By: Michael Barone

September 26, 2023

What’s a Workation?

The idea of going on a workation appears to be a common practice nowadays. Combining work and vacation, a workation may seem paradoxical at first. After all, if you are working, you are not truly on a vacation, right? However, due to the rise of remote work and the newfound flexibility it offers, a new trend has emerged – the workation.

In this article, I will present to you this innovative idea. Initially, I will delve into the meaning of the term workation and the reasons for its rapid surge in popularity. Subsequently, I will explore the various variations of workations and the optimal locations for enjoying this unique type of vacation. Lastly, I will analyze the pros and cons of embarking on a workation, culminating in providing useful suggestions and guidance for a productive workation experience.

What is a workation?

A workation, also known as a workcation or worcation, is a unique experience that involves blending work and leisure time away from the office environment. Essentially, a workation allows you to take a break in a different location while still being able to fulfill your work responsibilities.

Since workation is a relatively new term, I haven’t been able to find an official definition yet. The extent of work required to consider oneself on a workation is still unclear. Does checking emails once a week suffice? What if you only accomplish 50% of your normal workload? Or do you need to work the same amount, or even more, than you would at home? Furthermore, why do we feel the need to travel for workation? Currently, workcations are quite popular.

At present, there is still a lack of clarity regarding the aforementioned matter, resulting in the term workation being ambiguous and open to interpretation. I have extensively discussed the definitions of different ideas in my previous articles, with particular emphasis on the definition of tourism. Therefore, in an effort to provide some clarification, I suggest the following explanation.
‘A workation can be described as a vacation where a significant portion of time is devoted to work.’ Dr. Hayley Stainton (2020).

The growth of workations

The year 2020 brought extensive devastation in various aspects. Tragically, numerous lives were lost, the international tourism sector suffered severe damage, our rights and freedoms were forcibly taken away, and we faced economic declines on a scale not witnessed since World War 2. It is undeniably clear that this was not our most successful year.

However, there is always a positive aspect to every situation, isn’t there? The global pandemic did bring about certain advantages. Health and sanitation measures have been enhanced on a global scale, technology has revolutionized various aspects of efficiency, and we are no longer confined to our office workstations as we were in 2019.

The idea of a workation has developed as a result of the newfound liberties granted to us in our jobs. We have demonstrated to our employers that constant supervision is not necessary and that we are capable of working autonomously. In fact, numerous employers now support the idea of remote work as a means to cut down on expenses such as office space rent.

The advancement of technology has empowered us to enhance our work methods. We are no longer compelled to harm the environment through daily commuting or extensive travel for business engagements. Instead, we can easily activate our laptops and establish virtual connections. Frankly speaking, I find it perplexing that it requires a worldwide health crisis for us to acknowledge this, as it appears quite apparent to me.

Anyway, I am getting off-topic… The main idea is that the professional landscape will undergo a permanent transformation. Individuals now have the option to work remotely from rural locations or even overseas. I anticipate that this trend will become increasingly prevalent in the future. Consequently, it can potentially lessen the economic inequalities between different regions and nations. However, I am not well-versed in economics, so I won’t elaborate on that aspect at this moment.

The rise of remote work has made it difficult to distinguish between work and personal life. Some people find this acceptable, while others do not. However, it does provide us with the freedom to shape our own lives, a privilege that was rare prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. We now have the option to work when it suits us best. Are you not a morning person? No problem. Do you want to be available to pick up your children from school? Absolutely. Would you rather work on Sundays instead of Mondays? Go for it. Are you looking for a more affordable way of living? Consider a workation as a potential solution.

The lines between work and leisure have become increasingly blurred, even during our vacations. We now have the ability to combine our work and holidays in a way that suits our needs. This is what we call a “workation.”

Gone are the days of being tied to a rigid schedule and a monotonous routine. With the rise of the workation, we have the freedom to break free from the traditional 9-to-5 grind and create a life that aligns with our individual needs and desires.

Imagine waking up in a cozy cabin nestled in the mountains, surrounded by breathtaking views. The crisp morning air fills your lungs as you sip on a cup of freshly brewed coffee, knowing you have the entire day ahead of you to work on your own terms. No more rushing through breakfast or battling traffic during the morning commute. Instead, you have the luxury of starting your workday whenever it suits you best.

For those who are not morning people, this newfound flexibility is a game-changer. You can now embrace your natural rhythm and tackle your tasks when you feel most productive. Whether you’re a night owl who thrives in the late hours or someone who prefers a leisurely start to the day, the workation allows you to optimize your work schedule to maximize your efficiency and creativity.

But it’s not just about the work. The workation also allows us to prioritize the things that truly matter in life. Need to pick up your kids from school? No problem. With the workation, you can easily adjust your schedule to be there for those crucial moments. Gone are the days of missing out on school plays or parent-teacher meetings due to work obligations. Now, you can seamlessly blend your professional and personal life, creating a harmonious balance that brings you joy and fulfillment.

And let’s not forget about the financial benefits of the workation. By exploring new locations and finding more affordable places to live, you can stretch your hard-earned money further. Imagine living in a tropical paradise or a charming European town, all while maintaining your career. The workation opens up a world of possibilities, allowing you to experience different cultures, cuisines, and lifestyles without sacrificing your professional growth.

Even when it comes to vacations, the workation offers a unique twist. Instead of taking time off from work, you can merge your holiday with your job. Picture yourself lounging on a pristine beach, laptop in hand, as you complete your tasks with the sound of crashing waves in the background. This seamless integration of work and leisure allows you to make the most of your time, ensuring you return from your vacation feeling refreshed and accomplished.
In this new era of flexibility and freedom, the workation has become a beacon of possibility. It empowers us to.

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I have been a Global Business Development Manager and Global Account Manager since October 2022, supporting organizations in all aspects of their Global Mobility Programs. Before joining GMS, I worked for 18 years in Global Mobility. My experience ranges from Operations to Account Management for various client sizes and scopes. I have extensive experience with inter-company transfers and all assignment types for Global Cross Border policies.

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