Workations: What are They and Why do you Need One?

Written by Calvin Bowers

There have been a whole host of new words that have entered the lexicon during the pandemic and one of the most peculiar is “workation”. It is a combination of “work” and “vacation” and refers to working for a period of perhaps a couple of weeks to a month from a holiday resort. 

Many of the providers like TUI which are marketing workations quite hard at the moment have taken the time to point out some of the benefits from their dedicated workation venues like free and reliable wifi and a good, comfortable workspace to maximise efficiency and output during the working day.

Why not Just Take a Holiday Rather than a Workation?

People who are running workation destinations typically offer them for longer than most people have available for a single holiday during the year. One of the major attractions of a workation is that you can experience a change of scenery without having to use up valuable holiday time that can then be spent later in the year.

The phrase “a change is as good as a rest” is pretty much made to describe a workation and definitely contributes to businesses having happy staff. Being able to have a time out to take a dip in the pool during the working day can be a real game changer when it comes to energy levels and it is even possible to be more productive on a workation than at home.

Meeting Other Remote Workers

Because workations tend to be reserved for specific hotels, you are more likely to meet people who are in the same kind of position as you. Remote workers who take workations tend to be either solo travellers or travelling as a couple and will normally be within the age group 25-45.

This provides some common ground to start from with any new people that you meet and it may be that you work in similar or complementary fields. This means that it is even possible to find new people to collaborate on projects with and exchange relevant tips, skills and knowledge with on your travels. This can help you to upskill while outside of the normal working environment and also hone your transferable skills by interacting with people outside of your normal work bubble..

Take Advantage of Slow Work Periods

In some business sectors, there can be some slow periods throughout the year. If these are seasonal in nature, it makes sense to allow employees to take workations during these. They will come back feeling considerably refreshed and recharged if the workload, while they have been away, has been light and it will have felt more like a holiday, with some occasional work thrown in for good measure. This is an easy way to get the best from your employees if you are an employer. It is also a way to get around a reluctance to return to the office. Offering two or even three months of paid workation per year would appeal to many people and would persuade some to return to the office for the rest of the time if this perk was on offer. 

Relaxation is Linked to Creativity

If your job is a creative one, a workation can help you to work at your best. High-stress environments are known to destroy creativity and relaxation can help it to recharge. A workation won’t be all relaxation but it will be a vast improvement on most office environments and will help to get the creative juices flowing when they might have been struggling a little. 

A change of environment can be absolutely ideal for this, new experiences help to stimulate the mind and a whole new place that you will be staying for an extended period of time will really make a difference. It is a way to avoid getting stuck in the same old rigid way of thinking, of avoiding getting stuck in a rut and this can make a real impact on your productivity as well. 

Downsides to a Workation

It can be hard to take a workation if you have children in tow who need to be amused, or at the very least interacted with consistently during the working day. It is different if you are on a traditional holiday but if you have to be “on” and in work mode, this can make it very hard to give your best to either your family or your work. 

Workations are best suited to people without children and many of the hotels designated for workations will be “adults only” for precisely this reason. This allows people who are working to concentrate without noisy children being present to distract them and is a key attraction of workation hotels for some remote workers.

Preparing for a Workation

It is important to remember that a workation is different from a traditional vacation and that you will have to prepare differently for it. You should make sure you have set up access to any corporate VPN you normally access for work if you are in a different country. This may be something that you have to approach IT about at your job in order to resolve. 

It is also important to remember that you need a comfortable place to work when you are away and you will need to be sure that somewhere suitable will be available to you whenever you need to work. High-speed, reliable wifi access is essential for most jobs so beware of any accommodation providers who want you to pay for wifi separately.

If you are required to make phone calls when you are away, consider configuring Skype or another Voice Over IP provider so that you have a phone number that is local to the area you normally work from. This means that if you were based in Glasgow normally, for example, any customers would see a Glasgow number when you called via Skype, rather than a Spanish number. This is inexpensive to do and a subscription for several hundred Skype minutes to make calls and a geographical number can be around £12 between them for a month.   

Read reviews of anywhere you are thinking of booking and check what they say on this front and also on mobile phone reception. It may be that you have to fall back on your mobile data if the wifi provided isn’t adequate, so being sure that there is mobile reception at the hotel is a must. 

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