Those with chronic illness or disabilities say that they hope that, much as the way the pandemic has made companies more open to remote work, the stigma around working from bed will also be broken. “I hope one of the things that come out of this is it reveals you can still do good work from your bed, or bathtub, or living room sofa with a heating pad and I hope that will create opportunities for people who are chronically ill or disabled n fields they maybe didn’t feel welcome in before,” Ms. Miller said.
Amy Patel, 34, a product manager for a life sciences software company in Austin, was forced to work from bed in the early months of the pandemic when she was placed on bed rest during her pregnancy with twins. She did not love it. However, proper gear helped. “My husband bought me a really nice desk that you could put your laptop with a mouse on,” she said. “I did everything on there.”
If you want to replicate the feeling of working in bed without actually being in bed, you could purchase an Ergoquest Zero Gravity Workstation for $5,995 or buy one of the many, much cheaper computer mounts made for reclining in bed. Supportive pillows are also key for avoiding back pain. Having a spill-proof cup or a mug with a lid helps too, as some have learned the hard way.
While some people turn on computerized backgrounds to avoid revealing their bedroom workstations on video calls, others have embraced their cozy surroundings. Ms. Stephens said that she’s decorated the wall behind her bed with children’s artwork to make a more engaging background for her Instagram Live performances.
Abie Sidell, 27, a filmmaker in New York, often works from bed because of his chronic illness, but he has found it helpful even when he’s not having a flare-up. “I think that being horizontal is conducive to creative thinking,” he said. “When we’re horizontal, whether it’s sleeping or dreaming, is when we’re doing a lot of subconscious or unconscious creative work.”
If Mr. Sidell is stuck on a project or needs to think, he’ll go lie down. “Being in bed is great,” he said. “I wish, in general, there were fewer norms and standards around where it is and isn’t acceptable to work.”
If this year doesn’t shatter them, what will?