access to all those Covid-19 news updates

We are forever attuned to the sound of a breaking news bulletin.

The ‘professional’ dress code is open to interpretation

Anyone else ready for business solely from the waist up? No? Just us then…

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And you have a designated ‘work’ pair of leggings

As Stylist’s Lara Faye puts it: “This is opposed to your ‘run’ pair, your ‘workout’ pair and your ‘sofa’ pair. Ditto cardigans. When the work cardigan comes off, it’s all fun from then onwards!”

The internet is god

If the WiFi signal drops, you say a few expletive-laden prayers and beg for forgiveness. Because, damn it, you need to get on this fucking call right now.

Zoom is… confusing

To Zoom or not to Zoom? That is one of the many, many questions we have about the conference call app (you can read our piece on the realities of using Zoom here).

But work calls go on way longer

Everyone has so much more to catch up on, and it’s nice to hear the voices of your comrades every once in a while.

Office drama is minimal…

Maybe you’ve run out of milk or something. That’s… that’s as dramatic as it gets, folks.

… despite your “co-workers” being slightly more demanding than others

Whether you’re living with a dog, a cat, some other furry animal or even a small human, we’re pretty sure HR wouldn’t be here for your co-workers’ endless demands. Like, say, staring at you until you agree to take them for a walk. Or screaming for food. Or even bringing a dead animal and dropping it onto the floor in front of you.

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… and despite the constant misreading of tone

Sometimes, just sometimes, it’s easy to misread the tone of someone’s email or Slack message. In just the work of a moment, you can build a simple “No worries, thanks” into proof that your boss positively hates you. When, y’know, they absolutely don’t. Or they probably don’t. Ahem.

You tell people your workspace looks like this:

But, in reality, it looks like this:

Working from home: the reality
Working from home: the reality

Yes, Stylist’s very own Lucy Partington is using an ironing board as a standing desk. Innovative, right?

Lunch breaks look a little different nowadays

Gone are the Pret lunches of old. Instead, your new routine consists of you wandering into the kitchen and poking around in the cupboards for a bit, before settling for the same lunch you always make. You might sit downstairs with it, listlessly staring at a wall, but you’ll most likely walk it back to your desk and continue tapping away as you eat. Fact.

And toilet breaks are a lot less frequent

You’re always worried your boss will call the moment you nip to the loo, so you spend a lot of time playing the (always risky) ‘how long can I hold my pee?’ game.

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In fact, breaks in general are a lot less frequent

You probably start earlier, and finish later. And, if you’re anything like us, you’ve probably stood up at the end of the day, stiff and aching, only to realise that you haven’t moved from my desk once.

Because it’s hard to concentrate, especially at the moment

Working from home: is everyone else just staring at this?
Working from home: is everyone else just staring at this?

As Stylist’s Steven Cowan notes: “Is everyone not just looking at a similar screen to this and bashing their head against their desk/ironing board?”

But don’t worry: you’ll still get your after-work drinks

We may find Zoom tough, but we’ve certainly figured out how to maximise its potential. After-work drinks, anyone?

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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