Is 'Workation' Even Possible? This Guide Says It Is

Maximizing the remote work setup.
IMAGE ECHO ANTONIO

Yearning for a change of environment after two years of strictly working from home due to lockdowns, Dylan Twain Constantino booked a trip to Siargao, a spontaneous break from routine that led him to the "workation" lifestyle.

The Gen Z data analyst, who is on a permanent WFH setup, has since brought his mobile office to La Union and Boracay, filling the gaps in his schedule with beachside drinks and parties.

"It was only an impulsive decision... I realized then that I'm only working and then I'm sleeping during the pandemic, and days go by and nothing happens so I went to Siargao and I realized that days get extended kasi ang daming nangyayari in a day," Constantino told reportr.

"Nakaka-produce naman ako ng output for work so na-realize ko why not do it again? Kung kaya naman, why not integrate life with work?" he added.

READ: Boss, I'm So Tired. Can I Take a Mental Health Break?

Constantino is among the growing number of remote workers who are showing interest in workations as countries largely end lockdowns and resume international leisure travel in the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the start of August alone, Google searches for "workation" have spiked by 445% based on research by overseas jobs website Anywork Anywhere, with an executive attributing the rising interest to the growing importance of work-life balance.

READ: Dear Corporate Slave, Is Your Work All That You Are as a Person?

What is a workation?

A workation is a mix of work and vacation. In essence, it means taking a trip away (either short-term or long-term) from home while still working remotely.

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With the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting office cultures, many companies now allow remote work for their workers which is one of the reasons why there is growing interest in workations.

Factor in the boredom that remote workers like Constantino feel after working from their bedrooms or kitchens for months, and it's no wonder that many are looking for ways to spice up their work routines.

MORE ON JOBS AND CAREERS:

Work From Home: Can Your Career Grow Without Human Touch? 

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What are the benefits?

For Constantino, workations have done wonders for his mental health after months of being cooped up alone in his Metro Manila apartment.

"Since I've been taking these trips, I noticed na mas light and mas productive ako actually work-wise kasi I have to maximize my day," he said.

"It (workation) also lessens the stress kasi I can take my mind off things. After I close my laptop, I just have to enjoy the beach or party," he added.

Here are some of the benefits that workations can offer according to Anywork Anywhere:

Enhanced Creativity

Travel and exposure to new environments can help you think more creatively after months of staying in the same environment.

Constantino, for example, said workations have allowed him to meet new people and see things from a different perspective.

Increased Productivity

Workations provide a change of environment and pace which means these trips are also escapes from your usual routine and chores--which often serves as distractions from your work.

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Self-care

It's been a challenging time for everyone with the COVID-19 pandemic on top of the daily problems and stressors each individual has which explains the growing importance given to mental health.

In June, the World Health Organization called on all nations to invest more in mental health, saying "the suffering is enormous" and has been made worse by the pandemic.

For people who are struggling to "switch off from work", taking workations can improve work-life balance and help in relaxation.

Tips for a successful workation

Here are tips for a successful workation from Constantino and Anywork Anywhere:

Internet is a must

If you're a remote worker, it means that your profession is highly dependent on internet connectivity. It may be a dream to wake up and work by the beach but is there internet connection?

Make sure to check and confirm if there's internet connection in your target workation area before booking that trip especially if you're required to have Microsoft Teams calls with your boss every now and then.

Bring your necessary work equipment

Having the usual work setup he has at home was one of the main challenges for Constantino when going on a workation. As a data analyst, Constantino said he's used to having two or three monitors but has to settle for his laptop alone when on a trip.

Before traveling, make sure you have all the basics and necessary equipment you need so you can still perform your work well. 

Choose the correct work environment

When choosing when to spend your workation, think about the kind of environment change that you want. For example, if you're looking to relax, taking a workation in a bustling city could be an additional stressor. 

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Think of what could help your productivity and wellness when choosing where to go on workation.

Check the logistics

Travel restrictions might be easing up but it's best to be mindful that we're still in a pandemic. Before booking a workation trip, check all the travel requirements and restrictions for a hassle-free experience.

While many tourist spots have relaxed their COVID-19 testing requirements, most still require proof of full vaccination for instance.

Plan in advance so your trip doesn't go to waste.

Plan your day

Maximize your workation by planning out your day in advance according to Constantino.

This means working efficiently so you still have time to enjoy the new environment. Don't let your trip go to waste by staying cooped up in your hotel room.

Ideally, separate your work time from your vacation time even when you're on a workation. Once you close your laptop, go take all the holiday activities that you plan to do. After all, a workation is a mix of work and vacation time.

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