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The global economy has experienced several recessions since the industrial revolution, however, the current recession is unique in many respects.
Previous recessions affected traditional industry and resulted in large populations finding themselves out of work and with no hope of future employment.
In the modern landscape the recession looks very different. The economy is in recession but we are not seeing massive migrations of people searching for work in new towns.
It seems that Walter Christaller’a theories and predictions were indeed correct, although he did not fully appreciate how his theories would manifest themselves in reality when he first started to discuss the idea of Central Place Theory in 1966.
Central Place Theory
Central Place Theory predicted that as infrastructure and communications improved there would no longer be a need for people to live in urban centres to prosper.
Although there are still millions of people migrating to cities every week across the developing world the developed world has seen a resurgence in country living in recent years.
This has been made possible by advancements in transport and communications, just as Christaller predicted.
These advancements have also worked to disperse the unemployed masses as well as provide new opportunities.
Improvements on Connectivity
Improvements in food manufacturing mean that a wide variety of produce can be delivered quickly and efficiently across the entire country.
Businesses can now stay connected with customers and suppliers via the Internet as well as telephone so that business centres have become more dispersed.
Rise Of The Satellite Office
The last 25 years has seen a huge increase in out-of-town business parks which provide spacious and hi-tech offices to businesses who used to work out of cramped and often inadequate spaces in city centres.
For many businesses this has enabled them to make significant cost reductions.
Emergence Of Working Remotely
However, in recent years a new phenomena have emerged in business – more people are now being given the opportunity to work from home.
For a business this has major benefits because staffing can be increased as demand rises without the need to increase office space.
Many staff are also happy to take a small reduction in pay in return for the privilege of working from home.
For employees, working from home means zero commuting costs, reduced food bills and a more efficient use of their time.
This form of working from home and using computers and the Internet has been coined telecommuting.
The fastest growing telecommuting roles at the moment are in the fields of freelance data entry, accountancy, business consulting and customer services.
Now that Internet is available to every household and business by a combination of cabled services and satellite internet providers everybody has an equal opportunity to telecommute.
Most of America, Canada and Europe has access to fast Internet now which means that every person with a computer and the required skills can telecommute.
Each year more and more people are using this new technology to set up their own businesses at home or freelance for other companies and many people have managed to not only survive this current recession but thrive as a result.
Finally the age of urbanization has come to and end and Christaller’s vision of a dispersed but well-connected people has come to fruition.
This is a guest post by Tim Jackson. Tim thinks that technology can often have a negative effect on employment, such as machinery replacing tasks that were once manual jobs done by humans, but feels the internet has had a positive impact for businesses on the whole. He is also a Technology Writer and Product Tester for satellite internet provider Bentley-Walker.Photo Courtesy Of HockeyBrad
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