What is a Workation?

Definition of a Workation

A workation in the context of remote work is exactly what it sounds like: a blend of work and vacation. It involves traveling to a new location while still fulfilling your work responsibilities remotely. Instead of a traditional vacation where work is left behind, a workation allows you to combine both aspects, experiencing a change of scenery and new activities while getting your job done.

 

Key features of a Workation:

  • Remote work: The ability to work from anywhere with an internet connection is essential for a workation.
  • Travel: You choose a destination that appeals to you for both work and leisure.
  • Balancing work and leisure: Scheduling your workday efficiently allows you to dedicate time to exploring your surroundings and enjoying the location.

 

Benefits of a Workation:

  • Increased productivity: A change of environment can boost creativity and focus.
  • Improved work-life balance: Integrating work and leisure can reduce stress and burnout.
  • Personal growth: Experiencing new cultures and environments can be enriching.
  • Enhanced job satisfaction: This unique work arrangement can motivate and engage employees.

 

Different Types of workations:

  • Short-term: Weekend getaways or week-long trips.
  • Medium-term: Lasting a few weeks or a month.
  • Long-term: Relocating for several months or more.

 

Things to Consider with a Workation:

  • Time zone differences: Ensure your work schedule aligns with colleagues and clients.
  • Reliable internet connection: Choose a location with strong internet infrastructure.
  • Work-life boundaries: Clearly define work hours and stick to them for a healthy balance.
  • Employer policies: Check if your company allows workations and any specific guidelines.

 

Remember, a successful workation requires careful planning and execution. If you’re considering this option, research your destination, set clear boundaries, and ensure you have the necessary tools and resources for a productive and enjoyable work-vacation experience.

 

Mercer Survey: Workations Are Here To Stay

According to a survey by Mercer, nearly two-thirds (58%) of organizations anticipate a significant increase in requests for workations in the coming years, with only a mere four percent predicting a decline.  In this same survey, they mentioned how 78% of companies are offering workations either as part of a structured programme or on an ad hoc basis.  This shows that workations are here to stay.  

Before we explore the concept of workations, it is worth talking about the different terminology that is used at the moment.

 

The Link Between Work From Anywhere And Workations

Two years ago we published an article on the definition of work from anywhere, but since then the term workations has become more and more popular.

There is actually a strong link between the two terms which we will go through in this article.

 

The Trend Over Time

When we look at the trend over the last 5 years, we see an obvious uptick in both terms in the summer of 2020, just when the world was stuck in the middle of the pandemic.  People were confined to working from home, and having gotten used to the concept of working remotely from home, many of us were starting to dream of the idea of working remotely around the world.

It was here that the inspiration for workations started to take shape.

 

The Intercultural Dimension To Workations

When you look at the distribution of where each term is popular, you can see that the word “workation” is quite popular in mainland Europe but in English speaking countries (USA, UK, Australia) the term “work from anywhere” is more commonly used.

There are further nuances within certain languages here (for example in France, none of those terms are popular).  

Beyond this there is also the recognition that in some countries, the broader concept of remote work is still not as well established as in others.

 

 

Not All Workations Are The Same 

Workations aren’t your traditional business trips. Those are usually short, sharp, suit-and-tie affairs focused on specific meetings or events. Expat assignments, on the other hand, are longer-term relocations for specific roles in different locations. Workations sit somewhere in between, offering a flexible blend of work and leisure, whether for a few weeks or even months.

The initiator of the workation often plays a big role. Company-driven workations might involve team retreats in picturesque locations to boost collaboration and creativity. They could also be perks offered to individual employees for a change of scenery and potential productivity boost. On the other hand, employee-initiated workations involve individuals convincing their employers to let them work remotely from a different location, often blending personal travel aspirations with work commitments.  Maybe they might want to visit a sick family member for example.

 

Packing Your Workation Bags

So, what are the things to consider when planning your own workation adventure? 

Firstly, communication is key. Talk to your boss, team, and clients well in advance, ensuring a seamless workflow and making sure to set clear boundaries. Secondly, logistics matter. Reliable internet, comfortable workspace, and time zone management are crucial for productivity. Finally, embrace the flexibility. Remember, this is about work and vacation. Plan activities, explore your surroundings, and soak in new intercultural experiences – and make sure to take proper time to switch off that phone and laptop.

 

Workations & Employer Branding

If you’re an employer looking to offer this, then take a deep dive into that Mercer survey above to see why offering a workation can be a game changer for your employer brand and help boost your employee retention.  You can also see our deep dive on Spotify’s work from anywhere policy here for some tangible business metrics.

 

Workation: The Best Of Both Worlds If Managed Well

As the world continues to embrace remote work and flexible schedules, workations are becoming the epitome of work-life integration. They offer the best of both worlds – the fulfillment of professional responsibilities and the joy of exploration. So, whether your workation is sponsored by the company or initiated by your own adventurous spirit, if managed well, it’s a chance to redefine the boundaries of work, travel, and life. 

Embrace the workation lifestyle, and let your laptop be your ticket to new horizons.

 

How Do I Help My Company Implement A Workation Policy?

Whether you’re an employee yearning for more workation flexibility or a senior leader in your organization looking to explore a key employee benefit, we can help.

You can access our free work from anywhere policy builder here, or access a free 7 day trial of our work from anywhere compliance platform here to help your company safely approve workations.  

If you’d like to speak to one of the team, feel free to contact us here and we’d be happy to arrange a demo or see how we can help.

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Donal Brady Co-founder Work From Anywhere

Donal Brady

Donal Brady is Co-Founder and Head of Product at Work From Anywhere. He has deep expertise and experience in the world of remote work having spent nearly twenty years working in finance leadership roles with global multinationals like PwC, then entering the world of global mobility with International SOS before transitioning into the software industry with Accel-KKR backed Smart Communications. He walks the walk with Work From Anywhere, speaking 5 languages, having travelled to 60+ countries and worked in 7.

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