Remote work, a new marketing argument for rural communities

Why come and settle in Never? To sell its land in post-pandemic France, the county council has an argument ready: telecommuting. According to its own gravity program called “Try Nièvre”, this rural section in western Burgundy will be “Perfect destination” To work remotely while you are at the same time Two hours from Paris and Lyon. And the Closer to nature.

To get disillusioned D.C. residents to realize this, Nivernais doesn’t do things in half. At the beginning of July, 15 families selected from among 170 candidates were offered fully paid accommodation to discover local treasures, such as Morvan Regional Nature Park or the bike path along the Nevers Canal. This initiative, which has been repeated four times since 2020, has already convinced seven families to relocate and about two dozen other facilities are in the pipeline.

thriving dynamic

Whether it is to try to breathe new life into their area or to surf on an existing dynamic, communication campaigns multiply around remote work. Previously, we were in the proactive process of raising awareness. Today, it is the communities of the municipalities or the municipalities that ask us “, Summarizes Dominique Valentine, founding president of Relais d’entreprises, a network that works in favor of rebalancing the territory, in particular by promoting remote work in rural areas.

“Already before Covid, when we saw returning executives wanting to go green in local areas, rural communities sought to support this dynamic. Those who didn’t do it then are doing it now.” Sébastien Gouttebel, vice-president of the Association of Mayors in Rural France and mayor of Morol, frequents the Puy-de-Dôme.

This acceleration is stronger as elected local officials can count on state support such as the €3 billion “Small Cities of Tomorrow” program for 2020-2026 that aims to support cities with fewer than 20,000 inhabitants. their development projects.

Fiber and third centers

Most often, this ambition translates into investments in favor of fiber or the creation of free third places with offices connected to broadband. Our network of one hundred places is coming together, and we expect to see about forty places open in the coming months. Most of the time, these are old public buildings that have been reassigned by municipalities ”, Dominic Valentine summarizes.

Murul and its 580 inhabitants are the emblematic example. While the village, at the foot of the Puy de Sansi River, is already experiencing a boom in activity thanks to tourism, the mayor is seeking a seduction after the summer.. “In the fall, the old municipal treasury will turn into third place Where leisure activities and a connected “co-working” space coexist. The idea was to have a place for tourists who don’t leave companiestheir work slowly and for the newcomers working in Issoire or Clermont-Ferrand”, Sebastian Gotebbel summarizes. Fiber, for its part, will be fully deployed in the winter.

The importance of social contact

For new remote workers, these three places have both practical and social concerns. “When I arrived in Loser, I didn’t know many people, going to the tech center allowed me to make friends. Today, I have everything I need to work at home, but I still go there one or two days a week to get the social connection,” Says Sidonie, CEO of a digital simulation company, which has been established since 2019 in Florac, a sub-prefecture of Loser.

The case for this pioneering division – the decision to link the region to places for teleworking dating back to 2011 – also shows that telecommuting alone is not a sufficient argument for identifying candidates for installation. “The situation has improved in recent years with the arrival of nomadic workers (1), but the results of the contract are still mixed. Many people have taken the first step to settling but never complete the process, especially due to our excessive distance from urban areas and work areas,” We trust alongside Lozère Development, the department’s gravity agency.

Nothing surprising for Sebastian Gotebbel, who believes that telecommuting has more of an unexpected effect than anything else: “Having a space with optical fibers and a 4G network is a necessity, but that is not all. What allows the installation today is to have a good offer of services, first of all, school and health. »

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More people in medium-sized cities

the people Medium-sized cities (from 10,000 to 100,000 inhabitants) increased by 2.56% between 2013 and 2019.

It just increased from 1.6% between 2008 and 2013.

This is dynamic This is due more to the birth rate of families residing in medium-sized cities than to new arrivals.

If it attracts medium-sized cities Residents of big cities, they see more of their residents moving to smaller cities.

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