Why you should work from bed

Published: January 14th, 2021

Working from bed

For years, sleep experts have proclaimed especially one thing in unison: that devices have no place in the bedroom. Since March last year, this rule has become hard to live by since millions of remote workers have moved the emailing, writing, and meetings – to bed.

The New York Times recently published an article investigating the phenomenon of working from bed as an indirect consequence of the pandemic when many workplaces closed down. Is it really that bad? The piece stated several positive testimonies of horizontal working.

If you prefer to work from bed, you’re in good company with some of history’s most talented people. Frida Kahlo painted masterpieces while lying down. Winston Churchill liked to eat breakfast and work in bed for several hours – while dictating to a secretary and typist near his bedside. Prose and verse were drafted (in bed) by Edith Wharton, William Wordsworth, and Marcel Proust. Truman Capote once said, “I am a completely horizontal author,” who “can’t think unless I’m lying down.”

And Capote’s philosophy seems to be applicable for artistic professionals today as well. The article interviews a filmmaker in New York who claims that a horizontal position is conducive to his creative thinking and refers to our position of lying down when we sleep and dream and doing a lot of subconscious or unconscious creative work.

Along with nourishing creative thinking, the piece also points out the practical benefits of going to a calm, separate space to get the work done. The bedroom can be a refuge from home life distractions (kids, partners, roommates). Add on, that some people focus better when they are comfortable – and few places beat a fluffy bed.

Many homebound workers have realized during the pandemic, what chronically ill and disabled people have known for years, that working from bed doesn’t mean you’re lazy or depressed. In fact, it’s perfectly possible to hold down a job remotely from bed, provided your employer is flexible about remote work.

Ashley Whillans, assistant professor at Harvard Business School, says in the article that “we have data showing time crafting is good for happiness, if you’re able to work from anywhere and you choose to work from bed this is one example of time crafting.” She continues: “Picking where to work and how to get work done can improve employee satisfaction.”

Even if spending the workday in bed isn’t appealing to everyone, we can at least agree that it benefits some of us. 2020 turned out to be the year we stopped being bashed about our laptoping in bed.

Read the article here.

Words by: Antonia Wiklund

Image by: Josephine Blix

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