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Public Co-working – changing travel patterns?

Computer image of a a building and street with people in green

Offices in Swedish public agencies have much lower occupancy rates than before the pandemic, primarily due to two post-pandemic trends: increased teleworking and nation-wide recruitments. An estimated 100 000 office spaces are vacant, and many agencies are looking for alternative ways to use these spaces. At the same time, it’s increasingly common that public agencies recruit personnel living in locations far away from any of their offices, expecting the employees to work remote full-time.

In a recent seminar IIIEE researcher Peter Arnfalk presented a study that examines and assesses the potential of ‘Public Co-working' and the implications on how we live and travel.

The research project study is focuses on an initiative where four Swedish public agencies have reached an agreement to share office spaces with each other. In June 2023 they launched a one-year trial with approximately 30 employees who were allowed to work from another agency’s office, closer to where they live. The objective of the pilot test is to see how well this works out, and to assess whether this kind of ‘Public Co-working’ should be used in other public agencies as well. However, the main objective of Mistra Sams’ involvement is to assess the possible implications on the employees’ travel patterns. How can the trend of nation-wide recruitment and public co-working impact commuter travel, longer trips to the main office, and even decisions on where to live?

Read more here.