The Return of the Cottage Industry: Working from Home

Change and Uncertainty

Before the industrial revolution in America and Europe, manufacturing of goods often took place on a small scale in the homes of common people. The term: cottage industry refers to this type of production within the home environment. Workers would use small machines or hand-tools to produce items for sale. It was then commonplace for people to make their own clothes.

Merchants would provide the raw materials, and any equipment needed for the manufacturing process. They would return later to collect the merchandise, and then arrange to sell it. When mechanization occurred, small rural communities were transformed into industrial ones. People found that goods were higher quality, and more readily available. Therefore, most favored the new production methods, and the new products on the market.

Global Depression

Today, with the global economic depression continuing to impact, there are different employment opportunities available. The US employment market is starting to show signs of recovery. Globally, (due to less jobs being available) many people are making attempts at working in their own homes. Virtual goods can easily be traded online and the internet affords vital social-networking possibilities for job hunters.

Remote Workers

Those who have marketable skills are trading them, using the internet as a tool. It seems that a cottage industry is a viable business option once again. Although freelance workers have no long-term job security they are able to utilize and hone valuable hard-earned skills in the short-term. This prepares them for greater employment prospects in the future. It is a time for consolidating talents and to think about acquiring new ones.

Outsourcing and Freelancing

Many companies find it easy to outsource their workload to cheaper freelance service providers. Employers have the opportunity to try out services, without having to make permanent employment commitments. This is convenient at a time of extreme financial instability, and uncertainty for the future. The cottage industry has returned, in the form of an outsourced resource, or freelance individual.


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