Samuel Pepys 'was original teleworker' -- BBC
- Samuel Pepys 'was original teleworker'
By Martin Shankleman, Work correspondent, BBC News
His diaries provide an intimate glimpse of London 350 years ago, but
there's an uncannily modern ring to one aspect of Samuel Pepys' life -
Indeed, one leading expert, Frank Duffy, claims that Pepys enjoyed
such freedom in his job as naval administrator, he was "like a modern
Mr Duffy, an architect and academic, has analysed Pepys' work patterns.
He concludes that "Pepys was a very mobile person indeed, in terms of
the geographical freedom in which he operated in London".
He would begin the day at his official home near the Tower of London,
then typically go to his office next door.
He frequently had to travel to Deptford dockyard on naval business.
But he would devote much of his time to visiting Whitehall, where he
met his patrons and the aristocrats on whose influence his career
In between appointments, Pepys met friends and colleagues in taverns
and on the streets.
"He spent a lot of time eating and talking to people," according to Mr
Duffy. "He worked extremely hard, but he was fluid and mobile in the
way that teleworkers are in the 21st Century."
A study published by Microsoft last week said that staff should be
allowed to work from their ideal location rather than endure the
commute into work, as people do not have to be "chained" to their
A psychologist commented: "We can all complete work obligations
without being in the office."
And ironically, that is precisely the freedom enjoyed by Pepys in the
1660s. According to Mr Duffy, there is "an interesting resonance
between his career and pattern of work, as a high civil servant, where
he enjoyed freedoms that are just now being made available to millions".
EXTRACTS OF PEPYS' WORKING DAY
26 September 1660: Spends morning in office with Surveyor and
Comptroller of Navy. Drinks a "cupp of Tee" for first time. Takes
barge to Deptford dockyard to pay for ship. "At the Globe we had a
very good dinner." Back by barge to City. Coach to Westminster to
inquire on his Lord's health. Home by coach.
4 October 1660: Looked over papers in office alone. Visited by naval
officer. "I took him along with me to a little alehouse" by the office.
15 March 1662: Went to Whitehall to wait on the Duke to get money for
the Navy. Then back to the office. Went to the Royal Exchange to try
and hire a ship. Lunch at home. All afternoon in office, writing
business letters, home to bed.
24 November 1664: Spent morning in office answering people. Leaves at
noon with Naval Commissioner to visit Coffee House, to drink
"jocolatte" which was "very good". Coach to Westminster.
27 June 1666: Begins day at office. Then down river, to see vessels to
transport troops to the fleet. Back to the office "for my papers".
Then to St James Palace to see Duke of York, King's younger brother.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2008/01/06 15:54:57 GMT
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