Remote working is forcing changes, not only in the business settings, but to society as a whole. Our methodology comprises systematic steps to ensure efficiency, effectiveness, and practical applicability.

We employ an integrated methodology unfolding in 5 interrelated phases over 36 months


Understanding remote working arrangements and their economic, social and spatial effects

Beginning with a systematic literature review, we aim to consolidate knowledge on remote work, focusing on sectors conducive to teleworking and assessing hybrid versus fully remote work impacts on organizational behaviour. Spatial implications are explored through desk research and case studies, analysing urban-rural dynamics. Individual effects are examined regarding well-being, quality of life, and occupational health, using mixed research methods. Socio-economic impacts on communities are assessed, including changes in dynamism, spatial segregation, and tax challenges. Understanding workers’ perspectives across Europe is pursued through a large-scale survey to inform policy and business decisions regarding remote work arrangements.


Creating the R-Map model for analysing the effects of remote working on the spatial, economic and social facets of the urban-rural divide

The R-Map model integrates statistical and machine learning techniques with a co-design approach, engaging experts and utilizing participatory and quantitative methods to develop an assessment framework for remote working impacts. This model is then used to classify EU regions based on urban-rural divides across spatial, social, economic, and environmental dimensions, enabling policy development for regional and economic growth. Additionally, a taxonomy of economic and social impacts of remote working is elaborated, informed by literature review and mixed method research, to guide evidence classification and visualization within the R-Map platform.


Developing the R-Map platform as a robust tool in the hands of policy makers

The development of the R-Map platform involves translating outcomes into system specifications, identifying user needs, and integrating datasets for visualization. The platform will provide two main services: (1) Visualization of survey responses, R-Map model results, and contextual datasets, allowing policymakers to filter and compare data across demographics, time, and remote work parameters. (2) Interactive visualization of the R-Map model, enabling users to explore the effects of remote working policies and practices and simulate alternative scenarios. Overall, the platform aims to empower decision-makers with actionable insights for implementing equitable solutions.


Anticipating and evaluating the impact of remote working arrangements on the spatial, economic and social facets of the urban-rural divide

In this step, we delve into forecasting and scenario building across our six distinct use cases, including regions like Thessaloniki (Greece), Twente (Netherlands), Surrey (UK), Milan (Italy), Istanbul (Türkiye) and Vorarlberg/St. Gallen (Austria/Switzerland). Through this approach, we aim to anticipate the future impacts of remote working arrangements within urban and rural settings. By engaging stakeholders and utilizing a combination of quantitative forecasting and qualitative methods like the Delphi technique, we’ll explore potential trends and uncertainties over the next 5 to 10 years. Following this, we’ll develop exploratory scenarios to envision plausible futures, considering various driving forces and their interactions. These scenarios will inform discussions with policymakers and local actors, facilitating the co-creation of effective policy measures to address emerging challenges and opportunities. Additionally, we’ll foster mutual learning and exchange of best practices through online dialogues, involving stakeholders from within and outside the EU, to support evidence-based decision-making and enhance collaboration in navigating the impacts of remote work on the urban-rural divide.


Informing policy, dissemination and exploitation

The project aims to develop policy recommendations for local governments to support remote working arrangements in metropolitan regions, municipalities, and relevant networks. It plans to engage stakeholders to gather input and tailor recommendations accordingly. Additionally, an EU-level policy roundtable will discuss regulatory changes related to remote work. Dissemination efforts will include both online and offline activities at local, national, and international levels, leveraging synergies with complementary projects and initiatives. An Innovation and IPR Management Strategy will ensure effective exploitation and sustainability of project outcomes.