Workation – a mix between work and vacation. Who would have thought that such a term would even come into being? I mean, in most cases, work and vacation used in the same sentence almost feels like a sin. If you’re on vacation, you shouldn’t be working, right? Actually, as remote work has now almost become a standard, most companies allow their employees the freedom to choose between working from home or working at the office.
I’m Anete, Content Marketer at Equalture now for 8 months. In this blog, I’d like to share with you how workation is the beginning of a new Post-Covid era where remote work meets vacation. As well as share with you my own and experiences of my other coworkers when it comes to workations.
The shift to remote work
I think everyone can agree that the past year a lot of things have been subject to change. It was definitely not the best year ever. The way we live has changed, the way we work and the way we travel, amongst other things. Working at the office was once the norm. When the pandemic started, it was necessary to switch work from the office to work from home. For the sake of everyone’s safety. Humans in general do not like drastic change. So it was no surprise that not everyone was happy about it at first. However, like most things, people got used to it relatively quickly.
Now more than a year later, remote work has become a standard, and most companies allow their employees the freedom to choose between working from home or working at the office. Employees have proved to their employers that they do not need to be under constant supervision & that they can do their jobs independently and efficiently regardless of the place they are working from. It’s pretty sad and I don’t really understand why it took us a global pandemic to even get to this point. But hey – we’re finally there.
Once Covid related restrictions were slowly lifted, I felt (and I’m absolutely certain a lot of other people did too) the urge to travel. Especially for someone whose daily tasks revolve around creating content, both visual and textual, change of scenery is what personally spurs my creativity. So having been essentially trapped in the four walls of my apartment for the past year, the thought of travelling felt like a dream come true. And what if I could combine travelling somewhere with working remotely from there? I would get all the inspiration, yet still be able to do my job. It’s sort of just like moving somewhere else for a brief period of time. And guess what – I was not the only one that thought such an alternative does not sound bad at all.
Where remote work meets vacation
With remote work came the blurring between the boundaries of work and home. At first that might come across as something negative. Working longer than you’re supposed to, reading and answering emails on the weekend. Or just simply not being able to distinguish between work time and me time.
However, hold your horses. Remote also came with a lot of liberties that we previously had not even imagined in our wildest dreams. Need some examples? If you’re not a morning person and work better in the evening – no worries. Do you prefer to work on a sunday instead of a monday? Also – not an issue. You want to travel to Spain and work from there? Why not !?! That’s how going on a workation became the new normal for a lot of people and the working life will never be the same as it used to be.
In fact, workations have plenty of benefits:
- Going on a vacation can significantly increase your productivity, in fact, some people are more productive when working remotely than in the office.
- When on vacation, you feel less pressured and more relaxed that’s why the quality of your work is likely to increase.
- Such flexibility in terms of work does wonders for employee happiness, loyalty and job satisfaction.
- You get that extra spike of creativity from being in a new environment.
- If you go somewhere warm, you get to send emails whilst sitting next to a pool 😉
According to a survey from Booking.com,
37% of travellers have already considered booking somewhere to work from a different destination, and
55% would take the opportunity to extend a business trip to enjoy leisure time at the destination.
Click on this infographic if you’re curious to learn more about this topic!
What we think about workations
So, the question is – what is our stance when it comes to workations? We are from 12 different countries. So you can imagine that not all of us are located where our office is – in Rotterdam. That’s why remote work is nothing new for us and you bet we’ve made it work for all these years already.
The thing is, nobody at Equalture has specifically asked for a workation. Now that is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I think it just emphasizes that we are all free to work from wherever we want to and wherever we feel the best. We are given the freedom to choose whether we work from the office or whether we choose to work from home. Working while on vacation? Also okay.
What I find interesting is that often when people talk about workations, there is a common belief that workations destroy the work-life balance. I beg to differ. From my personal experiences and from those others have shared with me, being on a workation makes it easier for me to draw a boundary between work and life. If I’m working remotely, in a place I have never before visited, after I finish my work – I finish working. Meaning that it gives me more motivation to draw a bold line between my free time and working time.
Our Partnerships Manager, Maud, who recently came back from her 3 week workation in Portugal, also agrees:
“For me personally, being in a new/different environment gives me a lot of energy and motivation which of course is a big plus. Besides that, after you finish your work day you can still enjoy the sun, explore the city, go to the beach etc. You switch off much faster and it doesn’t feel like you have been working all day at all!”’
Speaking from my own experience, workations might be the best thing ever especially if what your daily tasks consist of is mainly creative things like writing and creating visual content. Cannot think of anything better than sitting on a balcony with a view of the mountains in the South of France, opening my laptop and sipping on a freshly brewed coffee. A year ago this would have sounded pretty surreal, but now – it is easily attainable reality. All of us now have the possibility to live the life of a digital nomad.
The moral of the story is that if most of us work digitally anyway – then why not combine that with travelling! Charlotte Melkert, co-founder and CEO of Equalture, emphasizes that a change of scenery can really help boost creativity, energy and productivity levels. Charlotte emphasizes that it’s a shame that a lot of companies still don’t really allow employees to do so. Of course there is still a lot of fear among employers that when it comes to workations their employees will spend all the time on the beach, not work, but just answer to Slack messages whenever they get one. It is what it is, but it’s really important to first realize whether you are an organization that truly trusts its employees, because without trust there is nothing.
If there is enough trust in the organization, workations should not be an issue.