Issue of the day: Lying down on the job

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ARE you reading this in bed? If so, it seems you are not alone. According to research, during the pandemic, most of us are working and taking tea breaks in bed, rather than at our desks.

Don’t tell the powers that be?

It doesn’t sound very professional does it? So those who are indeed working from bed are unlikely to want their superiors to know.

But many of us are doing just that?

A survey found that during remote working, 56% of the UK are now more likely to work from the comfort of their bed, with young people (aged 16-24) the most likely to do so – nine out of 10 (91%) say they favour it, according to physiotherapy group Ascenti’s survey of 2,000 people in lockdown. Meanwhile, ahead of this latest full lockdown, searches for “work from bed” hit an all-time-high.

Is it good for mental health?

A survey in June by the Office for National Statistics found that almost one in five adults (19.2%) were likely to be experiencing some form of depression during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and, on the face of it, the notion of staying in bed seems more likely to lead to dull torpor than top worker. Sleep experts also advise against working from bed.

However?

Newcastle-based therapist Kerry Quigley said it has its upside: “Working from the comfort of your bed can feel like a safe calming space, particularly when anxiety is an issue.”

But you need to get up and get going?

The expert advice is that if you are working from your bed, you need to be aware of your physical and mental health. Ms Quigley advises: “When possible incorporate exercise, regular breaks, and social interaction into your daily routine.”

Top tips?

Chiropractor Paul McCrossin, president of the United Chiropractic Association, stresses that beds are designed for sleep, saying: “If we are static for long periods it can lead to stiffness, loss of physical conditioning, pain, fatigue and poor concentration.” If you’re going to do it, he advises sitting as upright as possible with a cushion behind your lower back and your computer on something in front of you as a makeshift desk, as well as “moving regularly”.

There’s a whole product line for working from bed?

Savvy retailers offer up a range of goods to make a comfortable office out of your bed, including back cushions, arm-rest pillows, bedside shelf trays that lock on to the divan and lap desks with chargers.

Working from bed worked wonders for some?

Perhaps the world’s most famous fan of working from bed was Winston Churchill, who had breakfast in bed, read his mail and all the national newspapers and then spent the next couple of hours of the morning working and dictating to his secretaries from bed, before bathing at 11am.

Mexican painter Frida Kahlo also painted from her canopy bed, while American novelist Truman Capote told The Paris Review in 1957: “I can’t think unless I’m lying down.” 

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