For the general concept, see
Work from Home
” is a song recorded by American
featuring American rapper
Ty Dolla Sign
The song impacted
contemporary hit radio
four days after its initial release on March 1, 2016 and was released as the
from the group’s second studio album,
“Work from Home” was written by
Tyrone Griffin, Jr.
with production from Coleman and
. The song is primarily an
track that incorporates elements of
beats with lyrics depicting “work” as a euphemism for sex. Many music publications included it in their lists of best songs of the year.
The song debuted at number 12 on the
with 88,000 downloads sold,
and reached number four in its thirteenth week,
becoming their highest charting single in the United States; it surpassed ”
“, which peaked at number 12. “Work from Home” also became the first top-five single in the country by a girl group in ten years, following the September 2006 peak of ”
The Pussycat Dolls
at number three.
Among national airplay charts, the song topped both the
Mainstream Top 40
As of December 2016, the single has sold 1.4 million digital copies in the United States.
The song has achieved multi-platinum certifications in several countries, including quintuple platinum in Canada and the United States.
It was accompanied by a music video directed by
and filmed in a construction site of a house. It was released on February 26, 2016 on the group’s
channel. The video received commentary from critics over the double entendres in the visuals, which are present in the lyrics as well. The girls are seen interacting with male construction workers and performing choreographed dance routines dressed in construction gear. “Work from Home” won the award for Best Collaboration at the
2016 MTV Video Music Awards
American Music Awards
, winning the group their first award in this network.
Its music video reached one billion views in October 2016, and became the most viewed music video of 2016.
Background and release
“Work from Home” was initially written by
, Dallas Koehlke and
, the song also contains samples of
Gotta Get thru This
Coleman and Koehlke also produced, performed all instruments and
for the song. The group’s vocals were produced & recorded by
and Andrew Bolooki at Windmark Recording Studios and The Northership, both located in California. The song was
at the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center with assistance from Daniela Rivera. The song came for the group after their
Joey Arbagey played it during a meeting to discuss their sophomore album’s direction; each member immediately approved of the song.
During an interview with
, Cabello explained that the group “fell in love” with the song after hearing it mostly for its “laid-back” and “chill” atmosphere that featured an “a kind of urban pocket”. She explained that was the reason she and her groupmates loved the track because it “branched out in different ways” than anything they ever recorded.
The song’s title was announced on February 24, 2016.
Originally titled “Work” and set to be released on January 26, 2016, the group had to re-title the song to “Work from Home” to avoid confusion with
song of the same name
, which was released a month prior.
While talking about how the collaboration with Ty Dolla Sign came together, Dinah Jane told
that she was “happy he agreed” to be on the track as he was one of her “favorite artists”. After hearing his song, ”
“, she told her groupmates, “Guys, we gotta get this dude on our song,” as she saw him “as a perfect fit” for this track. Jane complimented the way he “rides” the song and “brings a different feel to it”.
Sharing similar sentiments, Cabello said that he “added amazing flair” to the song. She also praised the way he played the “melody and his dissonant notes,” saying that he “made his own hooky part of the bridge.”
Ty Dolla Sign
discussed his contribution in the song during an commentary to
where he revealed that he was persuaded to join the song after his 11-year-old daughter continuously played their tracks.
He recalls a time where he was on tour and had a lot of girls “in the hotel room”. According to Ty, they usually “put on Future or something more turnt” but all of them wanted to “hear Fifth Harmony”. He said that was the first time that ever happened.
When discussing the album’s single choice, Kordei told
that the song made sense after releasing “Worth It” because they had “similar styles, but still sounded “different”. She elaborates by saying that the song is “chill” and “not too much” while referring to it as “sexy” but “cool” with “something electrifying about it”.
Nearly a month after the interview took place, the track premiered for the first time on radio on February 26, 2016 on the
Elvis Duran and the Morning Show
, and was released along with the pre-order of the album.
It was then serviced to
contemporary hit radio
in the United States four days later on March 1, 2016.
Composition and lyrical interpretation
“Work from Home” is an
song with elements of
. Katherine St. Asaph of
noted elements of
in its production,
while Meaghan Garvey from
influences on its
Discussing the song musically, Chris Martins from
classified it as a “a pop-R&B confection that siphons off the a tropically tinted EDM pool.”
