Workation in Sweden – a natural thing
Niehku Mountain Villa, Swedish Lapland
Niehku Mountain Villa has received a UNESCO Prix Versaille for best hotel interior, and the outdoor setting is just as impressive. Located in Riksgränsen, above the Arctic Circle, the hotel offers ski tours under the midnight sun as well as hiking tours in areas rarely visited by people. You can also go mountain biking, fishing and kayaking. Or – if you’re really into challenging yourself – why not end your workation by climbing Sweden’s highest mountain, Kebnekaise.
Sweden’s oldest mountain hotel is located in Tänndalen and consists of several 19th century wooden houses with vast areas of unspoiled nature right on their doorstep. In this area, nature is divided into no less than eight seasons – all with their own draw. Hike through the colourful autumn landscape, listen to the silence of the frosty winter, or stay up all night in the summer and watch the sun do the same.
Bergaliv is the place to visit to really unwind from the outside world. The minimalistic cabin, located in the dense forests of Hälsingland, is built over two floors. The first floor is where you’ll find your sleeping accommodation while the upper floor is an open terrace with panoramic views stretching along the Ljusnan River Valley. The perfect place to meditate after a day’s remote work.
Siggesta Gård, Stockholm archipelago
The functioning farm of Siggesta Gård is located in the Stockholm archipelago, a mere 50-minute bus ride from the city centre. The elegantly renovated rooms are surrounded by nature offering mountain biking, trail walking, themed mini-golf and SUP-rental. The farm, which is home to alpacas, chickens, goats and horses, is an animal lover's dream and you might even get the opportunity to join a feeding session.
Downtown Camper by Scandic, Stockholm
If you’re more of an urban explorer, Downtown Camper in central Stockholm is the ideal base. The lush hotel lobby is a popular spot for remote workers and holidaymakers alike. Hotel guests are offered bikes, kayaks and skateboards for loan. Also, don’t miss the wellness area on the top floor – complete with a sauna shaped like a bird’s nest and an outside pool offering a bird’s eye view of Stockholm’s rooftops.
Swedish Country Living, West Sweden
Swedish Country Living in Dalsland is precisely what it sounds like. The accommodation ranges from larger farmhouses with free wifi to smaller cabins free from electricity and running water, for a more sustainable way to get close to nature. Here, you’ll be surrounded by pristine forest, many lakes and grazing sheep. Possible activities include hiking, kayaking and fishing.
Thorskogs Grand Manor House, Bohuslän
Thorskogs Grand Manor House (Thorskogs Slott) is located north of Gothenburg and suitable for those who wish to add a royal touch to their workation. The elegant historic manor boasts a 18th century English-style parkland, dotted with rare trees and shrubs. A stone’s throw away, you’ll find Svartedalen’s nature reserve with several walking trails. A golf course and a number of lakes, perfect for a swim or a canoe trip, are also nearby.
Salt & Sill, West Sweden
Salt & Sill is Sweden’s first floating hotel and is located on the islet Klädesholmen in the pristine archipelago of the west coast. All rooms have their own entrance, wifi and access to an outdoor seating area – some rooms even have their own sea ladder right outside the door. The hotel offers water-themed activities like boat tours and shellfish fishing. At Salt & Sill, you can rest assure the sound of gentle lapping waves will rock you to sleep.
Ästad Vingård, Halland
Ever dreamt of living on a vineyard? Ästad Vingård, tucked away in a beech forest on a nature reserve in Halland, is one of Sweden’s largest vineyards. When you’re done working for the day you can either cool down with a cold bath or warm up in the underwater sauna at ‘Sinnenas Spa’ (Spa of the Senses). You can also learn more about the organic grapes on a guided vineyard tour, or set off on a hike along any of the trails that are scattered around the vineyard.
Nature Shelter Hotel, Skåne
Nature Shelter Hotel is a newly opened urban hotel right by Skåneleden Trail in the southern part of Sweden. The surrounding forest and many lakes offer a variety of possible adventures, such as hiking, biking, fishing and kayaking. During autumn, the number of berries and mushrooms make the place a forager’s dream. Nature Shelter Hotel is a part of STF – the Swedish Tourist Association.
Eriksberg Hotel & Nature Reserve, Blekinge
Eriksberg Hotel & Nature Reserve is the Nordic region’s largest game reserve and one of Blekinge’s biggest draws. European bison, deer, wild boar and moufflon roam freely and a guided walking safari allows you to literally follow in these mighty creatures’ footsteps. Eriksberg offers a variety of accommodation, where the newly built ‘SynVillan’ – The Illusion Villa – gives you a chance to watch the animals eat through a glass slab in the floor.
A workation can increase your well-being
A new case study was performed to illustrate the previous scientific findings from both Swedish and international research that has shown that exposure to the natural environment is beneficial in many ways for our health. 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 was conducted for two weeks, between 30 May until 13 June, and included five participants. The participants were between 20 to 35 years 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 well-being was examined.
These are the main findings
The results indicated several positive effects of the close-to-nature sojourn.
- Participants spent more time on moderate physical activity during the experimental period than during a normal workweek. The increase was about 20%. It is possible that the close-to-nature environment encouraged more frequent spontaneous movements.
- Sleep efficiency is a measure of the actual sleep time expressed as a percentage of time in bed and was on average 6 percentage points higher during the close-to-nature period than during a regular workweek.
- Sleep latency - the time between going to bed and falling asleep – was on average 32 minutes (51%) shorter during the nature week than during a regular week.
- The average length of sleep bouts (a contiguous period categorised as sleep in the epoch-by-epoch wake/sleep categorisation) was 23 % longer during the nature week than during a regular week.
- The mental health and wellbeing survey estimates social and mental well-being, as well as emotions related to anxiety, depression and functional limitations. The results of the test were 22% higher during the close-to-nature period.
- The vitality survey estimated self-perceived public health and the result of it during the close-to-nature sojourn was 27% higher than during a regular workweek. The included questions indicated that the study participants above all felt more “full of pep” (a 55% increase) and had “lots of energy” (a 36% increase).
- The surveys addressing symptoms of anxiety and depression and showed a 77% decrease in the anxiety symptoms and a 44% decrease in the depression symptoms during the nature week compared to the regular workweek.
- Perceived Stress Scale estimates how often the respondent experiences that their lives are unpredictable, uncontrollable or that they feel overworked. The results indicated a 48% decrease in perceived stress during the nature week compared to the regular workweek.
- Cognitive stress was assessed by using questions that focused on difficulties with concentration, memory, decision making, and the ability to think clearly. Our results showed a 50% decrease in the estimate of cognitive stress during the close-to-nature period than during a regular workweek.