What is workation? Isn’t it the same as remote work?
While remote work has perks that can ease the strain of work, such as eliminating the commute, it brings its own stresses and can lead to burnout. A common problem is the inability of remote employees to completely switch off from work. Working remotely leads to employees being way too plugged into work, as they worry about their job security and skip vacations to become work martyrs. Most of the stress and anxiety employees experience is caused by an imbalance between work life and private life (that’s what happens when you bring work to your bedroom). It’s also true that many people refuse to take a break, as they don’t have money for or anywhere to go on vacation.
Many people were gutted financially due to the pandemic, as they lost their jobs or were overwhelmed with work as their colleagues were laid off. Therefore, taking an unpaid vacation (another financial hit) or a break without working still seems like a daunting idea.
That’s where a workation comes in! A workation combines work and vacation and can be a long weekend or last for several weeks. For HR leaders who want to encourage their employees to spend some time relaxing on the beach without forcing them to take time off from work, the workation trend is perfectly suited.
What should HR leaders know about workation as a trend in 2022?
As much as you would like employees to completely switch off, there are times when forcing them to do so can cause them to be more anxious — especially for those with senior or demanding positions. Yet, at the same time, you cannot argue that a relaxed and calm mental state can improve an employee’s productivity and efficiency.
How can HR leaders help create a work-life balance wherein employees can work and learn, yet feel secure? After all, there are many benefits of taking a vacation that helps to release stress and provide an opportunity to learn and explore new things. In addition, vacations allow people to expand their minds.
Let’s take a closer look at how to benefit from the workation trend.
Relaxation for technology addicts and stress-sensitive employees
A 2017 “Technology in society’ report shows over 210 million people worldwide suffer from digital addictions. The new “always on” culture has led to people checking their phones as the first thing they do in the morning.
This group of “always on work’ culture employees have difficulty letting their hair down, which often leads to exhaustion and burnout at work. A workation can be a golden middle for employees who like to be well-connected to their workplace even when they’re on vacation. They don’t need a wealth of cultural and entertainment opportunities. As long as their need for being connected with technology and the workplace are met, they can relax and destress
Reduces pressure on employees in demanding roles
From a psychological perspective, workaholics have existed way before the latest technological revolution. Workaholics feel compelled to work because of internal pressures. On the other hand, people with demanding jobs have a similar compulsion to be in touch with their teams, imagining that their absence could lead to disaster. For such employees, a workation can provide the perfect playground to relax in the evenings while ensuring that everything at the workplace is operating efficiently.
Satisfies urge to explore and seek adventure
Whether people work in a cubicle from 9 to 5 or work from home, the urge to seek adventure and explore new possibilities has always shaped and directed people’s minds and given meaning to life. Workation allows employees stuck in a rut to get out of their comfort zone and expand their horizons.
How can HR leaders make the most of the “workation” trend?
A workation can work miracles for more than providing a relaxing atmosphere for employees. HR leaders can use this trend to promote several benefits to the workforce.
Promote cultural diversity
According to a 2018 Harris Poll, 87 percent of 1300 business travelers reported that business trips to different countries helped them be more empathetic to others. With diversity at the workplace being such a hot topic, workations can help employees move toward a more empathic and compassionate way of thinking. In addition, HR leaders can provide employees with the opportunity to uncover perspectives through authentic experiences represented by people who are part of their diverse workforce.
Enhance the spirit of adventure and teambuilding
By offering group workation opportunities to employees, HR leaders can allow employees to spend time with colleagues away from the pressures of their daily life back home. In addition, it helps teams get to know one another on an individual level and allows space for teammates to bond while sharing unique and life-changing experiences.
Relieve workplace monotony
Working in the office or remotely can be mundane and repetitive, leading to low morale and motivation. A workation provides an opportunity to explore a new place and take a break from monotonous work life.
Boost overall employee morale and therefore improve productivity
Workation opportunities help employees feel appreciated for their work and let them know that the company cares about them by providing unique experiences. Such work-life experience allows employees to enjoy personal space and rejuvenate the mind and body. Furthermore, when employees feel they’re being taken care of, it automatically boosts their morale and encourages them to perform better, thereby boosting their productivity.
Warning signs that your workation plan may fail
Before you set off making travel arrangements and booking coworking spaces for your employees’ next workation, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure your workation plan achieves the goals set for your employees. Below are some warning signs to watch out for while making workation plans:
- Time zone differences: Ensure that the time difference between your company’s location and the destination where an employee is headed for a workation is workable. You should be able to perform common tasks during general work hours and avoid missing critical updates.
- Improper or poor communication channels: Ensure you’ve checked your communication channels in advance so employees can easily connect to their workplace without being frustrated.
- Employees struggle to maintain work-life balance: A workation still includes working during vacation. Employees can quickly lose the distinction between work and leisure, causing more harm than relaxation. To avoid this, create a timeline so employees also get some time off to enjoy the destination.
Workation is a significant trend that can promote employees’ mental and physical health. In addition, a workation acts as a stepping stone for future growth and learning opportunities. Subscribe to our newsletter for more handy tips on how you can increase workforce productivity.