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Image / Agenda / Business

Is WFB (working from bed) the new working from home?


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Is WFB (working from bed) the new working from home?

As we head back to work and the world tries to reorganise, shouldn't we be permanently reworking our office time to suit us?

As offices reopen today and many attempt their first morning “commute” since March 2020, many of us are wondering exactly how our new work life is going to pan out and, more importantly, how we would like it to pan out.

If you were lucky enough to work from home during the pandemic, you are by now well-accustomed to the highs and lows of setting up your office from the dining table. Between screaming kids, longer hours, a well-stocked kitchen that is too close and far too many distractions, it’s easy to see why some of us are looking forward to a room full of well-dressed adults again.

Lockdown is awful, on that we can all agree. But while living through a pandemic where a killer virus on the loose may be the stuff of horror movies, there are aspects of this we can all endure with a little positivity.

However, it wasn’t all bad, right? Permanent duvet days are some of those things we will always hold dear from level five restrictions. Earning money while enjoying our bed was the only bonus of the lack of social activity.

And the truth is that when it comes to trying to get some productive work done, there are benefits to lounging flat with your laptop balanced on your bed.

As we speak there are people drafting legal documents, producing events, holding client calls, coding, emailing, studying and writing, all from under the covers.

Eat your heart out, Google HQ bean bags! 

Sarah is one of those – she works as a copywriter for a major US company based in Dublin. “At first I gave myself strict rules about working in the kitchen. But my flatmates were pretty noisy and my bed was just sitting there, looking all cosy. So I decided that after lunch I’d jump into bed and get my work done so I wasn’t a total lush.”

That was in April 2020. By August, her bed had become her full-time office.

But this isn’t about being ‘lazy as sin’ as those with typical Irish mammies might have called us. This is about capitalising on a situation where for once in our lives we don’t have to be observed sitting prettily at our stiff, inflexible desks.

Forget beanbags, we have full-on six-foot DreamyHeads mattresses to support us through that tedious number-crunching or telesales calls.

It is here that I have to hold my hand up and admit that I get my most productive work done while snuggled up in my duvet. After a day of work Zoom calls, come 6pm I switch my kids onto screen mode and I crawl under the covers for an hour of blissfully uninterrupted bedtime, work style.

Conditioned

I look forward to it so much that I now associate that work with positivity – the squeak of my mattress every bit as loud as the Pavlov dog’s bell.

The problem is that now I’m conditioned to WFB, how am I ever going to ease myself back into the real world – where you have to, eugh, sit in a chair beside people.

When the pandemic began I sniggered at all those setting up their cute home offices while I invested in orthopaedic pillows and expensive mattress covers. And it’s something I intend to carry through too, my WFH days will inevitably WFB days. The world is changing at a rapid pace and it’s okay if you need to tweak it a little to work better for you.

After all, there are worse things than changing the world (or completing accounts and impending tax bills) from your leaba.

This article was first published in January 2021.