Sweden’s New Initiative ‘Out of Office Office’ Offers Remote Workers Offices in Nature

Sweden now encourages workers to bag-check their remote setup and have an unforgettable workcation in accommodations close to nature without compromising on internet connectivity. In a newly conducted case study, well-being increased by 22% as participants felt less depressed and more calm, harmonious and happy when working and living close to nature. Through the Out of Office Office initiative, Sweden hopes to boost workers’ mental health in a time where remote working increasingly is taking a toll on many people’s well-being.


Photo credit: Tina Stafrén/Visit Sweden

Swedish researchers have investigated the benefits of the new popular workcation travel trend, which combines work with vacation. The study stretched two weeks and included five persons who were monitored when working from their usual home office for one week and then at an accommodation close to nature, just outside the capital of Stockholm, for another week. Aside from showing that mental health and well-being increased by 22% as participants felt less depressed and more calm, harmonious and happy, the study also found that perceived stress decreased by 48% among the participants after the week spent in nature. Sleep quality also improved; the participants fell asleep 51% faster and had a better quality of sleep with longer periods of uninterrupted sleep when working from their nature offices.  

The study was performed to illustrate the previous scientific findings by both Swedish and other international research organizations that show that exposure to the natural environment is beneficial in many ways for overall health. It was conducted in collaboration with researchers from Sweden’s single largest center for medical academic research and one of the world’s foremost medical universities – 
Karolinska Institutet. “We are excited about the positive results from this case study, which shows the possible implications nature can have on our work life. Even though we should be careful to draw too big conclusions from the study, the results are in line with previous research and clearly indicate the positive impact nature can have on our wellbeing,” says Mare Löhmus Sundström, Associate Professor and Affiliated Researcher at Institute of Environmental Medicine at Karolinska Institutet.

The Out of Office Offices include some of the best workcation accommodations in Sweden. The accommodations are spread across the country and are all individually unique. No matter if they are located in the archipelago or in the woods, they all offer a closeness to Swedish nature and beautiful scenery for calm and creative days, while also being fully equipped to suit a work-from-home lifestyle.

“Last year has accelerated the development of workcation travels. We think that this is a travel trend that is perfectly suited for the time we are living in, and perfect for Sweden, a country with lots of accessible nature escapes - even in urban areas. The benefits of working close to nature are numerous - something that our case study also confirms,” says Nils Persson, Chief Officer, Marketing and Communications at Visit Sweden.

As of Monday, September 6, Sweden has followed the EU’s most recent recommendation to not allow travelers from the US into the country. However, the Swedish government is currently looking at the possibility of exempting vaccinated travelers, and as regulations continue to change, we ask you to refer to Sweden’s
emergency information website krisinformation.se for the most up-to-date travel restrictions.

 

Facts From the Case Study
According to the results, there are clear signs that the study participants feel mentally better during the experiment period than during the working week before.
  • The participants perceived stress decreased by 48% while cognitive stress decreased by 50%.
  • Well-being increased by 22% as the participants felt less depressed and more calm, harmonious and happy.
  • Overall vitality increased by 27% as participants felt more alert, energetic and strong.
  • The participants slept more efficient. Participants fell asleep 51% faster and each sleep bout (contiguous period of sleep) lasted in average 23% longer.
  • Significant decrease of depressive symptoms (such as inertia, general concern and lack of interest) with 44%.
 

More information about Out of Office Office visit: visitsweden.com/where-to-stay/workation/

High resolution press images can be downloaded here. Photo credit: Tina Stafrén/Visit Sweden

For further information, please contact: Melinda Martino, Senior PR Manager, 917 340 9330, melinda.martino@visitsweden.com
 

ABOUT THE STUDY
The research study was conducted over two weeks, between between May 30 to June 13 and included five participants. The participants were between 20 to 35 years old and had jobs that allowed them to work remotely at the time of the study. The study used a combination of quantitative methods in order to investigate the participant’s health, sleeping patterns, and physical activity. During the study participants wore specific equipment in form of MotionWatch8 (CamNtech Ltd, UK), which recorded their movements every 15 seconds and also collected sleep parameters. Participants, themselves, measured blood pressure each morning and evening using an automatic blood pressure monitor. At two occasions the participants also filled in several short forms of different self-assessment test where the status of their current well-being was examined.

 

Visit Sweden is a communications company promoting Sweden as a destination and as a brand. Our vision is to create a desire for Sweden, to encourage more foreign travelers to travel there. We are present in 10 countries worldwide and combines local presence with market-wide communication. Visit Sweden is equally owned by the Swedish Government through the Ministry of Enterprise & Innovation and the Swedish Tourism Industry through Svensk Turism AB.

Subscribe