In an effort to arrest the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, a nationwide lockdown was declared in India in March 2020. To assess how personal built environments affected the citizens in the first few weeks, an explorative online survey was conducted, eliciting responses about work habits before the lockdown, psychological wellbeing, time spent in various activities, characteristics of those who worked from home, and food and sleep patterns. We received 121 (76 male and 45 female) responses with an average age of 35.5 years [max: 70 years, min: 18 years, standard deviation (SD): 12.9 years]. The major difference caused by the lockdown was a reduction in the time taken and distance travelled of the commute to workplaces, which was an average of 30 minutes and 9.5 km, respectively. In terms of diet, subjects who were vegetarian did not experience any difference, unlike those who were non-vegetarians ( p < 0.05). The results show an association of the dependent variable of ‘feeling in general’ with predictor variables of ‘energy, pep, vitality’ and ‘feel healthy to work’ during the pandemic, whereas the predictor variables of ‘energy, pep, vitality’, ‘happy and satisfied personal life’, ‘feel healthy to work’ show an association with the dependent variable of ‘feeling in general’ before the lockdown with a significance of p < 0.02 and R 2 = 0.51 and R 2 = 0.60, respectively. Among those who worked from home in constrained environments, people found spaces and seemed to adapt reasonably well to the built environment with employees showing a preference for working from bedrooms and students for working from ‘sit-out’ (outside) spaces ( p < 0.05). There was no change in the quality or quantity of sleep during the lockdown. This study in the early weeks of the lockdown documents the way in which individuals lived through it in terms of the built environment at home.