How to Work from Home on Your Bed?
I'm sure we've all heard by now, to make our bedroom a sanctuary. A lot of standard advice suggests that you shouldn't bring your office life into the place in which you sleep. So the mere question "How to Work from Home on Your Bed?" may seem out of place.
And the idea of not working on your bed makes a lot of sense for things like letting go of the day, having anxiety, or allowing yourself to let go of stress to go to sleep. But whether you're working late or your office setup just doesn't provide what you need for that moment, you might find yourself requiring a comfortable format.
Occasionally, that comfortable setup might be your bedroom. There are absolutely ways to cultivate a healthy and productive environment without sacrificing important mainstays of an office, as well as retaining the sanctuary nature of your sleeping space.
This post will cover many ways to accomplish this goal, some of the most highlighted tips being posture suggestions, getting up and moving, and not straining to see your laptop.
Working from bed probably won't ever be the best scenario, but whether it's because of space, a crowded house, or preferences, there are some better ways to do it.
The Four Principles When Working In Your Bed
There are four main principles to working in bed.
1. Consider having your spine in as neutral of a position as possible.
Your setup should always ensure that your head, arms, and back are in a neutral position.
See also our article HOW TO IMPROVE ERGONOMICS WHEN WORKING FROM HOME?
2. Make sure you're not lying down and then straining to see your laptop.
It is difficult to find a way to lie down and still see and work on your computer, much less one that's comfortable and productive.
3. Don't lean directly against the headboard as it is very easy to overstretch your muscles this way.
It's best to avoid pillows up high on your back so that your neck isn't flexed, but if you need to use one, make it a small neck pillow.
4. Be very sure to move often.
Shift your position, rotate sides, just try to switch it up so that you're not stuck straining in one position.
How to best arrange pillows when working in bed?
As far as the pillow principle goes, there are a few pillows that are really good for your neck if you're working from bed.
One style that can be really helpful is a small neck pillow. This supports the back of your neck while not imposing on your neutral spine.
Another kind of pillow is an arm-chair pillow. These are the large pillows that have a cushion back and arm pillows that come down the side. This allows you to rest your elbows on the arm pieces while still resting comfortably on the back cushion.
There are many different varieties available, in many different colors and textures.
Another pillow that's really helpful is a lap desk pillow. A lap desk pillow is a pillow on the bottom and then a desktop on top of it. While with this desk angle, you still need to be mindful as to whether or not you're straining your neck, you'll at least be able to have a regular desktop workspace so that you're not juggling your laptop on your lap and straining your neck and shoulders to get it to do what you need it to do.
There are also memory foam wedge pillows. These are great because you can angle them however you need. They come in an isosceles triangle shape, and you can either lean them upright to work in bed or lay them flat to be propped up if you're watching TV or reading afterward. The memory foam makes them comfortable and breathable and supports your individual shape.
Avoiding the Every-5-Minute Get-Up When Working From Bed
You're all set up to work in bed, you've got your laptop desk, you've got your back support, but you forgot a pen in the kitchen. This seems to be a broad problem with working from bed. T
o avoid getting up every five minutes, you can get yourself some kind of storage that keeps the things you'll need most often within arm's reach.
Everything from a pen to headphones, there's no reason to need to get up so often. If you've got very little nightstand space or not a lot of storage by way of big drawers in your nightstand, getting a bed frame storage caddy is the way to go.
Experts will answer the question "How To Work From Home On Your Bed?" differently.
EXPERTS: If You Don't Have to work on your bed, don't.
If there is no reason that you absolutely need to work from bed, some experts suggest that deciding not to is probably the best decision. HealthLine experts say that there are a few main aspects that suffer most.
Your sleep quality will suffer. Your brain will associate your bed with wakefulness. By using the bed for activities like working, reading even watching TV, it will create an Association that makes it challenging to get sleepy in bed.
Productivity can also suffer. Working from bed decreases sleep quality which can decrease work productivity, energy levels, and quality of life.
Bringing your work to bed with you is not healthy because working your office day from bed and then trying to go to sleep or turn the day off is pretty much impossible.
Your posture is also something that will suffer immensely. While we've discussed pillow options and solutions to make working from bed better for you, there's no way to really mitigate posture's main problem.
Your mood and energy can also suffer. Bedrooms are often darker than other rooms because they're meant to be, but sunlight is a natural mood booster and helps pump energy levels. A dim bedroom could keep you tired, ruin your circadian rhythm, and negatively impact your mental health.
Work-life balance is something that most working adults struggle with anyway but bringing work to the bedroom compounds this problem in unimaginable metrics.
OTHER EXPERTS: No Big Deal If You Work From Your Bed Occasionally.
As opinions usually go, there is always another side. With all bets are off and no rules nature of the global pandemic, more and more people are working from home, thus working from bed.
A New York Times article states that "…millions of Americans have defied that guidance and begun working precisely where they sleep. They are drafting legal documents, producing events, holding client calls, coding, emailing, studying, and writing, all from under the covers."
They report that many people began the pandemic drawing strict lines for themselves and deciding that they wouldn't work from their bedroom at all, even purchasing desks, workspace necessities, and building themselves a designated area to do their work.
However, as time went on, many people realized that they were just fine working from bed.
One woman in the same article spoke about how she first purposefully designated space and then started working from her bed after 2:00 PM. The 2:00 PM cutoff then became noon, which then became working from bed. She found more productivity and less pressure on her day by doing so.
The New York Times At Home section writes: "Working from bed is a time-honored tradition upheld by some of history's most accomplished figures. Frida Kahlo painted masterpieces from her canopy bed. Winston Churchill was a late riser even during World War II, dictated to typists while breakfasting in bed.
Edith Wharton, William Wordsworth and Marcel Proust drafted prose and verse from their beds.
"I am a completely horizontal author," Truman Capote told The Paris Review, "I can't think unless I'm lying down." When we're all in tight spaces, it can be challenging to find appropriate refuge to work.
Whether it be from family or roommates, with everyone home, there is always something to be distracted by.
Tips to Make working from bed work
Aside from even tips about pillows and comfort, there are some rules to make if you're thinking about working from bed.
Boundaries are a huge deal with this office approach. Set hard stop hours so that when your work is done, your work is done. Get up, change the scenery, store your electronics in another room, and then switch your bedroom from office mode to sleep mode.
Changing the overall mood can make some differences. Light a candle, take a shower, figure out what works for you for your brain to understand that it's nighttime, and you're winding down to sleep.
There is an idea called "time crafting"
Time crafting is a concept that you control your environment and your schedule in a way that works for you and makes you happy.
There is sufficient data to show that time crafting is incredibly good for happiness and if you're able to work from anywhere and you choose to work from bed, that's a fine example of time crafting.
Harvard Business School professor Ashley Whillans, says that when people get to pick where they work and how they work, employee satisfaction is improved.
A positive outlook that's come from the work from home slash work from bed conversation is that people with chronic illnesses or disabilities receive more visibility and understanding of working from home can potentially provide more opportunities for those who already are working from home.
If working from home is no longer taboo, then maybe working from bed, at least sometimes, doesn't have to be either.