Students and caretakers fix social spaces

Every year, AF Bostäder strives to improve its customer satisfaction rating. A common wish from the students is more space for studies, activities and getting together. Now, AF Bostäder is focusing on providing more social spaces. In a collaboration between students and caretakers, nicely furnished spaces are emerging, intended for, among other things, lounge socialising, table tennis and studying.

“Our customers often wish for more spaces where they can meet and socialise, particularly those who live in apartments and have no communal spaces”, says Anna Malmström, Property Manager at AF Bostäder. “Getting to know other people from far and near is an important part of student life and, of course, we will contribute to pleasant social settings when we can. Now, we have found a cost-effective model that works well.”

Historically, many of the implemented ideas have come straight from the students, often in dialogue with the caretakers. Ideas and solutions have been so good that AF Bostäder has now allocated a budget for each caretaker to be used to create new social spaces in consultation with the students.

“The caretakers are those who are closest to the students in our organisation”, says Anna Malmström. “They meet them every day, they know about their everyday life and receive lots of tips about things that we can improve. The caretakers also keep a close eye on the properties and environments where the students live. They know what is lacking and can judge where it would be suitable to set up an activity room.”

Using simple and smart solutions, AF Bostäder is transforming unused spaces into various types of activity room. By placing the new spaces next to existing functions, AF Bostäder can achieve a considerable effect with a small investment. It also means that the spaces are more likely to be used and makes them easy and inexpensive to maintain.

“Torvlabbet, a building at Marathon, is a good example”, says Anna Malmström. “When Marathon was built, Torvlabbet was preserved, but the building could not be used for housing. Instead, Torvlabbet provided space for the area’s laundry room. And other ideas soon emerged.”

“At Marathon, the focus is on sustainability and the entire area is adapted for life with a bicycle”, says Anna Malmström. “That is why we have also set up a bicycle workshop with the tools that are needed for servicing and repairs, a workbench and a system for hanging up bicycles. In the workshop, we have also put up a punch bag for those who want to exert a little energy or keep a friend company while they carry out repairs. Next to the laundry room, we saw the potential to set up a table tennis room and a pleasantly furnished lounge for everyone in the area. Today, the lounge is used for studying together, coffee breaks, game nights and much more.”

Now, Vildanden also has a lounge and a table tennis room next to its laundry room. In addition, there is a jungle-themed study room, which the students can book. The study room will be very useful, as Vildanden is the housing area farthest away from the university.

Laundry rooms are generally fitted with a comfortable seating area and at Sparta the laundry room has been equipped with a football game.

“The new initiative has led to a surge of creativity among both students and staff, and proposals are streaming in. It has been a boost both for the students and for us. The caretakers and customers have had a more frequent dialogue. They discuss and design different proposals together. At the same time, the projects contribute dynamics and a sense of community within AF Bostäder, and helps to further strengthen our customer focus”, concludes Anna Malmström.

Latest update April 14, 2020
Anna Malmström
Property Manager

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