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Why the “workcation” is predicted to become part of the new normal

Posted by Tasnim Ahmed

March 29, 2022    |     3-minute read (600 words)

Many businesses had no choice but to function remotely due to the COVID-19 outbreak and extended lockdowns. Work from home gradually took hold as an accepted new mode of work. 

But as soon as pandemic-related rules were relaxed, the global workforce embraced the opportunity to work from anywhere — precipitating a spike in reservations at vacation villas, hotels and resorts worldwide. This resulted in a new trend, commonly dubbed the workcation.

The workcation is a work-vacation hybrid, meaning in theory you work during the daytime and enjoy your destination during your leisure time. By virtue of being abruptly moved to remote work, once pandemic safety rules were lifted, many employees were eager to leave the confines of their homes. 

But rather than a return to being tethered to a desk, most employees had become accustomed to a mobile environment that entailed collaborative virtual platforms and a strong Wi-Fi connection, and those can now be found in the hills, the woods and even on the beach in many locales.

According to The Points Guy, the workcation was the most-popular travel trend of 2020 and is here for good. While the idea of mixing business travel and leisure isn’t exactly new, the pandemic has spurred people to rethink what a workcation could look like. Workers began to understand that they could do their jobs just as well at a beach in California, a mountain cabin in Colorado, a Tuscan villa in Italy or an Ottoman resort in Turkey.

The travel industry responds

When the global workforce began to travel, hotel chains grappling with the effects of the pandemic saw an immense opportunity to tap into the “work from anywhere” ethos of people eager to book properties for a workcation. Vacation homes and hotels began to offer packages catering to digital nomads, featuring amenities such as a speedy Wi-Fi connection, an individual workspace, points or credits for food and recreational activities for their downtime. 

Global travelers take heed

According to a report by Passport-Photo.Online, many American professionals are embracing the remote-work era and maximizing their paid time off, with workcations topping travel plans in 2022. In a poll conducted among 1,117 American workers, 67% said they had taken a workcation in recent months to “recharge their mental and emotional batteries,” and another 94% said they aim to do so in 2022. 

The study also found that a whopping 86% of workers either agree or strongly agree that working from home increased their productivity. Analyzing the impact of workcations on their performance, 81% of “workcationers” said they were more creative at work, about 69% were less inclined to quit, 83% agree or strongly agree that workcations helped them deal with burnout and around 84% were more satisfied and happier in their jobs. 

The trend takes hold

There's no indication of workcations slowing down as businesses continue to adapt more permanent remote work rules. In a 2021 poll, 85% of 3,000 Indian workers said they took a workcation last year (2021). Meanwhile, 25% of Canadian workers intend to take a workcation this year, and 65% of 5,500 respondents in a global survey of eight nations say they expect to stretch a work trip into a vacation, or vice versa, in 2022.

The need to adjust throughout the pandemic has groomed people well for a break that blends work and leisure. It appears likely to become a permanent trend lasting beyond the pandemic, given the benefits workers see in them, such as a boost in productivity and creativity and improved mental health and well-being — while still meeting deadlines and day-to-day work commitments.

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