The rise of the ‘workcation’
A recent YouGov survey revealed that over a third of UK workers that can work remotely would take a workcation in the next twelve months.
While mixing work and play isn’t the norm, it does have appeal, offering employees the opportunity to extend their international travels without booking lots of time off work. Here, Kristian Torode, Director and Co-Founder of business communications technology provider Crystaline explores the rise of the ‘workcation’ and how businesses can help their employees to make the most of their free time.
A workcation is a combination of work and ‘vacation’, where individuals can work remotely from a desirable location while enjoying the benefits of a holiday.
Unsurprisingly, the YouGov survey revealed that 18-to-34-year-olds were most interested in the concept, with 61% of the youngest workers open to taking a workcation. The top three types of destination were countryside, beaches, and big cities, and the top locations were Italy, Spain, and Canada.
The perks of working on holiday
Unlike a traditional holiday, workcations provide employees with the flexibility to maintain their work commitments while exploring new destinations, allowing them to travel without sacrificing limited annual leave.
Emerging after the pandemic’s remote work shift, employees can avoid the stress of commuting and experience fresh surroundings outside of their working hours, making what may have been a one-week holiday into several weeks of travel.
It works in a similar way to the digital nomad lifestyle, which has been gaining traction worldwide for a few years now, as countries recognise the potential economic benefits of attracting fully remote workers. Digital nomad visas grant individuals the legal right to live and work in a foreign country for an extended period and are available for a growing number of nations globally. Some of the more recently added destinations are Cape Verde, Croatia, and the Seychelles.
For employees who are not yet ready to commit to a complete relocation, or for those whose employers only offer fully remote work for short time periods, workcations offer a temporary taste of the digital nomad experience. Typically lasting anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, they provide individuals with an opportunity to test the waters and assess whether this lifestyle aligns with their preferences and work requirements.
Embracing work from anywhere
The appeal of a workcation is clear, but there are certain things to consider to ensure a ‘workcation’ initiative works for both individuals and companies. For workcations to become a viable option for employees, businesses must adopt a "work from anywhere" policy that fosters flexibility and trust. This policy allows employees to choose where they want to work, be it from their homes, coworking spaces, or a scenic destination during workcations.
Implementing a policy that allows international working requires additional considerations too. Businesses must ensure they follow regulations around tax liabilities for long-term stays abroad, immigration rules, insurance, and corporate safety. Additionally, both businesses and employees need to ensure the environment they choose to work in is productive, and that work standards don’t drop due to a change in location.
Technology for seamless remote work
To enable a successful workcation experience, businesses need to equip their employees with the right technology. While most companies have a remote setup in place following the pandemic, ensuring seamless remote work is a non-negotiable for an effective ‘workcation’ policy.
While most collaboration tools will work regardless of location, there are certain considerations to be made. If an employee is connecting to a public Wi-Fi network, it’s worth setting up a virtual private network (VPN) to ensure that employees can access company resources securely without risking a data breach.
It’s also worth assessing the suitability of your business mobile subscriptions. Are the handsets set up for international roaming? Is there a more cost-effective way to ensure that employees are still contactable without incurring heavy roaming charges?
Crystaline is an independent provider of business communication technology – whether you’re looking for a full remote working setup or to finetune one element of your system. Being network and supplier independent, Crystaline can work with you to ensure that you get the package that is best suited to your requirements at the right price for your business.
As working continues to become more flexible for many, workcations are likely to become commonplace. While it can be a success for both businesses and their employers, planning for many of the common hurdles is essential for productive work and effective communication.