Working remotely at least occasionally had become the norm for many even before the pandemic. Going forward, remote working will not only be widely accepted. It will become yet more flexible, making it easier to work from anywhere without the need to become a digital nomad.
Remote working has been on a strong growth path over the last couple of years. It’s estimated that prior to the global pandemic more than four million people in the U.S. already worked remotely full-time. Many more did so at least occasionally.
The past twelve months have significantly accelerated this trend. Around the world, more people than ever are currently working from home.
In fact, according from recent research from the World Economic Forum, about one fifth of the global workforce in advanced economies can work just as efficiently from home. And going forward, more will do this on a more regular basis. According to recent estimates, more than 35 million Americans (around 22% of the total workforce) could be working remotely full-time by 2025.
Despite this, it is safe to say, the office is not dead. Once the world is getting back to some sort of greater normality, most will return to the office.
Nevertheless, during the pandemic, many companies have realized that the benefits of remote working are not exclusively on the side of the employee. Proven higher efficiency, productivity, and engagement along with cost savings (real estate costs, transit subsidies, etc.) are a strong selling point to offer greater flexibility to those that want to work remotely at least occasionally.
This could be only one or two days a week, every other week or occasionally working remotely for a certain period. Of course, how often or how long such periods could be largely depends on the specifics of each job.
However, growing flexibility in remote work will change how remote work will be organized.
Today, working remotely does not necessarily mean you are able to travel the world while you are working.
Remote working typically means working from home and being available throughout your regular workday.
This is different to digital nomad jobs, which are jobs that do not require you to be online during specific office hours and indeed often means you are self-employed, running your own business or taking on project work as a freelancer.
In future, the difference between working remotely and roam the world like a digital nomad will increasingly blend. This will allow you to take your remote work anywhere for a certain time without the need to quit your job and become a self-employed digital nomad.
That is exactly where workcations come into the mix.
Let’s have a look what ‘workcation’ actually means and how you can make the best of this new trend.
What does workcation actually mean
If you look up the term workcation, you will quickly find there are different definitions what taking a workcation actually means.
The likely initial definition refers to a blend of work and holiday where you take off time from your regular day job to go on a vacation but will work during this time. Which in most cases would consist of voluntary work, or taking classes, learning a new skill that have nothing to do with your normal job.
However, more recently the term workcation is used to describe a different form of working while travelling the world.
This is what we are talking about here.
Workcation in this sense means working a normal office job remotely while you are in a different place from home.
What are the benefits of a workcation for employers and employees
Working remotely from a location that is not your home offers a number of great benefits not only for you but also your company.
Workcations allow for a change of scenery which in itself will already boost energy levels and make you work much more enthusiastically and productively.
It also means once your workday is over, you can go out and explore a new place or meet with friends and family who are living in a different city.
And last but not least, workcations are a great way to travel without having to take vacation time. Thus you get the opportunity to explore new places (or revisit those you already know) on more occasions throughout the year.
What to consider when deciding a workcation destination
Theoretically, you could spend your workcation just about anywhere.
That said, there are a couple of important considerations when it come to picking the right place.
Since you still need to work regular hours, and to be available in the same why if working from home (responding quickly to emails, phone calls etc.) you need to choose a place that offers frictionless Wi-Fi.
In addition, spending your workcation in a different time zone can be problematic unless you don’t mind working at night (but than you might not be able to explore the place as you will sleep during the day). On the other hand, you can always try and negotiate being available only on a reduced schedule (for example when the time difference is only few hours, you could still work eight hours but be available directly only for four hours) or that you can be contacted via email only and responses will be delayed.
What are the best places to spend a workcation
Once again, where you spend a workcation could be almost anywhere (except see above).
However, its important to take into account that you will work most of the time while on a workcation. Therefore, look for a place where you will be happy to work while there and only do sightseeing / leisure activities after work.
Therefore, going to a new place with lots of things to see and do, and much of the attractions mainly happening during the day when you need to work, could likely be more frustrating than exciting.
Unless of course you would be able to combine a proper vacation with a workcation. That way you will be able to first explore a new place, while then extending your stay for a couple of days or another week or two. During this time, you would work normally but still be able to explore additional places like diving deeper into the local restaurant scene after work and of course you have the weekends as well.
If you do not have the opportunity to combine vacation and workcation, there are still a lot of great places perfect for a workcation.
These could be places you already know, like a different city where you could revisit some of your favourite places after work or during the weekend.
In case you are able to extend your workcation for a couple of weeks you could also visit a city you don’t know. If you have, say three to four weeks and can work a slightly more flexible timetable, that would still give you plenty of opportunities to explore the most interesting parts of the city.
If you have less time, say only a week or two, smaller cities or villages in the countryside are working quite well. You will not need to spend as much time to explore the place compared to the time needed in a larger city. Which gives you more opportunities to really get a small city or village to know quite well.
You could also spend some time visiting friends or family who live in a different city.
Another great place to spend a workcation in my few are wellness resorts where you can enjoy some time in the sauna, poolside, getting a massage or other wellness treatments during your lunchbreak or after work.
Renting a cabin in the countryside and going for a hike during your lunchbreak or after work also is a great way to spend a workcation.