Kamin Mohammadi on the comfort and joy of working from bed
Samuel Johnson did it centuries ago, Florence Nightingale did it for decades, Maya Angelou did it in hotel rooms, and John Lennon elevated it to an art. What this disparate group has in common is their love of working from bed, a habit I have long applauded and embraced and which now, with the global pandemic, is having its moment in the sun.
While the pandemic has had the middle classes chattering about the challenges of turning a kitchen table into a home office, and exalted the humble shed with the glorious moniker of “shoffice”, those of us whose work has always involved a lot of self-isolation and working from home have been quietly – dare I say smugly – watching from the sidelines. As a writer, I have lived this juggle of separating work from home life in the same space for decades, but now that the world has joined us creative types in working from home, some of us have decided to take this one logical step further, and started working from bed (henceforth to be known as WFB).
I’ve long been an advocate of WFB, and the first lockdown gave me carte blanche to start practising my favourite working method with impunity. With the rest of the working world also in isolation, the effort to pull myself out of bed, get dressed and take myself to my desk seemed pointless. Not only is the route from my bed to my office across the house strewn with possible distractions which have stolen many a morning (the washing-up, the piles of clothes to sort, the fine layer of dust and dog hair that settles on every surface overnight, the chatty husband cooking tempting dishes of Italian food) but also the peculiarly unsettling quality of lockdown and a global pandemic – a sort of low-level hum of anxiety that vibrates constantly in the background of every thought and action – demanded a very definite decision to stay as soft and cosy as possible while remaining as productive as possible.
So now, as my husband dutifully delivers the morning coffee, I pull my laptop onto the duvet, nudging over the dog, who inevitably gives me a dirty look – the bed is hers, you see, and she graciously lets my husband and I sleep there every night – but eventually nudges over, leaving me to sit propped up on several large fluffy pillows while I type away, books and notebooks scattered across the duvet. I have found that WFB is the most productive way to keep some semblance of control over my permanently overflowing inbox – the equivalent of Florence Nightingale’s prodigious correspondence produced in the half century she spent in bed…
This is an extract from a longer piece which appears in Idler 76, Jan/Feb 2021.
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