Written by Lori Thiessen

I was chatting with a friend over coffee the other day and she was kind enough to ask about the “Coffee Shop Office” Project.

We discussed the fact that we “moderns” like to think of ourselves at the pinnacle of evolution whether its social, religious, political or economic. The whole notion of remote working is not really a new one.

Indulge me in a little history, will you.

Waaay back before the Industrial Revolution, many people worked from home. There were ale-makers or ale-wives, weavers, carpenters (read George Eliot’s Adam Bede for a fictionalized account of this kind of worker), even schoolteachers would often use their own homes as a place to tutor young scholars.

Then the Industrial Revolution happened and factories appeared. The villages were emptied out of its people because the wages in the factories were attractively high. However, the working conditions in many factories were appallingly low; inhuman, in fact.

In the Great Metropolis (i.e. London), coffeehouses were the place to do business during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. A number of companies that are now major corporations had their start out of a scruffy coffeehouse, like Lloyd’s of London, the insurance company. Eighteenth century entrepreneurs ran their businesses out of coffeehouses.

So now we come to our time when people are working from home or the coffee shop and they produce … stuff like the weaver of yesteryear.  Yet instead of producing sheets of handwoven linen, modern cottage/coffee shop office workers often produce sheets of information.

The circle of life or work continues.

Q: What do you like best about working from home or the coffee shop?

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll save your seat until next time!

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