If the idea of stepping outside for a glass of bubbles on the beach once you’ve finished work for the day sounds appealing to you, then you might be interested in a new holiday trend that’s becoming increasingly popular.
What is a workation?
Essentially, it’s working while away from the workplace. And it can mean anything from a few days seeing friends to a week on the Spanish coast or even three months travelling through South East Asia.
The trend is becoming more popular in the US and Europe, as companies look for ways to improve employee wellbeing to benefit both them and the company long term. It’s a concept that’s only recently become feasible, with the likes of laptops, smartphones, cloud storage and video conferencing calls making it possible for many to work from anywhere in the world with a decent internet connection.
Why they’re great
Used in the right way, they can offer you the work/lifestyle balance you might have been craving. Perhaps your family have booked a two-week holiday, but you can only take one week off – you could work the second week while still enjoying time away and with your loved ones (with your lunch hour spent in the pool!). Or maybe you’d like to spend a month of winter on the Mediterranean coast or travelling through a country you’ve always wanted to visit.
Workations enable you to do this without using up annual leave or returning to find 800 emails in your inbox, and they could give you the option of extended time away if staffing issues or company policies prevent you from doing so otherwise.
It could be the change of routine and scenery you need to freshen yourself up, or improve your mental health, and this might work in your boss’ favor, as well as your own.
Some might see it as an expensive way to spend a week at work, and that even though you’re in a beautiful place, you’ll have little time to actually enjoy it if you’re working all day. It’s not just the airfare and accommodation you’ll be paying for, but also food, and perhaps even a space for you to do your job.
If you’re taking yourself to an unfamiliar place, or even an unfamiliar culture, you might find it takes time to adapt, and distractions might affect your quality of work.
You may also find it’s difficult to switch off, as you’ll be so engrossed in your job that it won’t feel like a holiday, and it’ll be difficult to enjoy the beach, the city, the mountains, or wherever you’ve chosen to be.
How to make the best of them
If you decide a workation is right for your circumstance, then the first job is to convince your boss that it’s a good idea, and won’t affect your productivity. If you’ve been a trustworthy employee for several years, then this task will be easier to accomplish.
Planning a work schedule will encourage better productivity, as will picking somewhere quiet (it’s no good having a conference call with a party happening in the room next door!).
You need to go somewhere where there’s reliable internet connection (and speed), so a hotel or a holiday park are both good options. If you have on-site eateries, or nearby restaurants and cafes, then your cooking will be done for you, too, so you’ll have more time to relax once you’ve closed the laptop.
A workation might not be for everyone, but given the right circumstance and a supportive boss, it could be just the tonic to refresh the soul. For even though you’d still be working, it’d be a change, and as we all know – a change is as good as a holiday.