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WORKANDHOME – Reshaping society and space: home-based self-employment and businesses
Client:European Commission/ European Research Council (ERC) “Starting Grants“
Partner(s):University of Southampton/ Department of Geography and Environment; Utrecht University/ Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning
Time frame:10/2015 – 09/2020

European and other developed countries have seen a dramatic change in how people work, live and do business. Stable employment careers are replaced by ‘portfolio careers’ – sequences of different jobs including multiple job holding and self-employment. At the same time the boundaries between work and home domains are blurring. Accordingly, the project explores how changes in work organization shape neighbourhoods and cities.

Self-employment and microbusinesses are increasing due to three processes: ubiquity of information and communication technologies, projectification of work and operational processes, out-sourcing strategies of large companies as well as the request for greater flexibility by the employed people. In “WORKANDHOME – Reshaping society and space: home-based self-employment and businesses” we explore home-based self-employed workers and business owners (HBB) and how home-based self-employment is currently reshaping society and space.

The overall aim of the project under the leadership of Dr Darja Reuschke, University of Southampton, is to develop a new conceptual framework for understanding current fundamental changes of work that situates individuals as economic actors within the context of their wider life domains, household, home and neighbourhood.

Therefore, WORKANDHOME uses a mixed methods approach with quantitative analyses, in-depth interviews with HBBs, visual methods as well as analyses which are based on GPS meta data and social media data. This enables us to take a deeper look at the social and economic drivers, residential choices, social networks, everyday geographies and local embeddedness of HBBs.

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