With everything moving online, people are now having to figure out how to bring their office home. While some already have a designated office space, most people simply think of putting a computer in their bedroom. Even though this may seem like a great solution, having a computer in your bedroom is not a great move.
It is not recommended to have a computer in your bedroom because it can have adverse effects on your health. Having a computer in your bedroom can:
- Upset your sleeping schedule
- Cause increased stress from work
- Associate your room with work or other stressors
For this reason, healthcare workers and employers advise against working in your bedroom. Of course, there are exceptions to everything, and some people are able to work from bed. Here is everything you need to know about having a computer in your bedroom.
Reasons Not to Have a Computer in Your Bedroom
Unfortunately, there are several reasons why you shouldn’t have a computer in your bedroom. It will have several effects on schedule, work, and most importantly, your health.
Having a computer in your bedroom shifts your whole mindset when in your room and makes it less sleep and relaxation focused and more work or game focused.
Once you get into that mindset, it can become very difficult for you to have a restful night’s sleep. You can become angered and exhausted due to lack of sleep and this might even be reflected in your work. You might be thinking that this is overly dramatic, but there is actually quite a bit of evidence showing the detrimental effects that might occur.
The use of any electronic device can be a detriment to sleep, however it’s not just your computer.
Imagine this: you wake up, take a shower, and sit at your bedroom desk (or even worse, your bed) ready to start the workday. Once you’re in a comfortable position, you sit down and work your entire shift from your bedroom. What happens when you go back into your room that night to wind down for sleep? Your brain is going to want to wake back up because your room is associated with work now.
This is a psychological effect, your mind will associate the room with work and tend to become more active, messing up your sleep schedule. Not only will this mess up your sleep schedule, but you will also probably be more prone to staying up later. If you are having trouble sleeping and your computer is so easily accessible, you might find yourself booting it up to play games or browse instead of trying to sleep.
Reasons You Still Might Want a Computer in Your Room
This may sound strange after we’ve just finished talking about all the ways it’s a bad idea to have a computer in your room, but it’s not all bad. While there are legitimate dangers, there are also a few benefits of having a computer in your room. Let’s talk about a few.
The Environment Promotes Creativity
Working from a comfortable, known space such as your bedroom allows you to feel relaxed and at ease, giving creativity space to flow freely. Without the added stress of the normal work environment, people can have a clearer head and sharpened thinking skills.
However, this is not the case for everyone – it depends on your level of discipline and personality. If you have the self-control to stay focused in such a distracting space, then it can be a great spot to let your creativity flow. If you have a hard time focusing, then working from your bedroom is likely to make you lazier and sloppier as a result.
This varies from person to person, just like some people thrive during online learning and working, others prefer to be surrounded by a normal environment. For some, working in bed will be too comfortable, while others will be comfortable enough to improve their problem-solving skills.
The only way to find out is to try it out to see what works for you.
The Workday Never Ends
This one is for all you workaholics out there. With your computer in your bedroom, it is as if the workday is never over. With your entire office so close at hand, you can easily jump back online and fix a mistake you suddenly realized you made, or make that one last push of productivity before bed.
While there are people who can function that kind of schedule and pressure, it is not for everyone. This can lead to sleep deprivation and exhaustion which will result in sloppy work. The brain needs to rest to be able to heal and process information, so for most people it’s still advisable to keep your bedroom a place of relaxation and sleep.
Simply put: if you need a good night’s sleep to stay focused, then it is best to keep the computer out of the bedroom; but if you need to work long hours, then it may be a feasible option.
Although these two are very alluring benefits, it is important to proceed with caution when working from bed. As mentioned above, this is a very slippery slope and could go either way.
Start out slowly and pay attention to any variations in sleeping habits and overall mood, being ready to revert to a healthier setup if need be.
Tips For Setting Up a Computer In Your Bedroom
Although having a computer in your room twenty-four seven and turning the space into your permanent office is not ideal, there are still ways you can work from your bedroom. In 2020, the entire workforce saw a dramatic shift to remote and work at home positions – but not everybody is prepared for that sort of move.
If your bedroom is the only feasible place in your home or apartment to set up an office, then don’t worry. Let’s go over a few key tips that can help you be productive without making too much of an impact on your health.
- First, keep a schedule always. Make clear boundaries between “work time” and off time. That means breaks, lunches, and end of day markers. Keep them strict at first, like you were actually back in the office. Once you get used to working from home, then you may be able to be more fluid about breaking time up without a set schedule – but that’s a skill that must be learned.
- Second, always dress for work even at home. This is often repeated but rarely followed – to everyone’s detriment. Your outfit really does have a significant impact on your psychology. Dressing in work attire helps focus your mind and make you feel more productive. It also makes it all the sweeter to change into your pajamas at the end of a long day.
- Third, think about setting up a separate account on your computer. If you have a personal computer that you are using for work, it’s probably a good idea to make a second user that you only login to for work. Don’t install timewasting apps, games, or other software on your work “account,” and maybe even think about using website blockers to keep you on track.
Lastly, bend the rules. All of the above are great guidelines for most people, but everyone truly is different when it comes to setting up a computer in their room.
Despite the negative effects having a computer in your bedroom can cause, there may be legitimate reasons for you to try it. Having a computer in your room can go either way and it is up to you to see what works for you and what doesn’t.
However, once you let bad habits set in after having a computer in your room, it is not easy to break them. Pay attention to yourself and your work when you start experimenting with having a computer in your room so you can stop bad habits before they even begin!
Hamid Tahir is a Mechatronics Engineer and founder of WFH Overload. He is currently working from home and is dedicated to the continuous improvement of his home office setup. Hamid has extensive experience setting up workspaces and dealing with the related tech. He hopes to share his knowledge to help you create the most productive and comfortable work from home setup. Read More