Thinking Spatially about Home-Based Work and Workhomes

Nidhi Sohane, Gautam Bhan | 2023


Working at home is a ubiquitous practice across the globe with varying degrees of recognition and visibility subject to the context in which it is undertaken. In the Global South, even as home-based work is a dominant mode of informal urban employment, there is limited recognition and scholarship on the sites where it is undertaken and the inadequacies in which these sites are embedded. This essay seeks to provide a framework to think about the spatiality of the workhomes which are sites where users undertake activities related both to their work and the home. We argue that the particularities of cities in the Global South, which are marked by its spatial and economic informality, have specific implications on workhomes. The framework is provided by examining the spatial, material, tenurial, and infrastructural aspects across three scales – that of the individual workhome, at the sett lement scale, and at the meso-level spatial aggregations in the city. Through this, we present implications for planning and policy making to improve conditions for workhomes and those who use their homes for work.