Workcation: What Is It and How to Take It?

Looking for a feasible way to balance your work and time off – workcation is what you need. It is becoming an increasingly popular thing to combine holiday time with remote work. More and more people get the taste of it and turn into digital nomads. Wi-fi allows you to work remotely from anywhere on the planet and beyond. In the old days it was only available for freelancers, today things are changing for the better. Full-time employees opt for workcation breaks as a chance to swap their office desks to bounty retreats.

Workcation is old news for, say, hip marketing specialists that have been doing it for years, but for most of us it is big news, like for the MSWord spellchecker.

Can it really happen to me one day? Yoga by the pool in the morning, peaceful worktime in the shade of palm trees, ocean at your feet, you dive in the cool refreshing waters every time you have a productivity crisis and then back to your pina colada sided laptop… Working hours fly by swiftly like those exotic birds in the nearby bamboo grove. And then comes dinner time without having to cook after a long commute and exhausting shopping in the busy supermarket that drains you out completely after a long office day… What is it tonight yellow fin tuna or grilled lobster? Mmmm, that passion fruit salad looks really good… No cleaning up or getting formally dressed, no driving and looking for a parking space, no rush or risk to be late, no household chores, no stress… Just work and relaxation… Sounds awfully good, doesn’t it? Read on to check out more Pros and how to avoid Cons.

  • Workcation gives you a chance to change the setting for your working time. It has been proven by all of us - people come back from vacations refreshed and full of energy, so why wait? If vacation generally happens once a year or never, why let your vitamin D levels drop critically and miss on a chance of getting your batteries recharged? Workcation will get your productivity rolling. Choose your dream location and jet off, laptop and swimsuit in your hand luggage.
  • A workcation bonus - you’ll save your precious vacation days! You will relax, visit cool sights in the evenings or at weekends; spend time with family and friends whom you otherwise don’t get to see a lot; do sports you can’t normally do in your free time - like surfing, and still get paid.
  • When you return from your workcation you won’t have the usual stress of getting disconnected from work. You are aware of everything and attend all meetings remotely. You’ve read and answered all e-mails and completed that challenging project of yours. You don’t need to readjust yourself to the office life that much - just to tight shoes maybe. It feels like you’ve had a good time off but without cutting on your motivation and productivity.

So, if it is as good as it sounds, why don’t all of us not tied to one location try it? There are some concerns and fears attached to this fantastic way to work. Namely, there is a list of 3 top what-ifs…

What if your workcation will turn into a real vacation?

How to stay productive and think about work, if there are so many things to do and places to see? What if I’ll get distracted all the time and won’t be able to focus on the project? Kayaking in the local river sounds a lot more attractive than finishing your monthly report… So you promise yourself to complete it later and never really get down to it.

What if you’re on Bali and your office is in New York?

Ho to effectively communicate when working remotely? Business communication may be complicated or even impossible for a number of reasons like poor wi-fi, a significant time difference, etc. What if your colleagues will not be able to get hold of you? Or you will send urgent e-mails and wait for three days for an answer because wi-fi in your beach bungalow is not working during blackouts and that is 70 percent of the time?

What if you are not there in case you’re needed?

Your team may be not fully aware of what exactly you are doing at a certain moment in time. Imagine, you are getting a full body massage before lunch and your colleagues are trying to reach you for an urgent skype meeting. When you work remotely you have your own schedule and do things at your own pace without a structuring framework of the office hours. So you and your colleagues may not match very well if your work generally implies a lot of contact and real-time discussions, updates, last minute changes etc.

The above reasons make it very hard to get a workcation approved or even start to negotiate it. However, if you are determined to try it, make sure you can convince your boss to okay it.

  • Be ready to define your working hours and notify your office about it. It is essential if you’ll be working from a different time zone.
  • Think of the best way to contact you and make sure everyone is aware of it. Double-check the wi-fi status in the place of remote work, maybe it makes sense to get a different mobile plan for international calls and Internet connection.
  • Browse through all your tasks and delegate those you won’t be able to do while away. For example, meeting your new clients or going on a business trip. It’ll be better if you think of it before your workcation begins.
  • When on workcation – be proactive in communication with your colleagues, respond to emails promptly, get all news and learn about important office events. It will cover up for your physical absence.
  • If you are traveling to visit relatives and friends, allocate enough time for work. And more importantly, make sure that your work is not interrupted all the time. In fact, you will have a full working day and meet everyone after.

In the end, we must admit that workcation is not for everyone. Why mix apples and oranges, if it’s easier to have a normal vacation and really relax? However, for the adventurous lot and those who can think ahead and plan things well, go for it! Mix work and vacation and maybe you will reach your Zen.

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