Sunday, 25 November 2012


Home office used to mean a cluttered desk in the basement. Today, in the era of closet-sized condos, it means a cluttered kitchen counter and pizza crumbs in your laptop.

Or so I thought. But that scene is totally pass√©, according to Sue Shellbarger. If you are a trendsetter, you’ve moved your mobile devices to a bed with a built-in outlet and are doing your work propped up on pillows. You share your office with a partner? No problem. Get a split model bed. Kluft has just come out with a giant 7x7 footer, which can be your “ gathering place, workplace, comfort zone.”  

Okay, now that you’ve relocated your home office to a bed the size of your condo living room, it's clear that other activities have to be shifted to the mattress. Let’s see what else can we move to your new gathering place?

Sex? Nah. Take that to the basement or the kitchen counter or wherever you did your office work before you got a giant bed.

Indulge your depression? More like it. Glow-worm complexion, produced by keeping your face close to the lit screen, is the perfect depressed look. Diving under the covers to avoid looking at the cruel world would seem the perfect movement to go with it. And should you feel like ending your depression for good, is there a better place to die than in the comfort zone of your bed?

But let’s not be negative. There are other, more active, uses for your giant bed.

Eating and drinking? Definitely. Are you worried about crumbs and gooey stuff -- the stuff that hasn't dropped into your laptop, I mean? Here’s what you do: Combine eating and drinking in bed with keeping a pet. Dogs are best. They’ll scarf up your food remnants no questions asked, unless of course you are a vegetarian, in which case I recommend a pet caterpillar. Very quiet, very unassuming, as long as your underwear is tight and you avoid rolling/squishing motions.

Gym is another excellent use for your bed. Whatever your preference -- wrestling, trampoline, yoga, sauna – a bed is the natural platform for those activities. Put perhaps you are into intellectual activities. Then let me suggest

The literary workout. American Poet Laureate Charles Simic, for example, admits to writing a “shocking amount” of his Pulitzer Prize winning lines in bed. Proust wrote in a cork-lined bedroom, using pen or pencil. Orwell slept with his typewriter. Edith Wharton wrote her novels in bed, tossing the pages on the floor for her secretary to pick up and sort out. So perhaps I should qualify my advice: by all means write in bed, but have a secretary to ensure the dog doesn’t eat the pages. And watch out for the voracious caterpillar!

All of this presupposes that your partner does not require the bed as a gym while you are trying to write the next Booker Prize winner. So I suggest drawing up a schedule. -- Oh, you work from home to escape the tyranny of a schedule? Well, then it's back to the kitchen counter, I'm afraid.

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