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Since the Pandemic, hybrid working has been adopted by multiple industries across multiple regions.

However, its popularity, the challenges that it creates and the extent to which it syncs with a society is different for each country. In this article, we explore the hybrid working situation in Sweden.

Hybrid working in Sweden, the stats

In 2022, 51.8% of the working population in Sweden had a hybrid role, coming in third behind the Netherlands (first) and Luxembourg (second). This percentage is predicted to rise to 56.4% over the course of this year (Remote, a global HR solutions company). Currently, 46% of jobs being advertised in Sweden offer hybrid or fully remote working (Forbes). Multiple studies have drawn a link between hybrid working and a good work/life balance: Stockholm comes in at #3 on the list of the top 25 cities for work/life balance with a score of 64.8, with Gothenburg coming in at #6 with a score of 60.7 (Forbes). By the end of 2026, Ericsson, one of the largest employers in Sweden, aim to have organised remote working arrangements for half of their workforce, requiring them to redesign all 400 of their offices.

Why is hybrid working so popular in Sweden?

In Sweden, there is a cultural concept called ‘Lagom’. Lagom translates as ‘just the right amount’ and it informs the way in which Swedes structure their daily lives, leading them to prioritise work/life balance. Given the connection between hybrid working and work/life balance, the former complements Lagom, meaning that fundamental beliefs don’t need to change for it to mesh well with Swedish culture. In addition, Swedish business culture tends to see employers shunning hierarchy in favour of flatter management structures which enable them to form closer, more trusting relationships with their employees. This gives them confidence that their employees will be as productive remotely as they are in the office, making hybrid working an option that they are happy to put on the table.

What are the challenges associated with hybrid working in Sweden?

A key challenge is the size of living spaces in the majority of Sweden’s cities. Studio apartments are common and in cities like Stockholm, the average living space is just 33sqm. So for many, working from home means working from the sofa or the bed, which can blur the line between the working day and leisure time, thus compromising work/life balance. In response to this issue, there has been a significant increase in the number of coworking spaces available, with styles ranging from the corporate to the boutique. But affordability is a problem. For a hot desk in a typical city coworking space, you’re looking at a cost of upwards of €400 a month.

An example of a Nordic hybrid working model

EY operate a holistic approach in their hybrid working model, which is built upon the three foundational pillars of Bricks, Bytes and Behaviours:

  • Bricks – Ensure that each employee has access to a network of spaces which support working independently, working collaboratively, teambuilding and socialising. Understand that home offices are part of this network and provide employees with support to set these up.
  • Bytes – Create a user-centric digital workplace that facilitates knowledge sharing and collaboration regardless of time and place.
  • Behaviours – Embrace modern, hybrid leadership, leveraging the trust it engenders to encourage greater transparency and self-leadership.

In this way, the EY model sees the company optimising both physical and digital workspaces to not only facilitate hybrid working, but also to enhance the performance of their workforce, regardless of location. Embracing hybrid leadership enables them to strengthen the employer-employee relationship, leading to greater connectivity and cohesion between all levels of the organisation.

In summary

Although it doesn’t come without challenges, hybrid working is extremely popular in Sweden. It complements Swedish culture, a culture which defines the way in which K2 Sweden operate. The K2 Sweden Team have been part of the country’s journey of hybrid working discovery, and so understand what it is that assignees are looking for when it comes to striking a balance between working remotely and working in the office. If you are looking to partner with a team who can empathise with Swedish assignees, then reach out to K2 Sweden today.

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