According to the sheet music published by
Sony/ATV Music Publishing
, “Work from Home” is written in the
, with a moderate
beats per minute
. It is composed in the
as quintet’s voices span the tonal nodes of G
. “Work from Home” follows a
According with J.C Pan from
, “Work from Home” uses work as a
for sexual seduction, “rolling out one job-related
In review of the album
, Peter Meister from
describing the song, wrote, “In the sparkling, sexy “Work from Home”,
crooner Ty Dolla Sign harmonizes perfectly with the girls amongst brimming, elegant synths that explode and rattle with booming, gritty bass over the demanding of their lover to not go to work but instead, put the “work” at home with her.
Its instrumentation is complete with
The song has a typical
structure with a rap bridge done by Ty Dolla Sign before the third chorus and the outro. The song begins with bubbling beat
The first verse is sung by Cabello, the first pre-chorus is sung by Kordei. “I know you’re always on the night shift/but I can’t stand these nights alone”, she sings.
Following is the chorus sung by Jauregui, with the word “work” repeated seven times after each line.
The second verse is sung by Hernandez who sings: “Let’s put it into motion / Imma give you a promotion / I’ll make it feel like a vacay / Turn the bed into an ocean”.
Hansen sings the second pre-chorus.
Ty Dolla Sign
sings after the second chorus, and on the third and final chorus Cabello closes the song with an ad-libbed outro.
Matt Collar from
described “Work from Home” as one of the “most playful tracks” from
writing that said song along with “Not That Kinda Girl” “build upon Fifth Harmony’s knack for mixing juicy R&B hooks with just enough hip-hop muscle to keep things from getting too polite.”
Maeve McDemortt from
agreed, citing it as a highlight and praising its production.
The Boston Globe
‘s writer Maura Johnston called it an “Afternoon Delight”,
similarly, Brittany Spanks from
described it as “an “Afternoon Delight” for the smartphone generation that fluttered by on minimalist synths.”
Carolyn Menyes of
gave it a positive review, noting the “chilled out vibe” and the “chorus that cools down the song’s momentum rather than pumping it up”.
Isabella Biedenhan of
wrote that “…slinking beats and playfully sexy lyrics about convincing your partner to skip the boardroom for the bedroom” were notable in the song.
The sexual nature and
present in its lyrics, was another point discussed by critics. Spencer Kornhaber from
journal noted that “Work from Home” “is typical in portraying freaky bedroom fun as glorious mostly in the bounds of a relationship.”
Katherine St. Asaph,
, expressed an unsatisfied critic about its recording writing that “Fifth Harmony trades in the kind of pop-cultural press-quote feminism where the group can say they are out squash gender roles and “gender-institutionalized thinking” while recording a fantasy of a stay-at-home sexter reassuring the household breadwinner that he’s the boss at home.”
Several critics noted the song’s style is comparable with the musical style of the
In a review published by the staff of
, Robbie Daw called the track worthy based on previous singles with the titular name a called it the group’s “most solid single to date.” In a mixed-positive review, Carl Williott initially called the track a “DJ Mustard ripoff” but complimented the group for managing to make the song “their own” with their “subtle harmonizations adding some texture”, he adds. Mike Wass shared similar sentiments and called it a “sleek and sexy bop with on-trend production” and an “insidiously catchy chorus” while praising the group’s musical evolution.
Several publications thought it was a strong contender for song of the summer.
However, other critics were not so positive. Christopher Bohlsen of
Renowned for Sound
gave a negative review, saying that while vocal melodies in the verses were “satisfying”, the chorus just “doesn’t sound interesting enough”, calling it an “utterly standard pop song”. Bohlsen gave the song a two-and-a-half out of five rating.
It’s safe to say timesheets and promotions have never sounded this sexy. The premise gets a laugh, but it’s the sound that kept everyone coming back: echoing snaps and claps, tons of space, and vocal lines that threaten to explode into pyrotechnics at a moment’s notice.
editor Jamieson Cox
Several sites, such as
ranked “Work from Home” in the top ten of their respected best pop songs of the year lists.
ranked the song at number eleven on its list of best singles of the year while
ranked the song at number fifteen on its year-end list with the editor praising Ty Dolla Sign’s influence on the song. Aggregate news site,
ranked the song at number two in its top 10 singles list.
