Working from home is not new. Until the industrial revolution, most economic activities took place within the household. With industrialisation, the household remained a site of production, and employers outsourced tasks to homeworkers under the putting-out system.

The problem for the employer was the lack of control over the pace of work. The factory emerged as the solution; workers now had to travel to the factory and clock in. Though production became spatially separated from reproduction, they were tightly interlinked. As time became a commodity, the early struggles of factory workers were over the length of the working day...

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