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ABOUT THIS WORD
What does WFH mean?
WFH stands for working from home or work from home.
The abbreviation is often used in digital communication to notify colleagues that someone is working from home on a given day or for a temporary period instead of regularly reporting to a physical place of business.
How is WFH pronounced?
[ duhb–uhl-yoo ef eych ]
Where does WFH come from?
While people have long worked out of their homes in various forms throughout history, working from home became increasingly common in the 1990–2000s with the rise of personal computers and the internet. Working from home is also called telecommuting, or “working at home by using a computer terminal electronically linked to one’s place of employment.”
The abbreviation WFH can be found in the early 2000s on such places as Usenet newsgroups. WFH can be found widely used on Twitter in 2006, the year the platform launched, suggesting the abbreviation was already well-established in digital communication by this time.
In early 2020, interest in WFH spiked during the coronavirus outbreak. That’s because many employers and organizations enacted WFH policies to help stop the spread of the disease by “moving online,” meaning conducting their business at their places of residence over the internet.
— Laura Xu (@laura_rx86010) March 13, 2020
Another major topic of discussion during the coronavirus outbreak included the inability for many people to work from home, such as those in the service industry (e.g., restaurant employees, retail workers, hotel staff, etc.) or those who do not have access to the internet or personal computers at home. Concerns about paid leave were also a topic of WFH considerations.
My office transitioned to WFH and started a Facebook group so we can all still socialize. The whole page is just flooded with pictures of everyone's pets, my morale has never been higher, and this is the only thing I care about right now
— Phil Stamper (@stampepk) March 13, 2020
How is WFH used in real life?
WFH is a versatile abbreviation. It can be a modifier, as in the company’s WFH policy. It can be a verb phrase, as in I am going to WFH today. WFH is generally said in the same way as work from home or working from home. As is true of many abbreviations online, WFH is commonly written in lowercase as wfh. The hashtag #wfh is used on social media for discussions about working from home.
— Empire (@EmpireFOX) March 13, 2020
My WFH dress code for the next ten days:
Button down and sweat pants.
— Steve Schlafman🌎 (@schlaf) March 13, 2020
— Ashley Parker (@AshleyRParker) March 12, 2020
In professional communication, many people may notify colleagues that they are working from home by posting WFH in a status update, such as on messaging platforms like Slack. Such a status update is especially true of people who usually report to a physical place of business.
People who regularly WFH are often called remote employees or the like.
More examples of WFH:
“Wish Starbucks delivered #wfh today and need a nice coffee ☕☕☕☕”
—@clairemenlove, April 2018
“Break time. Already done 3.5 hours work #wfh #benefits”
—@Happyperson47, May, 2018
“Previously, [Facebook] had told employees to expect to WFH at least through the end of May.”
—Todd Spangler, Variety, May 2020
This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.