In the annual
Pazz & Jop
mass critics poll of the year’s best in music in 2016, “Work from Home” was tied at number 36, with six other songs.
The Arizona Republic
ranked the song at 28 and 23 in their year-end lists, respectively.
ranked it at 34 and
ranked it at 94. In its best pop singles list,
placed the song at number seven.
placed the song in its unranked year-end list.
“Work from Home” was ranked at number 14 on the 100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time list, published by
. S.J.H. dismissed the fact that the word “work” was mentioned “95 times” and added that the “repetition is part of its charm”. J.H. finishes their statement saying that the group secured their biggest hit to date with “melodies that counter the blooping synths, punctuating a relatively sparse beat” and commended the equal delivery of each member, specifically Cabello, whose vocals contradict the “song’s straightforward verses with acrobatic runs that bring it all home.”
On the week of March 7, 2016, “Work from Home” debuted at number 12 on the
with 88,000 downloads sold, 10 million United States streams and 20 million radio impressions in its first week, marking the group’s highest debut and equaling its best rank for ”
“, which rose to number 12 in August 2015, twenty-three weeks after it was released.
The following week, the song fell four spots to number 16.
It would then rise three spots to number 13
and rise one more spot, to match its debut position for the week dated April 9, 2016.
The following week, the song would climb two spots to reach a peak at number 10, earning the group their first top 10 single in the United States. Subsequently, they became the first all-female group to chart in the top 10 since ”
When I Grow Up
The Pussycat Dolls
peaked at number nine in 2008.
It recorded a 6-4 jump on the Digital Songs chart selling 89,000 copies, a 34 percent increase from the previous week. The song also saw a 8-5 jump on Streaming Songs with steams of 14.4 million, a rise of 20 percent and 22-17 leap on the Radio Songs chart, retaining a 49 million audience, a 22 percent increase from the previous week.
For the dated April 23, 2016, the song rose one more spot to number nine, becoming the week’s highest airplay gainer retaining an 89 million audience, rising 12 percent from the previous week.
The song rose two more spots the following week, leaping from 9-7.
It would rise one more spot at a new position at number 6.
The following week, it fell one spot, after one of
‘s songs entered the top five shortly after his death. The track would rebound a 7-5 leap, earning the group their first top five entry, marking them as the first all-female group to attain this honor since The Pussycat Dolls’ “Buttons” with Snoop Dogg song peaked at number three in 2006. For the week marked May 21, 2016, the track boosted an 8 percent climb at radio and a 10.5 million audience impressions and was aided in the climb with 15.9 million weekly United States streams, which were down one percent.
The track would fall one spot after Justin Timberlake’s ”
Can’t Stop the Feeling!
” made its hot shot debut at number one. It rose one spot for the week marked June 4, 2016 at number, retaining its previous peak position. Following a performance of the track on the
, the song leaped 5-4, earning the group their highest entry and peak on the chart. For that week, it recorded a 10-7 jump on Digital Songs, selling 73,000 copies, a 26 percent increase and earned the group their first top five hit on Radio Songs, leaping 6-4 with a 105 million audience, rising 5 percent. On the Streaming Songs chart, the track stayed at number 5 with 15.8 million streams, a decrease of 2 percent.
Additionally, on the chart dated May 21, 2016, “Work from Home” topped the
chart, leaping a 2-1 spot and becoming the first girl group to achieve that milestone in 15 years, since
crowned the list in 2001 with ”
On the chart dated June 4, 2016, “Work from Home” topped the
Mainstream Top 40
after climbing a 4-1 position, becoming the first Pop Songs number one by a girl group in nearly 10 years since The Pussycat Dolls led for two weeks in September 2006 with “Buttons” featuring Snoop Dogg.
The song is also Ty Dolla Sign’s second top 40 entry on the Hot 100. “Work from Home” earned the group their best-selling debut week, surpassing ”
“, which debuted with 75,000 downloads in July 2014.
In Canada, “Work from Home” debuted at number 18 on the
Canadian Hot 100
after its first week of release.
On the week dated April 2, 2016, the song rose 18-14 and then rose two more spots on its third week, reaching the peak of its predecessor “Worth It”. Two weeks later, the song climbed 12-8, earning the group their first top 10 entry in this market. It rose one more spot the following week and then rose from 7-5, giving Fifth Harmony their first top five entry as well. Eventually, it climbed to number four in its eleventh week.
