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A workation is a trip or vacation where you must perform some task for your regular work. Although you may be in a new or exotic locale, you may have to attend meetings, telecommute, or complete projects for your job. Depending on your job description, workations may or may not count against your vacation hours at work.
If you are on a company planned workation, you will probably have to put work first and leisure activity second. Some companies have headquarters or meeting facilities in other cities and countries, requiring travel there for conferences, training, or special events. On a company-planned workation, you will likely work full days and have evenings and possibly weekends to yourself.
The limited time available to you to relax on a workation can be used to your benefit. If you are unfamiliar with the city or country you are in, check local listings for nearby tours or sites you would like to visit. You can’t learn everything about a new place in a few free hours, but you can have unique experiences that give you a memorable perspective on the locale. Try to avoid tourist traps and look for local haunts and attractions instead. Remember to plan yourself time to just relax, as well; although you are technically on a vacation, you need to rest and prepare yourself for the work at hand.
The often less pleasant kind of workation involves having to take work with you on a planned vacation. This can occur if a project or deadline is changed, and runs the risk of seriously damaging a long-awaited trip or adventure. An added disappointment may include that you are not paid for the work you have to complete on your vacation, or still are charged your vacation hours even though you will be working.
If you are forced to take work with you, try to work on a set schedule. Particularly if you are traveling with friends or family who want to spend time with you, try to get your work done early in the day. Set an absolute stopping time, perhaps in the early afternoon, and direct the rest of your day to fun and relaxation. Alternatively, work solidly the first few days if possible, allowing you to really take the last part of your vacation away from pressure.
Vacations are important breaks that provide needed rest and an improvement in productivity. If you are in a position of power at your company or you are self-employed, understand the necessity of occasional completely work-free vacation. By taking a workation, you may be left with a sense that you never got away at all, and may return even more stressed and exhausted. Try to make sure you budget time to rest and reconnect with your companions or even just your pillow. No matter how important your work is, you will perform better if you can return to your job as rested and rejuvenated as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly is a workation and how does it differ from a regular vacation?
A workation is a blend of work and vacation, where individuals continue their professional duties while enjoying a different environment, often a travel destination. Unlike a regular vacation, which is purely for relaxation and leisure, a workation involves setting aside time for work tasks. This concept allows for a change of scenery and the opportunity to explore new places without sacrificing work responsibilities.
Can taking a workation improve productivity, and are there any statistics to support this?
Yes, taking a workation can potentially improve productivity. According to a study by the Journal of Environmental Psychology, exposure to natural environments can increase energy levels and cognitive function. Additionally, a survey by the American Psychological Association found that 58% of employees experience increased job satisfaction after a vacation, which can translate to higher productivity upon their return to work. These benefits can extend to workations, where the new environment may provide similar boosts.
What are some popular destinations for workations, and why are they chosen?
Popular destinations for workations often include places with reliable internet, comfortable accommodations, and a relaxing or inspiring atmosphere. Destinations like Bali, Thailand, and Costa Rica are favored for their beautiful landscapes, co-working spaces, and affordable living costs. Cities like Lisbon and Barcelona are also popular due to their vibrant culture, coworking communities, and mild climates, making them ideal for those looking to balance work and exploration.
What should one consider when planning a workation to ensure it is successful?
When planning a workation, consider factors such as internet connectivity, accommodation with suitable workspaces, time zone differences, and local amenities. It's also important to establish a work schedule that allows for both productivity and exploration. Additionally, check for any travel restrictions or visa requirements, and ensure you have the necessary equipment to perform your work remotely. Planning ahead can help maintain a balance between work obligations and enjoying the destination.
Are companies increasingly supporting workations, and what policies might they implement?
Companies are increasingly recognizing the benefits of flexible work arrangements, including workations. To support this, they may implement policies such as remote work stipends, flexible scheduling, and clear communication guidelines. Some companies even offer specific 'workation' packages or retreats to encourage team bonding and creativity. By setting expectations and providing resources, employers can help employees successfully integrate work and leisure during a workation.