Minister for housing visits Living Lab
Per Bolund, the Swedish Minister for Financial Markets and Housing, and Deputy Minister for Finance, visited Mistra SAMS work hub in Tullinge February 21. Along with party colleagues from the Swedish Green Party in Botkyrka he discussed research results and their implications with the Mistra SAMS team.
Mistra SAMS work hub in Tullinge is part of a design-driven living lab study where participants take part in various "interventions" to try out simulations of a future with more sustainable accessibility. Having access to a professional work hub is one such intervention. Mr. Bolund and his colleagues took a brief tour around the premises in the work hub and then talked to Mistra SAMS about accessibility research and the sustainability potential of work hubs and remote work. In other projects such as the REMM (Virtual Meetings in Public Agencies) -project , CO2-emissions from work travel has gone down by as much as 25%.
One finding that Mistra SAMS has made through the work hub are that life habits "surrounding" the hub gradually change as participants get more accustomed to working in the hub. People who initially drove their car to the hub have instead started walking as they've gotten used to doing grocery shopping next to the hub on the way home, for example. Adjustment to a "local lifestyle" seems to start when participants spend an average of two days per week in the hub. About two days per week of remote work is also what previous research has shown to be people's preferred situation. Another finding from the living lab is that participants use the hub to do deep work that requires concentration and freedom from distractions. By staying out of their normal offices, they say, they can get more done.
Mistra SAMS had some policy-recommendations based on research done in the living lab and in the program as a whole. Some take-aways: the national policies for digitally enabled remote work need to be updated, and work hubs should be incorporated into urban urban planning - both in new areas and as part of the long-term sustainability transition.