The pandemic has accelerated the use of new technologies that enable telework (in various forms) and has impacted on the functioning of cities. The IRSmart project asks questions about how telework trends will shape employment relations and the lives of our local communities.
At the beginning of September, we launched an international research project on different forms of telework covering France, Spain, Poland, Romania and Italy. The COVID-19 pandemic forced some workers to work from home using digital tools of remote communication, which meant an unprecedented increase in the market share of this form of work and the need to find new forms of work organisation adapted to the new situation. With telework, working conditions changed and new problems emerged, e.g.: longer working hours, working non-standard hours and blurring boundaries between life and work, greater difficulty in combining work and caring responsibilities - especially during periods when schools and childcare facilities are closed. Most countries also lacked adequate legislation to respond to these and other challenges. Legislation is currently under way in this area. The introduction of a right to disconnect in EU countries is also under discussion.
Work mediated by new technologies - provided from anywhere and at any time - also affects the functioning of local communities, cities and whole regions, not only in times of the pandemic. The project also aims to explore the impact of new remote forms of work on the sustainability of cities and regions - especially in the context of social dialogue.
The IRSmart project partners met on 8 October to discuss the methodology and work plan for the two-year project. The Institute of Public Affairs will be responsible for coordinating the research module "Smart work and work organisation: working conditions and internal labour markets". ISP was represented at the meeting by Dominik Owczarek and Maciej Pankow.
More about the project
Funding: DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission