With working at home becoming more and more popular as a result of Covid-19, we’re now wondering whether WFH will become the New Normal – and whether the question “Good day at the office, dear?” will now be consigned to the footnotes of history.
Contrary to what you might think, WFH is, in fact, the Old Normal. Until very recently – as late as the late-eighteenth century, in fact – most people worked from home. There was no such thing as going out to the office, factory or other external site. Any kind of industry – piecework, manual or professional – was carried out at home, blurring the boundaries between personal and business life.
Take merchant banker Gianfrancesco Amidani who lived in sixteenth-century Lombardy and set up his ‘bank’ in a room in his house. Just 12ft by 9ft, Amidani shared the room with his cashier Cornelio,