It also became the group’s highest-peaking single in Canada, surpassing the peak of its predecessor, which peaked at number 12 in August 2015.
Apart from charting in both Canada and the United States, the song entered two Mexican charts, peaking outside the top ten at number 12 and 11, respectively. As of December 2016, the single has sold 1.4 million copies in the United States.
In early 2017, the song was certified quadruple platinum by the
Recording Industry Association of America
for combined sales and streaming of four million equivalent units.
Europe and Oceania
In the United Kingdom, “Work from Home” debuted at number 23 on the
Official Charts Company
after its first week of release.
The following week, it rose 12 spots to reach number 11. It would rise seven spots for a peak at number four, earning the group their second top 10 entry in this market after “Worth It” peaked number three on July 2015. For two consecutive weeks, it rose one spot, until reaching number two and peaking on the chart behind
I Took a Pill in Ibiza
” during its fifth week, becoming the group’s highest-peaking song in Britain, surpassing its predecessor.
The song would stay in the top ten for eight additional weeks and in the top 40 for twelve weeks for a total of thirty-seven weeks.
Simultaneously, the song made an appearance in the charts in the Republic of Ireland, earning the group their first top five there. In the Netherlands, the single debuted at number 29 on the
Dutch Top 40
after its first week of release. It climbed for the next three weeks, reaching number four in the fourth week and becoming their first top 10 single in the country. It also became the group’s highest peaking single in the Netherlands, surpassing the peak of its predecessor “Worth It”, which peaked at number 25 in August 2015. “Work from Home” eventually topped both the
Single Top 100
and the Dutch Top 40, becoming the group’s first song to top both charts in the country.
Elsewhere in Europe, the song entered the charts in Austria, where it peaked at number nine and charted for twenty-eight weeks. Similar trends followed in Denmark and Latvia, where the song also peaked at number nine. In the Belgian charts, the song peaked within the top 10 in its Flanders and Wallonia category, earning a top five in the Flanders chart. The track also peaked in the top 10 in Czech Republic, making appearances in both of the country’s two main charts. In Germany and Norway, the song peaked at seven and six, respectively and charted for fifteen and twenty six weeks. “Work from Home” earned a top five in countries such as Spain and Poland, charting for 18 weeks in the Spanish charts. In its digital track component, the song peaked in the top 10 in Slovakia. It also achieved top 10 peaks in Switzerland and the Scandinavian countries of Sweden and Norway, where it also became their highest charting song in said countries. The song was certified platinum in Denmark, double platinum in countries including Belgium, Italy, Poland, Spain, quadruple platinum in Sweden and Diamond in France, where the single sold a quarter of a million copies.
In Australia, “Work from Home” debuted at number 39 on the
after its first week of release.
It climbed to number three in the fourth week, becoming their second top ten and first top five single in the country.
The song stayed in the charts for nearly thirty weeks. Since its release, the song has been certified quintuple platinum and has also become one of the best-selling songs by an all-female group there. A similar trend followed in New Zealand where the song debuted at number 21 on the
Official New Zealand Music Chart
after its first week of release.
It climbed to number two in the fifth week, becoming the group’s first top-five single in the country.
“Work from Home” also became the group’s highest peaking single in New Zealand, surpassing ”
Miss Movin’ On
“, which peaked at number 27 in July 2013.
On April 15, 2016, it became their first number-one single in the country.
The single was certified double platinum, becoming the group’s best-selling song, after “Worth It” was certified platinum.
Background and development
The music video, directed by
, was released on February 26, 2016.
Speaking on the video’s concept, X said that he wanted to incorporate the theme of “work” but “with a different approach.” Initially, the setting was going to be in a “corporate office” but the idea was not executed as the group previously released ”
” in that same setting. Other ideas included a
construction set. He noted the reverse
where the men are “the objects” as “opposed to the other way around” and the many interpretations of work, which he says aided in the song’s success.
The video earned the group their third
certification, reaching over 100 million views on March 31, 2016 and becoming one of the fastest videos to reach this milestone. It became fourth most viewed music video of 2016, and
the site’s 28th-most-watched video
. As of June 2018, the video has surpassed 1.8 billion views.
