In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic affected every area of our lives, including the working environment. Working from home became the new norm, and people wondered how long it would last. By 2021, business executives such as Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan, were getting fed up with the Zoom calls, which they said would never substitute working from the office. He is only one of the many CEOs who are not fans of the remote work structure, but times have demanded that we adapt. Now, people want to carry out their work even while on vacations to ensure deadlines and targets are met. As a result, the workcation trend is on the rise. Let’s tell you more about as you learn where you can go for the ideal workcation.
Meaning of Workcation
The spelling of the word can give you a hint since it combines “work” and “vacation.” It essentially means going on vacation and still doing some work as if you were at your regular workstation. Whether you work from home or in a cubicle at the office, a workcation means you will travel and take a break from that routine then work from your chosen destination. It is killing two birds with one stone because you get your desired rest while still fulfilling your obligations as an employee. Some had never heard of the term until 2020. However, workcations have been with us for years. Freelancers, for instance, do not have to be stuck at a workstation for them to work; they move around to wherever they please and still get their bills paid because they have a flexible working schedule. Technology has made it possible to work remotely, although not as few hours as economist John Maynard Keynes predicted. According to NPR, Keynes predicted in 1930 that his grandchildren would work for 15 hours a week at most. He anticipated that by the time his grandchildren were adults, technology would have been so advanced that people would be more productive. Unfortunately, his predictions did not come true as per the interview with his relatives since one of them confessed to working 50 hours a week and could barely get some time off. As much as technology has improved, it has not made people work less. Instead, it has facilitated employees to work smarter. Governments are even at the forefront of urging workers to take workcations so that the other industries benefit too from the traveling. Japan urged businesses to permit 70% of employees to work from home and then popularized workcations. The Japanese government even floated ideas of where workers could travel to work. It went as far as installing Wi-Fi in national parks to encourage people to travel and still have access to internet connectivity that will facilitate them to carry out their official duties.
Are Workcations Worth It?
Lifehacker published an article claiming that workcations are a total scam. The author explained that as much as a workcation is pitched to offer the best of both worlds, you cannot have your cake and eat it. It goes on to say that ideally, during a workcation you should work three hours at most and leave the rest of the hours for leisure. Unfortunately, your company expects you to meet the set targets even while on vacation, which means that the three hours turn into a typical workday. As a result, you might as well be in your cubicle at the office. On the other side, you could want to work but encounter many distractions that hamper productivity. Such observations could have you wondering if taking a workcation is worth it, so it is best to consider a few matters before packing your bags. An employer concerned that a particular project is already underway and will be affected by your constant traveling will not permit you to work away from the office. Besides, if you are a workaholic and find out that the hotel you have booked does not have amenities to facilitate working away from the office, you will be frustrated. For this reason, always carry out due diligence to ensure that you have booked yourself into a hotel with stable Wi-Fi so that whether you are relaxing by the poolside or taking coffee at the café, you can still carry your laptop and work. Also, a good desk set-up in your room will ensure that your physical health is not affected by the end of your trip. If you plan on taking a workcation during this COVID-19 pandemic, check that your target destination allows visitors and get some insurance, visa, and any other thing you know you will need to facilitate your travel and stay.
Best Destinations for a Workcation
In September 2020, Loop News published that Aruba had joined the list of islands offering workcation specials. Previously, Barbados, Bermuda, and Anguilla had done the same. Barbados for instance introduced a 12-month Welcome Stamp visa in June 2020 that allowed visitors to explore the island for one year. The Welcome Stamp Visa is open to anyone meeting the visa requirements and whose work can be done remotely, whether traveling alone or with family. As for the Aruba invitation, the government announced a “One Happy Workcation” package deal. It allowed visitors to stay from a week up to three months working remotely while taking advantage of discounted rates for local accommodation, complimentary Wi-Fi, and access to local experiences. Unlike Barbados, Aruba’s offer was open only to Americans with a national ID. However, you do not have to limit yourself to the island invitations. You can still visit places like Japan and stay at a luxury vacation rental. Rentals usually are equipped with Wi-Fi, kitchen bathroom, bedroom, living room, and some even have pools, home theaters, and barbecues to complete your vacation. If your budget is tight, you can find an apartment offering the same amenities; monthly, you will only fork out an amount equal to what most vacation rentals demand for a week.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson