Workation is a new way of working that combines work and vacation. It's a way for people to recharge and working from a place they love, doing the things they love. Imagine your employees finishing up that ad campaign and afterwards catch a surf on the Portuguese waves. Or go for a beautiful morning hike through the Norwegian woods, before having a sales call with an important client. Perhaps some of your employees are getting less motivated because of the cold winter weather and are looking forward to spending some time on the beach after work?
In this article, we'll discuss the benefits of such workations for both employers and employees.
Workations are growing in popularity, and for good reason. According to a 2021 survey, nearly 80% out of 7000 respondents said they'd like to extent their holidays with a workation. According to one of the researchers, “The possibility of working during the day and being able to relax in a beautiful vacation spot in the evenings and on weekends attracts many people.”
The reasons behind this trend make sense: the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital communication tools and working from home. This means we're more flexible than ever with where we work and when we work. Another survey 74% of Americans who are working from home said they’d consider taking a workcation. American professionals are choosing to get their work done where they please—and that includes while on workation.
When you help your employees take a workation, you’re doing more than just giving them the opportunity to relax. You’re also improving their well-being and job satisfaction.
The benefits of a workation are twofold: on one hand, it allows people to integrate leisure with work, which allows them to relax and be more productive. On the other hand, it also increases employee well-being by giving them time away from their normal routine—time spent doing something different instead of working at their desk all day every day. It also helps increase job satisfaction since they are able to take part in something completely new that they wouldn't normally have time for if they were working within an office all week long.
One study reported on the benefits of working remotely, surrounded by nature. The study has been conducted by Sweden's single largest centre of medical academic research and one of the world's foremost medical universities, Karolinska Institutet.
Among other results, participants felt their well-being increased by 22% as the participants felt less depressed and more calm, harmonious and happy.
Another research indicated that roughly 84% are more satisfied with their job after a workation. (Photo Online, 2022)
In addition to improving the well-being of your employees, a workation can also increase productivity. When employees have time off to relax after work, they can come back refreshed and ready to tackle their work. As a result, they are more focused and productive when they return to work after engaging in a fun activity during their vacation.
Its very well known that sleep is key for a productive work life. During a workation surrounded by nature participants fell asleep 51% faster and had a better quality of sleep with longer periods of uninterrupted sleep when working from their nature offices.
By engaging in new and exciting experiences, your employees will return from their workation feeling refreshed and re-energised. They may even have new ideas for their job that they would not have considered before.
On top of being more productive, employees are also happier on remote workations. A survey from Gallup showed that only 36 percent of full-time employees reported feeling engaged at work—but 82 percent felt engaged while traveling! Travel makes people feel alive again; it gives them perspective on life outside the workplace bubble and helps them be more energised when they don't have to sit at their desks all day long, commute back home, watch TV and then doing it all again. Instead they go out and engage in fun, relaxing activities. The positive change in mood can carry over into improved productivity and quality levels during the workation. With regard to the Swedish work remote in nature study, Overall vitality increased by 27% as participants felt more alert, energetic and strong.
According to the World Health Organization, burnout is an "emotional exhaustion" that can lead to absenteeism and presenteeism — when people come to work but are mentally elsewhere.
A recent study found that 50% of workers polled said they were burned out at work. And 65% said they wouldn't be able to take time off if they needed it due to pressure from their boss or colleagues.
Research conducted by Gallup found that stressed-out employees cost $3,400 out of every $10,000 in salary because they are disengaged from their work. And replacing workers can be expensive—which we'll discuss further on.
The good news is that employers can help prevent burnout by offering better work-life balance, flexible hours and telecommuting options. Workations can be a good solution for those who need a mental break or change of scenery but don't want to stop working altogether or take too much time off from their job. During the Swedish workation in nature; participants perceived stress decreased by 48% while cognitive stress decreased by 50%. Also, they’ve noticed a significant decrease of depressive symptoms (such as inertia, general concern and lack of interest) by 44%.
Workations are a great way to attract and retain top performers. According to Deloitte Global Research, the annual cost of turnover for an employee can be as high as two months’ salary for the position they left behind—and losing top performers can cost up to four times that amount. Furthermore, you don't want to spend your time looking for new people and training them. Instead you want to focus on improving your business and the bottom line.
Now imagine spending no money at all on hiring and training new employees because your existing ones don’t want to leave! If you offer workations as part of your benefit package, you will be able to build stronger relationships with your best talent—and in turn retain more of them.
This year, companies are expected to spend $130 billion on employee wellness. Workations are a great way for employers to keep their workers healthy and productive. Plus, because the experience is so awesome, employees are more likely to stick around. So if you're looking for a new way to improve your employees work life, consider facilitating workations!