Helio will develop a concept for future sustainable offices together with Mälardalen University. We’re constantly looking at how offices will develop and how the pandemic has pointed out many things that make offices of today impractical.

“What will the office be like after the pandemic? That’s the question on our minds now. If no one needs to go to the office, the office needs to be that much better than your kitchen table, so that it’s worth it to ride the metro or train to get there. Today, Helio offices focus on wellness, health, learning and social interaction – but what’s the next step?” The words of Eric Spongberg, product developer at Helio.

The entire press release about the collaboration: 

Together with 8 business, researchers at Mälardalen University will create a concept for the future of sustainable offices.

– We will develop a concept that supports a healthy work life and is sustainable, says Katarina Bälter – project manager and professor in public health science.

Lifestyle related diseases, like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer are rising in Sweden. All the while, our planet’s health declines as we stand in front of a potential climate crisis. As around 60% of people work at offices and spend most of their waking hours there, offices are an important arena to health-supporting work.

– Future offices should encourage movement and good eating habits as well as sustainability. It’s good for the health of the workers, the businesses and for the planet, says Katarina Bälter.

The project has been divided into several semi-projects. One of the semi-projects concerns the way the Swedish wellness allowance is used today and how it can be used in the future in a way that allows workers to partake in healthy activities while at work, instead of during their free time. In this semi-project, there will also be a study on sustainable lifestyles at work.

– As the retirement age increases, more seniors need to stay at work. That’s why it’s important that the food that’s served at the workplace is good, healthy and sustainable. In order to encourage movement, it’s important that physical activities are supported, both at work and on the way to and from work, with for example good parking for bikes, says Katarina Bälter.

The second semi-study is about green office work. The goal is to develop a concept for sustainable office work in green environments both inside and outside.

– Being in green environments leads to less stress and a faster recovery, says Susanna Toivainen – professor in sociology and semi-project leader

The final semi-study includes the results from surveys answered by 50 000 people in working ages. They have answered questions about their lifestyles and work life. Additionally, around 25 000 of these have undergone a health check-up, which makes it possible to study how people who work in offices feel and live.

Financed with 12 million SEK

Businesses who joined the collaboration are Castellum, Helio, NAAVA, NCC, Matters Group, Tenant and Partner, GoToWork and Stargo.

– All partners are interested in creating workplaces that support good health, creativity and sustainability, says Katarina Bälter.

The project Concepts for the Sustainable Office of the Future (SOFCO) is financed by Kunskapsstiftelsen (KKS) with 12 million SEK and will last for 4 years.

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