Home workers of the future may be lonely and may need good local shops to provide them with a daily lift.

The Financial Times weekend runs an excellent series of lunchtime interviews with the shapers of the modern world and a recent one featured Lynda Gratton of the London Business School. As she is completing a book on the future of work she suggested the interviewer Stefan Stern should join her at home because she wanted to show that alternatives are possible.

Lunch was a takeaway from a local grocer, Melrose & Morgan. Aubergine dip at £4.95, lentil salad at £2.95, white bean salad at £3.50, roast vegetable medley at £8.25, fish pie (small) at £5.95, chicken & mushroom pie (small) at £5.95, baguette at £2, sheep’s cheese at £3.74, charcoal crackers at £2.75, sticky toffee pudding at £4.95 and a bottle of wine at £8.95. Total bill £53.94 for two people.

If this is the future of home working, then local shops near knowledge workers are going to have a good future if they get their marketing correct.

More telling perhaps was Ms Gratton’s observation that: “We live on our own in cities, and we’re lonely.” This is a demographic trend that could really help local shops. How to go about it? Find out the names of your shoppers and remember them so they feel comfortable returning to your shop.