Distance work

Wrote a short text in a tourist guide about my year of distance work at my countryside!

As I have written a few times before in my posts, I have been working from my countryside at Gräsö for more than a year due to the pandemic. Since I’m dependent on immune suppressive medication, working from the country side, and also living there, was the obvious solution.

A few months ago I was suggested to write a short story about my year of work at Gräsö, to be published in this year’s Gräsö tourist guide. I happily accepted and it was of course a bonus that I was promised the whole centre spread of the guide! It was published well before midsummer and you can see the result in the blog image above. The entire guide is available here. Since the text is in Swedish, I provide a translation here:

When I got a full time job as researcher and teacher at Örebro University, 14 months of continuous residence on Gräsö was not how I envisioned it! But after the corona outbreak distance work from home became the safest option for many of us.

Because I, since the 90s, have spent around 1/3 of the year in our house on Gräsö, and have my heart there at 3/3, it became my obvious infection-proof work home.

Working from the countryside has had its challenges, but also benefited from increased creativity due to the stimulating nature just around the corner. From Gräsö, I have participated in major research projects and carried out two courses for over 100 students – with everything from design to examination. The students should only know that the teacher was sitting in an armchair in a house far away in the forest during lectures and seminars!

This has worked so well thanks to two of the island’s most skilled professionals. On the one hand, an architect who has given the simple house a forward-looking floor plan with e.g. shower and toilet, and on the other hand a contractor and carpenter for whom nothing is impossible!

The work space (picture above) is no doubt smaller than at the university. The most important things needed for my research were moved to Gräsö, as e.g. two devices for haptic (= directed at sense of touch instead of sight or hearing) interaction with computers.

Having binoculars and a camera ready is important – suddenly a green woodpecker appears in the tree outside. If the squirrel is not there, the beautiful goldfinch can visit the bird feeding.

Proximity to nature on Gräsö, with such a rich flora and fauna, is what I appreciate most with the accommodation here. Regarding the flora, you can find almost all of Sweden’s orchids here. Along many of the roads you can find e.g. marsh-orchids in quantity and groups of lesser butterfly-orchids are also seen. On the countryside we are missing the beautiful slipper orchid [guckusko], but it is found within bike distance. In the fauna, the White-tailed Eagle is my favorite – eastern Gräsö has for a long time been among Sweden’s densest areas for this species!

At bare ground, a network of paths and roads is available for walks and bike rides – it may be to the lingonberry forest of Mon or to the east shore towards the Lilla Risten island (picture above). I have had time for experiencing many beautiful views by Lilla Risten during a quarter of an hour walks at longer breaks in Skype meetings. In case of snow, skiing is a long-awaited alternative to walking that invites to nice trips around the east shore’s capes and bays. Gräsö is very beautiful and the year here has been fantastic!

Let’s end this post with a picture of one of my animal friends who regularly visits the bird-only devoted feeding. 🙂

I wish you all a nice summer!