"We need each other at work"
Hello there, Sigbritt Karlsson, President of KTH.
More and more KTH employees are back on campus again. They are expected to spend at least two days a week in their workplace. Why?
“For the sake of their health and safety. Sitting isolated at home is neither a good nor a sustainable solution in the long-term for the individual and KTH. Working from home for a long time brings with it a risk of poor health. We need each other, a context in the group. And as universities have now been opened to students, more people are also needed on site.
“Everyone made a great effort to keep KTH and its operations going in the spring – no matter where they worked. But it is now time to take the next step.”
Other universities and authorities have chosen to keep their staff at home for all or parts of the autumn due to the risk of spreading infection. What is KTH’s thinking here?
“Obviously, you should be able to feel safe and secure in your workplace. Here, we all have a big responsibility to prevent the spread of infection. Were we to see an increase, we would have to have an immediate rethink, but right now, the situation is favourable with a low spread of infection, according to FHM (the Public Health Agency of Sweden). Several presidents I have met are curious about our approach and are thinking of doing the same thing.”
How have things gone so far, would you say?
“Really well. It is wonderful to see so many people happy to be back and enjoying the physical interface by the coffee machine and in meeting rooms that many of them seem to have missed. However, it is actually going to be a hybrid period where we combine physical presence with digital communication, which can also have its pros and cons. But my hope is that we can benefit from the lessons we have learnt in the spring and further develop this know-how. And I hope that from January we can spend even more time in our various workplaces, but that remains to be seen.”