Everything used to happen in the home. Children were taught by the parents or a governess. Pots and pans, medicine, and vacuum cleaners were bought from door to door salesmen. Babies were born at home. Departed loved ones were laid out in the parlor. Doctors paid visits for mumps and fevers and measles. Business came to you; you got to stay put.
The last fifty years have seen a marked change in this area. Now, if we want to buy something, we have to get up, get out, and leave the comfort of our home. We go to the doctor. We drive to school. The focus of human interaction shifted from the personal one-on-one interactions of our living rooms to receptionists and waiting areas. Just recently, however, the focus has started to shift again–back into the home. What was once the center of life is starting to become the center again. Both the internet, and our growing desire for comfort, has launched some things straight back into our living room.
It only took about fifty years before women decided they’d like to keep having babies in their homes. While the number of US home-births don’t exceed hospital births, home births are rising again in popularity. Apparently there’s something irresistible about our own beds, our own houses. And while most doctors still don’t come to you, a growing option for in-home care can keep you or a sick loved one comfortable while receiving treatment. Even out-of-home care aims for a home-like environment, as certain cancer care centers from New Jersey to Oregon model themselves as home-bases for their patients. It didn’t take us long as humans to realize that we prefer to be cared for somewhere familiar.
The internet has also opened up options for what we can do at home. Christmas shopping is being done online. A broken can-opener gets replaced in two days by a quick click on Amazon. Not only shopping, but even work is being done by more and more people at home, as the freelancing community grows. It’s estimated that 40% of business will be done at home by freelancers in the next decade. One of the biggest home advantages of internet, however, is schooling. You can get anything from an online nursing degree to an online project management degree, all from your desk at home. Online options don’t just add convenience; they could also change the shape of your future.
Some things never change, and like the middle ages or the 1930s, the focus of business and health care is starting to shift back into our homes. In the end, it shows a beautiful little thing about humanity. We like each other. We want to stick with our family. We want it personal.