A workation may seem a crazy mashup of two mutually exclusive things – work and a vacation – but it could be just what you need.
Most of us keep our personal and professional lives fairly separate, but the changing face of work, the widespread notion of remote working and an ‘always on’ attitude to life has seen a new phenomenon creep in – the workation.
For those who’ve not come across the concept, let’s take a look at what it is, why you might do it, and the benefits and challenges.
What is a Workation?
A workation, or as some call it a ‘workay’, is as simple as it sounds – a mashup of work and vacay.
For those who jumped the remote working and digital nomad wave early on, a workation is probably a bit of an old hat now as it’s how they’ve been living their best lives for the past couple of decades. However, for many, the 2020/21 prime pandemic years, and the shift to working from home and more flexible attitudes to work, has meant the idea of a workation is now more feasible. And with workplaces looking more likely to retain some of the best bits of hybrid working, workations will become an option, at least for some.
Research even shows workations might be on the rise – a mid-2021 studyof more than 7000 workers across seven major economies showed that nearly 80% said they would consider tacking on a few extra weeks of workation to planned trips away.
Types of Workations
Because the workation is a relatively new, evolving concept, how you structure it is entirely up to you.
You could make it short-term, where you just take a couple days away somewhere locally or in a nearby rural/seaside town, more medium-term where it’s for a few weeks and you get a little more adventurous by heading to another state or close-by country, or go the whole hog and make it long-term, effectively relocating to some far-off climate.
The workation concept is also easily adaptable to suit you best. For example, you might agree to sign on to work for a few hours a day at a set time to make it easier for meetings or for colleagues to know you’re available. Or, for a slightly longer trip, it might be set days each week, making it easier to plan the vacay side of the workay. Ultimately, it’s up to you and what you navigate with your employer.
Why Take a Workation?
Some will roll their eyes at the workation concept – why on earth would anyone want to work on vacation?! This is a fair point.
Getting away from the 9-5 grind and completely switching off from our professional lives is critical to ensuring we don’t burn out and is to be absolutely encouraged. But taking time completely off work isn’t always an option, and, let’s be frank, even when on a proper no-work vacay, the range of ways we now interact digitally in the workplace means the temptation to check work emails or work chats can be strong.
So, rather than push against the idea of working while away, our highly connected world and a good wifi connection means the opportunity to integrate work into a vacation is something to consider.
Particularly for those who work from home, a workation is just an extension of this…but with the possibilities of a beach, palm trees and tropical vibes to soothe you through your day. Or a roaring fire, snow and a cheeky mulled wine – at the end of your work day, of course – if the cold is your thing.
The Benefits and Challenges of a Workation
Of course, there are pros and cons to the workation that should be weighed up before you decide it’s for you.
The best parts of a workation are fairly obvious and include:
Increased productivity, quality and creativity due to being freed up from home commitments and there being a reduction in workplace distractions
Better well being and reduced burnout, which for employers could lead to higher retention
Stretching out holiday pay and the opportunities to take time away, improving work-life balance
A great way to test flexible and remote working to see if it fits your current role and workplace
The chance to explore new places and experience new cultures.
However, there are challenges. As we’ve seen with pandemic restrictions mostly ending, some employers have been insistent (here’s looking at you, Elon) that employees return to the workplace, so some may not be open to the workation concept.
A workation and the fact colleagues know you’re on one could mean that even with a well-planned schedule, work time pushes into dedicated vacation time, so the workation ends up having a more negative impact on their wellbeing and work-life balance, which could also wipe out productivity gains.
There is also the extra layer of distraction that can come with a workation, either from the cool things to do and see wherever you’re located or the family/partner you take with you who might be on a much easier, more open vacay rather than workay.
And a workation needs to be planned carefully to ensure you find the right accommodation and, importantly, internet connection and speed, to allow you to work effectively.
Bottom line? The workation is a great concept that won’t be for everyone but should definitely be an option given the benefits that can come from it.
Gorilla Jobs Can Help
Reach out to us today if you have any questions and would like to discuss opportunities!