It won Best Collaboration on the
2016 MTV Video Music Awards
, and also won in the “Song of the Year” category at the 2017
Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards
The members of Fifth Harmony pose as
. Many critics commented on the group’s mature direction they took from their previous videos.
The video begins with a muscular man carrying a half-filled pack of cement. As the man walks, Camila sings while resting her arm in a shovel. Multiple workers are shown working around the area as well. As Camila makes her way towards a tractor, the verse switches to Normani, who is standing on a tractor shovel loader. Normani dances near the tractor, approaching a male worker who is sitting in the driver’s seat of the vehicle.
The group is now in front of the construction house, all performing in-sync dance choreography. Some of the dance routines include mimicking the visual to a
and using a driller. Ally is seen inside the house with a hammer, as she approaches a male construction worker, turning him around by gently grabbing his shirt and flirting with him. In the next scene, Dinah is standing by a wall, and makes her way towards another male worker, opening a blueprint map, and using a
. The scene then shifts to Lauren, who is handling a
All the girls are then seen performing dance routines inside the hall of the house, with Lauren in the middle and two girls at each side of the staircase. Ty Dolla Sign appears while singing with a sledgehammer over his shoulders. He is seen for the first time together with the group, leaning against a wall, while the girls dance off-cam and perform
moves. The girls are now outside of the house, where night has approached, as each girl performs synchronized dance moves.
Reception and analysis
In an article published by
, Robbie Daw praised the video for reversing the patronizing role men have and notes the
inspired video direction, saying the group “appears to now be in full control of their collective sexuality and wielding it as they choose, rather than relying on it solely to sell records.” Carl Whilliott praised the group for establishing the video as “their own”, commenting on how this style of video typically suits Ty Dolla Sign. He, however, criticizes the song for not receiving as much criticism as Rihanna’s song, ‘Work’ (2016).
Rebecca H. Dolan from the site
noted that the video “brings women to the forefront of the workplace.” And said that the song call something described as “neo-feminism”, she wrote: “we see Fifth Harmony highlighting these concepts of ninth wave
, gender spheres, sexual stereotyping, etc. The whole scene takes place on a construction site—blazingly hot from the looks of it!—full of men in hard hats with bulging muscles. The women of Fifth Harmony appear on set as well. Beneath their stunningly tousled tresses, they wear construction chic leotards that are about as appropriate for manual labor, as, well, women.”
Live performances and cover versions
The group performed the song for the first time on television on February 29, 2016, on a special after-Oscars episode on
Live! with Kelly and Michael
. Recreating the set of the music video, they performed the song on
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
on March 24, 2016 and on
Alan Carr: Chatty Man
approximately two weeks later.
The group performed the song on
The Ellen DeGeneres Show
on May 10,
dancing in and around a car prop and at the
on May 22 alongside
Ty Dolla Sign
Other performances include the 2016
Much Music Video Awards
and the 2016
CMT Music Awards
, where the group performed the song with country singer
, as a mashup with Cam’s single,
The track was covered by British singer-songwriter
in a radio appearance in the United Kingdom.
Other artists who covered the song include
at the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge,
where Fifth Harmony also performed the track along with a cover of
Ex’s & Oh’s
Clean Bandit also recorded a mash-up version of the track at the Spotify Studios in
New York City
Bebe Rexha gave an acoustic performance at the
studios. When asked to comment on the reason for covering the song, Rexha said she loves the song and called it “sexy”.
An edited version of the single was performed at the
2017 People’s Choice Awards
where the group made their first appearance as a quartet following
‘s departure in late 2016. The version was altered, leaving bandmate Lauren Jauregui singing what was formerly Camila’s verse, followed by the other three girls singing their verses as normal in black bondage-style outfits. They then ended their performance with a new dance break.
Credits and personnel
Credits adapted from
Published by Each Note Counts / Prescription Songs (
), Jude Demorest Publishing Designee (
), It’s Drugs Publishing / Sony ATV (BMI), BMG Gold Songs / AIX Publishing (ASCAP)
All Rights Managed by BMG Rights Management LLC, Dallas K Music / Freescription Songs (ASCAP) and Warner Chappell (BMI)
Ty Dolla Sign’s participation is courtesy of
Atlantic Recording Corporation
Since May 2013 RIAA certifications for digital singles include on-demand audio and/or video song streams in addition to downloads.
Radio and release history