HORIZON EUROPE FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME┋Remote working arrangements and their economic, social and spatial effects



Expected Outcome

Projects should contribute to some of the following expected outcomes:

  • Better understanding of the spatial implications of increased remote working and its challenges for different regions, including urban and rural areas.
  • Increased understanding on the impact of remote working arrangements on the living and working conditions, including health and safety at work, work-life balance and consequences of cross-border working.
  • Better understanding of the possible consequences to communal life and society.
  • Recommendations to help urban and rural areas to shape the trends of remote working cope with the challenges and seize the opportunities.


Remote working arrangements have considerably increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, giving a new perspective to a long ongoing debate on a solution which before was primarily an opportunity to improve employees’ work-life balance.

This phenomenon has the potential to decentralise jobs away from metropolitan areas creating opportunities for both urban and rural areas, including for the less favoured regions. For urban areas, it has, on one hand, the potential to alleviate housing prices and air quality. On the other hand, it can, at the same, change the urban landscape, notably regarding the occupation of buildings and their usage in areas where enterprises may switch completely to remote work arrangements. For rural areas, it can create more dynamism and attract necessary investments, including for essential services such as health care and transport. Moreover, rural areas tend to concentrate key sectors for the green transition, such as agriculture and clean energy production, for which attracting skilled, remote workers could affect particular challenges faced by rural areas, such as an ageing population and skills shortage. Simultaneously, increased attractiveness can also have a negative impact for the local community, for instance due to housing price increase and create pressure over existing infrastructure, as well as accelerate agricultural land take.

Not all workers can enjoy the benefits of working from home: it is estimated that only approximately 37% of EU-27 workers are in occupations that can be carried out from home. This could aggravate existing spatial segregation and inequalities. Moreover, remote work can significantly change working conditions and affect the health and safety of workers. In addition, employees whose workplace is in a different country than the place of employment may face complications regarding social security and taxation. Finally, the interlinkages of remote working with care duties can deteriorate the work-life-balance and possibly accentuate existing gender gaps.

Research should investigate how remote working arrangements can affect different spaces, focusing on the urban and rural divide and its impacts on the local communities, including on ethical and social aspects, employment, as well as on administration and infrastructures.

It should further research how remote working arrangements impact working conditions, notably health and safety of workers, the skills divide, working time, work-life balance and broader social impacts, including family and care arrangements, as well as mental health and loneliness.

Research activities should also evaluate the consequences of remote working on already existing inequalities, including gender inequality. They should forecast the development of the remote working trend and should identify populations benefitting and populations who run the risk of losing out.

As remote working is a phenomenon affecting societies on all levels, an outlook and policy recommendations should target policymakers on EU level as well as Member States’, Associated Countries’ and regional/local authorities.

Clustering and cooperation with other selected projects under this call and other relevant projects are strongly encouraged. Finally, the topic should contribute to the EU Rural Vision.

Date de candidature
Humanités : Anthropologie & Ethnologie, Architecture et urbanisme, Philosophie, théologie et religion
Sciences sociales : Démographie, Droit, Economie, Géographie, Gestion et administration publique, Identités, genre et sexualités, Psychologie et sciences cognitives, Relations internationales, Science politique, Sciences de l'information et de la communication, Sciences environnementales, Sociologie