Home office straight talk: WFH? More like WTF…

Eva Maria Schmidt
April 23, 2020

Hey there, are you caught up in a storm of tips, tricks, and self-gratulatory messages about how empowering and inspiring working from home is? Are you getting tired of seeing notes on what amazingly productive remote workers we all are, united through this modern medium people have now discovered called video?

Yeah, me too.

Here are a few observations for all the fellow home officers who find themselves saying WTF to WFH.

1. Find a quiet dedicated workspace so you can really be productive, we are told. Seriously? Sure, some lucky people have nice big houses with dedicated home office spaces, but the rest of us are stuck working from kitchen tables with cruddy chairs killing our backs.

2. Dress for work to get into a professional mindset, they say. I might wear a button-up for an office meeting. But at home? Is my company going to iron my shirt? Thought not. I’ll stick to my sweatpants and hoodie, thank you very much.

3. Go for a walk or get some exercise in between to unwind, they suggest. Try having five minutes to even get a bathroom break when both you and your partner are trying to hold down full time jobs, splitting parenting duties with two kids while working from home. Take your deep breaths on your virtual yoga hangout and I’ll hold mine at the diaper station.

4. Use video conferencing more often and socialize with your team, we are being advised. Clearly, everyone got this email. My calendar is so full of online meetings, virtual cocktails and feel-good sessions that I barely have time to get actual work done and be productive. But great to see you, where’d you get those amazing sweatpants?

5. Use virtual video chat backgrounds to show creativity and spirit, is another popular suggestion. Is there something wrong with my home office decor? Tired of seeing my cat maybe? I’m living with this background 24/7, so I think you can handle it for 30 minutes. But congratulations on that super original sunset photo you took on vacation.

6. Use planners and make to-do lists, we are told. Hey, thanks for that tip! I never thought about organizing my work day before. See, until recently, I worked productively in an office and never needed that skill. How did I manage without this insight up until this day?!

Anyway, thanks for listening. Now get back to work. Like, right now.

For a fun visual version of these work-from-home observations and reality checks, just click the download button in the box below.

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WFH more like WTF: A home office reality check

Tired of all the tips & tricks about how to work from home more productively? Here are a few observations for everyone who finds themselves saying WTF to WFH.