What is workation? Definition of a new trend that combines work and travel

a woman that practice workation

Who has never wanted to leave everything behind to travel or go on a world tour? Material questions, distance from loved ones or lack of time are three main reasons that push us to put off this desire until tomorrow — or never. However, there are many opportunities to travel while working, like workation.

Workation: what is it and who is it for?

The concept of workation was born about ten years ago in California. It is not difficult to define it, as it is a combination of two terms: work and vacation. It is often equated with telecommuting, which also refers to flexible work modes.

Workation can allows you to enjoy the dolce vita in Naples, the museums in Berlin or the festive atmosphere in Madrid without taking a single day off. This means that you can enjoy new experiences all year round, not just during the summer vacations.

KPMG Canada launched its KPMG Nomad program in 2021. The objective? To offer all its employees the opportunity to travel for 4 weeks in 6 countries eligible for the new Nomade Digital visas (Les Affaires, May 23, 2022)

A new model of work that is growing

This new way of working is developing because of the democratization of teleworking. Even if it cannot be applied to all jobs and all sectors of activity, workation is becoming a way for companies to differentiate themselves from their competitors and to attract new talents. The new generations are looking for meaning, autonomy but above all flexibility.

According to ServiceNow’s 2021 study, 76% of Gen Zers favor a hybrid alternative model (41%) or total telecommuting that allows them to work from anywhere (35%).

Who can (really) practice workation?

Even if it is becoming more and more popular, workation is mostly practiced today by digital nomads such as freelancers who have flexible hours and no fixed office. But freelancers and employees who have negotiated the possibility to telework can also benefit from it.

Coworking spaces, coliving spaces or even hotels propose attractive offers for these new workers who wish to mix vacations and work without losing their comfort and (especially!) their wifi connection.

The 4 keys to a successful workation

Now that you know what workation is, it is essential to remember that, as in any job, there are responsibilities and obligations to fulfill. For this reason, there are certain rules that must be followed in order to have a good experience. The idea is to be able to :

  • Establish a routine: The environment and the work space are certainly more attractive, but we must not forget that this “vacation” remains a work context. Therefore, it is important to be organized and to follow a routine in order to meet your obligations.
  • Prioritize work: Even if you are sometimes tempted to go for a walk or a getaway, don’t forget that the company expects you to meet your objectives at the end of the day or week. Once the daily assignments are over, you can enjoy all the benefits of living in a new city and a new place.
  • Make sure you don’t improvise: In the face of these distractions, it is always advisable to have a well-defined schedule and to organize the tasks to be done. This avoids improvising on the fly and allows you to better manage your time.
  • Take the time to rest: Obviously, this is also a priority to work well. We appreciate more the place where we are when we take the time to slow down the rhythm.

The benefits of mixing work and vacation

This new, much more flexible way of working has many advantages. It allows, for example, to :

  • Manage your daily life with more flexibility: If your schedule is well organized, it is easier to combine leisure and work. This is more difficult to do when you spend your day at work in the city, and then add in the morning and evening commuting time.
  • Increase personal well-being: People who take advantage of workation are generally more efficient because they are in an environment they enjoy and which is generally less stressful.
  • Discover new places: Traveling and getting to know new destinations opens up new cultures and opportunities.

Workation is therefore an alternative to consider if you want to change your work environment, whether it is temporary or long term.

Have you ever done workation? What do you think about it?

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