Make it Work

Freelancers Speak: Does Working from Bed Work?

By Kylie Jane Wakefield June 25th, 2012

Bed: It’s where all of the stresses of daily life just melt away. It’s the happy zone where people fall into a complete, peaceful slumber, dreaming of the day’s activities and their innermost desires and fantasies. The words “bed” and “work” do not fit together well, to say the least.

The Freelance Strategist asked writers if they work from bed, and they answered back with a resounding “no.” Mixing rest and work can be dangerous territory.

Unfortunately for freelance writers, working from bed is a bad idea on two counts: It can negatively affect sleep patterns and productivity. Once a writer begins to see the bedroom as his or her workplace, it will be tough to get a good night’s rest there.

Doing work from bed can make writers feel unfocused, among other negative effects.  “The pros obviously stem from the comfort of your own bed,” Phil Corso, a writer for Queens’ Times Ledger Newspapers, The Daily Voice, and New York Daily News said. “You feel less pressure and feel safe and secure … As for the cons, obviously, being in bed could be a distraction and could make it harder for someone to focus on a hard assignment.

This is just what happens to Django Gold when he works from bed. A writer for The Onion and Law360, the humorist and legal aficionado said, “Writing from bed makes me more prone to tiredness, which in turn makes me a worse writer. You need to be alert to write well. Your brain associates being in bed with going to sleep, so lying down there immediately puts you out.”

Falling asleep to a bright computer or cell phone screen may cause writers to miss deadlines or not get a good night’s rest. It was found that “exposure to artificial light (from devices like phones and computers) after sunset suppresses the release of melatonin, the sleep-promoting hormone. Using electronics around bedtime also keeps us alert (all those fascinating Twitter followers!), and can shift circadian rhythms so that we stay up later,” according to Greatist.com

Staying active while working is how Benjamin Korman, a freelancer for VICE.com, Pop Crunch, and Saturday Night Live‘s Weekend Update, keeps his blood flowing and his brain sharp. He chooses a desk, taking breaks between sitting for too long to think more clearly. “It’s too easy to put your head down and try to nap. Also, I pace around after almost every paragraph I finish– it helps me think and I can’t do that while I’m in bed,” he said.

There needs to be a distinction between a work space and place of complete relaxation. Otherwise, the line is blurred, and writers can feel like the work never ends.

A large amount of writers choose to work from home, which already alienates them from the rest of society. The temptation to sneak into bed to do work will cause more anti-social behavior, which New York Deputy Editor of Flavorpill and Editor of Vol. 1 Brooklyn Jason Diamond said can, in the end, hurt a career. “If you work from bed, you probably aren’t going to shower, get dressed and get out of the house very much. I think these things are imperative to the creative process.”

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