Beyond the City Limits: Possibilities and uncertainties of remote work

The pandemic posed a shift in work culture and normalised remote work. With the freedom to turn down the urban office setting, workers are presented opportunities for compatible career and lifestyle choices in rural and small-town settings. 

As we navigate this work-life balance renaissance, questions arise: 

  • How can you, as planners and policymakers, navigate and potentially benefit from this shift?  
  • How can remote work opportunities be integrated into existing strategies to remain relevant today, tomorrow, and ten years into the future?  
  • What implications does remote work have on social, economic and environmental sustainability? 

The shift to remote work has impacted our perception of place and mobility, introducing new needs and challenges. By uncovering how this has changed the work-life balance, planners can use this trend to plan for communities that not only attract but also retain residents. 

As this is a moving target, we understand that there may be more questions than answers, so we invite you, as Nordic planners and policymakers, to engage with us in dialogue – to not only observe the change, but to use its opportunities.  

Between 10 – 11 CET on 20 February, we presented case studies of Nordic smaller towns and rural areas and their approach to remote work opportunities. Possibilities and uncertainties in working life trends, demographic development and planning was discussed. 

Webinar agenda: 

  • Opening
  • Small Town Case Studies: Insights by Anna Granath Hansson. Read the report here.
  • Rural Area Case Studies: Examination by Ágúst Bogason. Read the report here.
  • Conclusions: Final thoughts and wrap-up.