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Unlocking the Transformative Potential of Outdoor Office Work: A Constructivist Grounded Theory Study
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare. Department of Sociology, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Mälardalen University, 72123 Västerås, Sweden;Department of Urban Studies, Faculty of Culture and Society, Malmö University, 20506 Malmö, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4312-6351
Department of Pedagogical, Curricular and Professional Studies, University of Gothenburg, 40530 Gothenburg, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2462-1162
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9902-1191
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare. Department of Health and Care Sciences, UiT/The Arctic University of Norway, 8514 Narvik, Norway.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9714-577X
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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2024. Vol. 15, no 2, p. 25-25
Keywords [en]
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: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-66600DOI: 10.3390/challe15020025OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-66600DiVA, id: diva2:1857310
Projects
Concepts for the Sustainable Office of the Future
Funder
Knowledge Foundation, 20200068Available from: 2024-05-13 Created: 2024-05-13 Last updated: 2024-05-13Bibliographically approved

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Petersson Troije, CharlotteRedmalm, DavidWiklund, Lena

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