Sweden now encourages workers to pack their remote working setup and have an unforgettable workcation in close to nature accommodation without compromising on internet connectivity. In a newly conducted case study, wellbeing increased with 22% as participants felt less depressed and more calm, harmonious and happy when working and living close to nature. Now Sweden hopes to boost workers' mental health in a time where remote is working increasingly taking a toll on many people's wellbeing.
Swedish researches have investigated the benefits of the new popular workation travel trend which combines work with a vacation. Travelling less often and in return staying longer reduces the negative impact on the environment and a workation could therefor provide a sustainable alternative for people growing tired of working remotely from their home.
A new case study was preformed to illustrate the previous scientific findings from both Swedish and International reseach that has shown that exposure to a natural environment is beneficial for our health in many ways . The study was conducted in co-operation with researchers from Sweden's single largest centre of medical academic research and one of the world's foremost medical universities, Karolinska Institutet. The case study covered two weeks and included five people 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. The study showed that mental helth and well-being increased by 22% as participants felt less depressed and more calm, harmonious and happy. Percived stress decreased by 48% among the participants after the week spent in nature. In addition, 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.
"We are excited about the positive results from this case study, which shows the possible implications nature can have on our worklife. Even though we should be careful to draw too big a conclusion 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, as they are called, includes some of the best workation accommodation options across Sweden. They are spread across the country and are all unique in their own way. No matter if they are located in the archipelago or in the forest, they all offer a close proximity to Swedish nature and beautiful scenery for calm and creative days, while also being fully equipped to suit a work-from-home lifestyle.
"This last year has accelerated the development of workation travels. We think that this is a travel trend that is perfectly suited for the time we are living in at the moment, 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.
Facts from the case study:
According to the results, there are clear signs that the study participants felt 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) by 44%.
More information about the Out of Office Offices: visitsweden.com/where-to-stay/workation/
About the study
The case study was conducted over two weeks, between May 30 to June 13 2021 and included five participants. The participants was between 20 and 35 years of age and had a job that allowed them to work remotely at the time of the case study. The case study used a combination of quantitative methods in order to investigate the participant's health, sleeping patterns and physical activity. 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, by themselves, measured blood pressure every morning and evening by using an automatic blood pressure monitor. On two occasions the participants also filled in several short forms of different self-assessment tests where the status of their current wellbeing was examined.