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Remote Work in Europe – the Official Report by dGen

You’ve probably noticed this, but every once in a while we like to mention how great remote work is. As a remote-first design company, we not only had to figure out how to work together successfully from various locations but actually thrive in this work setting. Our daily work processes all revolve around distributed communication because that’s the work environment we take for granted.

As distributed work advocates, we like to follow closely and often collaborate with other advocates, who are on a mission to establish telecommuting as the standard way of work by spreading know-how and making sure companies are ready for the “big shift”.

And yes – a shift in the way we do work is definitely happening. Remote working was already a growing trend when the global pandemic hit and sped up the process. What was earlier only possible for startups and smaller teams in the digital space had to be adopted by large corporations as well, which further made telecommuting into something you no longer have to explain to your parents.

You might be thinking this is another one of our rants on why being a digital nomad is awesome, but here’s why this is different. We recently got a first look at a new research report – “Remote Work in Europe, 2030” – and we’re extremely happy to share the insights.

Covid-19 launched many employees and employers into an entirely new way of working. But, long before this, the perks of remote working and digitization were driving this shift forward – albeit at a much slower pace.

Moving beyond the initial impact of remote work as a crisis response, Dutch think tank, dGen, partnered with the Norwegian video conferencing provider, Whereby (a tool we also really like) to look a decade ahead. The report, “Remote Work in Europe, 2030”, explores how remote work might impact our lives, cities, careers, and legislation.

dGen is an independent non-profit think tank focusing on how emerging technology can contribute to a decentralized future in Europe and what this might mean for people, society, private entities, and the public sector over the coming decades.

Based on the overview, dGen predicts for the coming decade that:

  • By 2030, 27% of the workforce in major European cities will have the option to work fully remotely or will leave the big cities.
  • 10 regions or countries in Europe will offer extra incentives to attract remote workers over the next decade as a primary means of boosting local economies.
  • By 2030, more than 50% of remote workers will have more than one job and split their time between multiple companies.
  • Remote workers will have the same rights and access to social benefits as traditional employees by 2025 across the European Union.
  • The European Union will launch an opt-in pan-European pension scheme over the next ten years.

Here’s a link to the full report.

Major changes in this field have already begun, driven at a breakneck pace by the challenges posed by Covid-19. These changes will not simply disappear when we are no longer in a crisis, though. 54% of managers are planning on keeping remote working options as a standard policy and Germany is debating a bill that guarantees applicable employees the right to remote work.

This change in how we formulate our lives could revolutionize the quality of life. But, while remote workers have access to greater choice and flexibility, freelancers – a large portion of remote workers – lack many basic legal and social benefits. Moving forward, could the EU lead the world in providing some of the best remote worker rights? We sure hope so.

Even though we clearly felt that remote work is becoming the new norm, we honestly weren’t expecting such a generous forecast in favor of working remotely. After all, 1/3 of the workforce is an enormous number of people and this will definitely have an impact, not only on the way we work but also on how we meet people, network, and even how we build cities.

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