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Location, location, location

What does the evolving digital world mean for where and when we work?
In a digital economy, it’s not just about what jobs will be in demand, but where they will actually be located. They could move within the physical world, or from the physical to the digital world, or come to span them both.

For example, centralised industrial hubs could reduce or disappear from the landscape. This raises a potential problem, as when jobs are lost in a region people tend not to move with the jobs. This may be due to the restrictions of property ownership, children in school, a working partner, proximity of friends and family and so on. In the UK the average commute to work is less than fifteen kilometres.

Consequently, the worker of the future may not only need to be a lifelong learner of new skills, but may also need to be flexible about where they work too – or join the ‘gig economy’ in their local region as a self-employed worker, (more on this later). This type of work can offer convenience in terms of working hours, but also uncertainty of income and little in the way of benefits such as insurance or pension.

How far have you been prepared to travel / or would you be prepared to travel for the right job? Is this becoming less of an issue with developments in technology, or do the social constraints mentioned above still apply?

© University of Exeter
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