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Petersson Troije, CharlotteORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0003-4312-6351
Publications (6 of 6) Show all publications
Petersson Troije, C. (2024). Turning Work Inside Out: Exploring Outdoor Office Work. (Doctoral dissertation). Västerås: Mälardalens universitet
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Turning Work Inside Out: Exploring Outdoor Office Work
2024 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Why don't we usually work outdoors? While some professions require it, most white-collar workers remain indoors, sedentary, and screen-bound. Yet, the potential benefits of outdoor work on health, well-being, learning, and creativity are significant and underexplored, especially given the demands of today's knowledge-intensive work life. The aim of this thesis is to explore the potential of integrating the outdoors into everyday work life by bringing office work outdoors. To accomplish this, the thesis identifies ways by which the potential of outdoor office work may be enabled, in this case through an interactive research approach. This exploration was conducted through the ‘StickUt Malmö’ interactive research project, the Danish ‘Pop Out!’ project, and an interview study within the project ‘Concepts for the Sustainable Office of the Future’, culminating in four papers and a final discussion. 

In ‘Outdoor Office Work – An Interactive Research Project Showing the Way Out’ (Paper I) it was shown that a range of work activities could be brought outdoors, both individually and collaboratively, and that outdoor office work (OOW) was associated with experiences of well-being, recovery, autonomy, enhanced cognition, better communication, and social relations, but also with feelings of guilt and illegitimacy. Conditions of importance were found in the physical environment, and in the organizational culture, and not the least concerned managers’ attitudes towards OOW, and to autonomy and trust in general. 

In ‘Greenspace as Workplace – Benefits, Challenges and Essentialities in the Physical Environment’ (Paper II) insights into key aspects of the physical environment relevant for the experienced benefits and challenges of workers exploring OOW were captured through the themes of Simplicity, Safeness, Comfort and Contact with Nature, whereas Sociality, Well-being, and Functioning stood out as the main experienced benefits, and Digital dependency and Illegitimacy as challenges to overcome. 

Based on an interview study with white-collar workers practicing OOW on a regular basis, a conceptual framework was developed and presented in ‘Unlocking the Transformative Potential of Outdoor Office Work – A Constructivist Grounded Theory Study’ (Paper III). The categories practicing outdoor office work, challenging the taken-for-granted, enjoying freedom and disconnection, feeling connected and interdependent, promoting health and well-being, enhancing performance, and finally, adding a dimension, make up ‘The Lotus of Outdoor Office Work’; a model visualizing the experienced benefits and challenges of OOW, highlighting the dynamic relationship between the practice of working outdoors on one hand, and how this challenges the system in which white-collar work traditionally takes place, on the other.

Through a combined theoretical and case discussion in ‘Critical Interaction – Challenging Dualisms by Bringing Office Work Outdoors’ (Paper IV), the possibilities and circumstances under which an interactive research approach may be critical and contribute to learning and knowledge development in the context of exploring OOW was elaborated upon. It was concluded that an interactive research approach can do so by challenging taken-for-granted dualisms, being critical with support from closeness as well as distance, engaging in both action and reflection, and by encompassing both practical and academic interests and outcomes. 

In conclusion, exploring OOW is a relevant and sustainable way to enhance work life. However, challenges exist, such as the need for a supportive outdoor environment and an organizational culture that values trust and autonomy. The primary challenge lies in societal norms that separate mind and body, perpetuating the belief that white-collar work is incompatible with physical activity. The exploration of OOW turns ideas about work inside out, revealing that only certain activities are traditionally recognized as ‘work’.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalens universitet, 2024
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 405
Keywords
Outdoor office work, Interactive Research, Human-nature relation, Sustainable work life, Work norms, Urban greenspace
National Category
Social Sciences Work Sciences
Research subject
Working Life Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-66327 (URN)978-91-7485-640-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2024-05-17, Gamma och digitalt via Zoom, Mälardalens universitet, Västerås, 09:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2024-04-03 Created: 2024-04-02 Last updated: 2024-04-26Bibliographically approved
Petersson Troije, C., Lisberg Jensen, E., Redmalm, D. & Wiklund, L. (2024). Unlocking the Transformative Potential of Outdoor Office Work: A Constructivist Grounded Theory Study. Challenges, 15(2), 25-25
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Unlocking the Transformative Potential of Outdoor Office Work: A Constructivist Grounded Theory Study
2024 (English)In: Challenges, E-ISSN 2078-1547, Vol. 15, no 2, p. 25-25Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

White-collar workers around the world are reconfiguring their ways of working. Some have found their way out, performing office work outdoors, through walk-and-talks, outdoor meetings, or reading sessions. Working outdoors has proved both invigorating and challenging. This qualitative interview study aims to develop a conceptual framework concerning the implications of white-collar workers incorporating the outdoors into their everyday work life. Applying a constructivist grounded theory approach, 27 interviews with a total of 15 participants were systematically analyzed. Findings evolved around the following categories: practicing outdoor office work, challenging the taken-for-granted, enjoying freedom and disconnection, feeling connected and interdependent, promoting health and well-being, enhancing performance, and finally adding a dimension to work. These categories were worked into a conceptual model, building on the dynamic relationship between the practice of working outdoors on one hand, and how this challenges the system in which office work traditionally takes place on the other. Interviews reflected the profound learning process of the employees. Drawing on the concepts of free space and resonance, we demonstrate how performing office work outdoors may unlock a transformative potential by opening up connectedness and interdependence and contribute to a sustainable work life as well as overall sustainable development.

