The rise of remote work has led to a new concept: workation. This way of working is associated with increased productivity as well as personal well-being, in the context of the holiday. But beware! It’s not about devoting vacation days to work, it’s about better integrating work and leisure innovatively.
This desire for work-life balance is becoming more and more prevalent in all companies. That’s why knowing what workation is and how to put it into practice is a must if you want to have high-performance work teams.
In this article, we will tell you all about this new way of working: what it is, what are the advantages and disadvantages of workation and how it differs from other concepts such as digital nomad or remote work. Let’s get started!
What is workation?
As you may have noticed, the term workation is an amalgamation of the words work and vacation.
Workation is similar to a vacation, where you have to take your work with you, but instead of working while on vacation, it is more like a working vacation: you do it not only while you are on vacation, but also during your regular workday, all year long. Such work is suitable for writers who write essays for money and do not need to be in the office.
In other words, it means incorporating certain holiday perks into the workday to increase people’s productivity and satisfaction. For example, changing the office to a holiday destination.
What is the difference between workation, digital nomad, and remote work?
To fully understand what workation is, it’s important to distinguish it from what we know as digital nomad and remote working arrangements offered by some companies.
Although they have many aspects in common, such as the ability to work remotely, we can distinguish the following main differences between workation, digital nomad, and remote work:
- Place of work: for digital nomads or remote workers, any destination can be a place of work. However, in the case of workation, the place of work is usually a resting place.
- Duration of work: With workation, a person travels for a certain period of time and then returns to their regular office. Digital nomads and home workers, on the other hand, often perform their work remotely indefinitely.
- Purpose of Work Mode: Unlike remote workers and digital nomads, people who do workation usually do so for a specific purpose. For example, companies often organize team-building days or integration at recreation sites.
- Working hours: Generally, during workation, people continue to work according to their normal working hours; while a digital nomad or remote worker usually has some flexibility in this regard.
What are the benefits of workation?
More and more companies are choosing workation, and this is due to its many benefits. Let’s take a look at the most important ones:
Provides a renewed work environment
Workation allows people to change their work environment. At least for a few days, work teams break away from their routine and work in a new place. This helps to create a good work atmosphere, which undoubtedly increases people’s efficiency and productivity.
While working in a festive environment is appealing to almost everyone, a change of scenery is extremely beneficial for teams performing routine or repetitive tasks. In addition, exposure to new directions and new cultures is an aspect that people appreciate.
Helps to avoid burnout syndrome
A change of “office” benefits people psychologically. Workation is a real boost to an employee’s energy, self-esteem, psychological well-being, and overall well-being, especially if the strategy involves spending more time away from the office.
A person who works in a pleasant environment and good conditions is less likely to suffer from stress or burnout at work.
Encourages work disconnection
Contrary to popular belief, encouraging disengagement is something all hiring managers and team leaders should consider. Workation allows teams to have small spaces where they can disconnect from work, re-energize, and get back to work.
The appeal of this way of working is that these moments of relaxation are not just a matter of a cup of coffee and getting back to work. There are usually recreational activities during the workday to take your mind off things: walks on the beach or town, games and water sports, etc.
Let’s not forget that the purpose of workation is essentially combining relaxation with work.
Finally, another of the benefits of workation is to increase people’s productivity.
Getting out of a routine, as we said, helps to clear the mind and renew motivation. This is necessary so that a person can work more creatively and provide higher productivity, which certainly benefits not only on a personal level but also for the work team and the company.
What are the disadvantages of workation?
Of course, there are some disadvantages to consider when applying a workation strategy. Here are the most important ones:
Raises the distraction
As we said earlier, encouraging space for division of labor is very good for teams. However, it can be a double-edged sword for people who are easily distracted. Because it takes place in a holiday environment, distractions are very common in work mode. For example, a person may be tempted to go to the beach before the end of the work day.
To avoid these problems, you have to organize a work schedule that includes both work time and vacation time.
Generates fatigue in some people
Many people often admit that they return from vacation more tiredly than when they left. Why does this happen? When traveling, there are stressful situations that can trigger fatigue, such as moving from one city to another, too many recreational activities, and the anxiety of the trip itself.
Therefore, it is important not to overload the agenda of the people who will be participating in the work meeting.
Creates costs for the company
Of course, this disadvantage of work cannot be ignored. Because it is a company-led strategy, workation usually entails expenses, including travel, activities, lodging, meals, etc.
Undoubtedly, workation will remain in the workplace because it is a perfect match for those who are not 100% satisfied with remote work but love to travel.
How to ensure effective workation?
1. Establish a routine
Maintaining a work routine, with established schedules both for the execution of tasks and for moments of digital disconnection, is the starting point. This allows you to keep up the good work pace and not completely disengage from your responsibility.
2. Prioritize your work
A good organization of work is possible to carry out if, from the moment you define the objectives to achieve, you make a list of tasks and classify them into:
- Immovable tasks: They are those that require urgent treatment and cannot be moved.
- Progress tasks: These are tasks whose execution can be extended throughout the day or week, as they are part of an overall long-term objective.
- Rigorous tasks: These are those activities that are already mechanized and do not require more effort to perform them.
3. Plan everything you need
Choosing to start in workation mode is not something that can be improvised. Make sure you foresee in advance all the logistical aspects that will allow you to do it efficiently:
- Adapted spaces,
- Effective communication channels,
- Adequate technological infrastructure, etc.
4. Do not neglect the rest
The fact that you are working from places that make you feel constantly on vacation may make you believe that you do not need to set aside time for relaxation. However, it is important that you define your own vacation schedule and times when you are truly disconnected from your work activity. Disconnecting from work is necessary to maintain motivation and increase productivity.
As we’ve seen, workation offers many benefits for teams and individuals alike. So what are you waiting to put this into practice? Organized effectively, it can be extremely beneficial in terms of productivity and business results.
Keep in mind that not everyone will enjoy the experience equally. So make sure you apply effective communication strategies with your teams to get to know people’s interests and expectations.