Remote work and multilocality post-pandemic

Remote work (distansarbete, hjemmearbejde, etätyö, fjarvinna) has become common practice for many Nordic workers during the pandemic. This is expected to have lasting effects, with both workers and companies keen to maintain at least some flexibility in working conditions in the long-term.

What tools and policies are the Nordic countries using to support remote work? And how to support social, environmental and financial sustainability in the regions to create sustainable remote work policies?

Remote work affects many aspects of the society

Anecdotal evidence suggests that this flexibility could result in changes to mobility and migration patterns, for example, reducing commuting, increasing the use of second homes, and boosting the attractiveness of areas outside major cities. What is lacking, however, is concrete data to analyse the implications of these changes for Nordic urban, regional, and rural development. Nordregio’s research addresses this knowledge gap by exploring the implications of increased remote work for Nordic cities, regions, and towns.

Nordregio is currently responsible for managing three projects related to this theme, two linked to a joint effort between the three thematic groups established under the Nordic Co-operation Programme for Regional Development and Planning 2021-2024 and one commissioned by the Finnish Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2021.

Summary of the individual projects

The projects include several activities:

  • Nordic knowledge overview on remote work and multilocality will focus on defining key concepts and understanding how remote work as a form of multilocality is being approached by national policymakers and other relevant (national) actors in each country. Read publication
  • Quantitative analysis will identify emerging spatial patterns as well as inform an understanding of the potential impacts of increased remote work practices for different types of regions and municipalities. Read publication.
  • Case studies in Nordic cities, regions, and rural areas will provide an in-depth understanding of how these trends play out in practice and the strategies policymakers and planners are using to tackle the challenges, make the most of the opportunities, and manage the uncertainty associated with increased remote working. Urban-rural typology development and analysis. Read publication about smaller towns. Read publication about rural areas.
  • Knowledge-sharing activities will generate discussion and debate, informing policy recommendations which enable relevant actors to make the most of this trend for Nordic urban, regional, and rural development.