Keywords
sustainable work life; outdoor office work; nature contact; constructivist grounded theory; free space; resonance; health and well-being; inner development; sustainable development
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Working Life Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-66600 (URN)10.3390/challe15020025 (DOI)
Projects
Concepts for the Sustainable Office of the Future
Funder
Knowledge Foundation, 20200068
Available from: 2024-05-13 Created: 2024-05-13 Last updated: 2024-05-13Bibliographically approved
Lygum, V. L., Dupret, K., Bentsen, P., Djernis, D., Grangaard, S., Ladegaard, Y. & Petersson Troije, C. (2023). Greenspace as Workplace: Benefits, Challenges and Essentialities in the Physical Environment. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 20(17), Article ID 6689.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Greenspace as Workplace: Benefits, Challenges and Essentialities in the Physical Environment
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2023 (English)In: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, ISSN 1661-7827, E-ISSN 1660-4601, Vol. 20, no 17, article id 6689Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There is a scarcity of knowledge regarding the potential benefits of human–nature contact within the context of working life. Even more limited is the research that focuses on working outdoors and the setting in which it takes place. This study aimed to obtain insight into key aspects of the physical environment relevant for the experienced benefits and challenges of workers exploring office work outdoors. We conducted interviews with key informants as well as photo registration and mapping of the different green spaces in the environments of six small or medium-sized workplaces. The information gathered was used as background knowledge for exploratory qualitative interviews, which were conducted while walking in natural settings chosen by the interviewees. With a landscape architectural perspective and an inductive approach, we explored employees’ experiences of bringing office work outdoors. The following themes emerged: ‘Simplicity,’ ‘Safeness’, ‘Comfort’, and ‘Contact with Nature’ were experienced as key aspects in relation to the physical environment, whereas ‘Sociality’, ‘Well-being’, and ‘Functioning’ stood out as the main benefits and, ‘Digital dependency’ and ‘Illegitimacy’ as challenges to overcome. Based on the identification of potential benefits and their prerequisites, we propose implications for practice and research that can be useful when focusing on bringing office work outdoors. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI), 2023
Keywords
employee wellbeing, green outdoor environments, landscape architecture, nature, outdoor office work, restorative environments, work life balance, workplace
National Category
Architecture
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-64337 (URN)10.3390/ijerph20176689 (DOI)2-s2.0-85170184972 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2023-09-20 Created: 2023-09-20 Last updated: 2024-04-02Bibliographically approved
Petersson Troije, C., Lisberg Jensen, E., Stenfors, C. U. D., Bodin Danielsson, C., Hoff, E. V., Mårtensson, F. & Toivanen, S. (2021). Outdoor Office Work: An Interactive Research Project Showing the Way Out. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, Article ID 636091.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Outdoor Office Work: An Interactive Research Project Showing the Way Out
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2021 (English)In: Frontiers in Psychology, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 12, article id 636091Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The physical boundaries of office work have become increasingly flexible. Work is conducted at multiple locations outside the office, such as at clients’ premises, at home, in cafés, or when traveling. However, the boundary between indoor and outdoor environment seems to be strong and normative regarding how office work is performed. The aim of this study was to explore how office work may be conducted outdoors, understanding how it is being experienced by office employees and identifying its contextual preconditions. Based on a two-year interactive research project, the study was conducted together with a Swedish municipality. Fifty-eight participants engaged in the collaborative learning process, including 40 half-day workshops and reflective group discussions, co-interviews, and participants’ independent experimentation of bringing work activities outdoors. Data was collected via interviews, group discussions and a custom-made mobile application. The results showed that a wide range of work activities could be done outdoors, both individually and in collaboration with others. Outdoor work activities were associated with many positive experiences by contributing to a sense of well-being, recovery, autonomy, enhanced cognition, better communication, and social relations, but also with feelings of guilt and illegitimacy. Conditions of importance for outdoor office work to happen and function well were found in the physical environment, where proximity to urban greenspaces stood out as important, but also in the sociocultural and organizational domains. Of crucial importance was managers’ attitudes, as well as the overall organizational culture on this idea of bringing office work outdoors. To conclude, if working life is to benefit from outdoor office work, leaders, urban planners and policymakers need to collaborate and show the way out.

National Category
Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-53920 (URN)10.3389/fpsyg.2021.636091 (DOI)000643690600001 ()33912111 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85105001127 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2021-04-22 Created: 2021-04-22 Last updated: 2024-04-02Bibliographically approved
Petersson Troije, C.Critical Interaction: Challenging Dualisms by Bringing Office Work Outdoors.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Critical Interaction: Challenging Dualisms by Bringing Office Work Outdoors
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Keywords
Interactive research, Critical Social science, Collaborative research, Outdoor Office Work
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Working Life Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-66343 (URN)
Available from: 2024-04-02 Created: 2024-04-02 Last updated: 2024-04-10Bibliographically approved
Petersson Troije, C., Lisberg Jensen, E., Redmalm, D. & Wiklund, L.Unlocking the Transformative Potential of Outdoor Office Work: A Constructivist Grounded Theory Study.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Unlocking the Transformative Potential of Outdoor Office Work: A Constructivist Grounded Theory Study
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Keywords
sustainable work life, outdoor office work, nature contact, constructivist grounded theory, free space, resonance, health and well-being, inner development, sustainable development.
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Working Life Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-66321 (URN)
Projects
Concepts for the Sustainable Office of the Future
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2024-03-27 Created: 2024-03-27 Last updated: 2024-04-10Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0003-4312-6351

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