About 3 out of 4 Americans who usually work from home said they have considered organizing a workcation. So it’s likely you or your colleagues have been fantasizing about seeing more of the world while you work from your laptop in a totally new location.
In this article, we will go over our top tips for managing a workcation, what to consider before you book one, and where to go on your workcation trip. We also have a bucket load of content on the NoHQ blog to help you work remotely or transition your businesses into a remote-first company.
What is a Workcation?
A workcation is when you work from a new destination away from the office or home. You work a normal day with the same work schedule. However, you have more time to explore during your non-working hours.
The workcation meaning can vary from person to person. Some people want to continuously travel as they work and see the world a small piece at a time, while others plan only one-month trips to one destination during the work year and return to their home for the majority of the year. Whatever a workcation looks like for you, use workcations as an easy way to explore a new city or country while you continue to work your regular work hours.
6 Tips for a Successful Workcation
1. Internet, Internet, Internet!
First things first, to work away from home, you need a strong internet connection.
Without good wifi, you’ll likely miss essential communications or have to miss some video calls with your team or clients. Learn more about how to master remote communication.
Always look to rent a place or book a hotel room with a good internet connection. You may also wish to scope out some local cafés where you can work in a new location when you aren’t on a call. Alternatively, you can organize a sim card with mobile data for the country which you are visiting, so you won’t be caught without a way to communicate with your team.
2. Let others know you are taking a workcation
If you work for a remote-first business, they likely won’t have any problem with you taking a workcation. However, it’s always best to check with your manager before booking anything and notify your colleagues so they know when to expect you to be available.
If you use Slack, you can set your status to something like ‘away in Italy’ to remind your colleagues that you are in a different time zone and will be working slightly different hours than usual.
3. Nail your stay-at-home workday before you start to travel
Don’t even think about planning a workcation before you have nailed your work from home routine.
If you have been working remotely for a while and feel confident you can replicate your workday in another location, go for it. However, if you are still a remote-working newbie, it’s best to take 6-12 months to get your system down and implement a WFH routine before you take your work elsewhere. Set your work from home schedule before you plan a workcation, so you don’t get overwhelmed or stressed during your travels.
CNBC featured digital nomad Alexandra Fasulo travels around the states and further abroad while she works from her laptop. Alex is a seasoned workcationer and recommends following the same schedule no matter where you are. Through this attitude, she now earns consistently over $350,000 per year and has been to places like Japan while she is working on her business.
4. Plan your time
Although you might have your work routine down, you will need to plan your other time to explore activities, walking, and other excursions. You may also need to spend a few days finding your feet and scoping out where to buy groceries, how to get the bus into town, and checking your internet connection. Therefore, it’s best to travel on a Friday evening or Saturday morning to allow maximum time on the weekend to settle in before the workday begins again on Monday.
5. Minimise distractions
Of course, there are distractions in an office environment or at home. You could be chatting to a coworker by the coffee machine, feeling an urge to get your laundry done, etc. But when you are traveling while you work, there will be a whole new set of challenges.
You might be distracted by new sounds, the urge to explore, or go on a walk. However, as mentioned in tip 3, it’s imperative that you stick to your routine to manage a successful workcation. Therefore, you need to save these activities and explorations till after the workday or the weekend.
6. Go for an extended period
Workcations are best taken over a few weeks or even months. This way, you can immerse yourself in the place you are visiting. As you will be working during the day, you’ll need to stay in each location longer than you would on a non-working vacation to explore the sights and get in the activities you want to try.
You can also ask for a discounted rate if you stay for one month or longer, as many Airbnb hosts or extended-stay properties will offer a reduced rate of between 10 to 30% when you book for 4+ weeks.
How to Choose a Workcation Destination
You’ll need to consider a few factors when choosing your workcation location.
1. Time Zones
Although the prospect of a workcation when you work for a remote-first company makes it seem like you can travel anywhere across the globe, you may struggle to keep up with your colleagues if you are in a completely different time zone to them.
If you are a pro workcationer you may be able to adjust your routine to suit your team’s schedules. However, if this is your first workcation, it’s usually best to stick to within 4 hours of your current time zone. This ensures you can somewhat overlap with your current workday, and it will help make your transition into the workcation schedule easier.
Of course, the cost of your workcation is a huge factor. You won’t enjoy your workcation if you are stressing about finances throughout. Therefore, factor in how much you need to cover your living costs, activities, travel and unexpected expenses, and travel insurance before you start searching.
If you can, rent out your own lodgings while you’re away!
There’s no use paying rent or your mortgage when you aren’t even in the property for a month or so. You can rent out your house or flat to cover the costs of your staycation or even earn a little extra pennies to cover flights or activities if you plan to go somewhere where the living cost is cheaper than where you currently live.
Read the local travel guides of an area before you book your place to stay to ensure there is enough to keep you busy on the weekends. This can give you a new sense of life and get you excited to work hard at your day job so you can finish on time.
4. Climate and Nature
If you are a sun worshipper, the best part about a workcation might be to get some much-needed sun in after work or during your lunch break. Or maybe you want to go somewhere with a lot of greenery and nature to revive your soul.
Each location will suit different people. Therefore, you need to figure out your ideal climate and surroundings before searching for the best location for your workcation.
Best Destinations for a Workcation
1. Workcation in Singapore
If you want to experience a city like no other, look at hotel spots in Singapore. Although it can be more expensive than in other parts of Asia, it is certainly worth a month of your time during a workcation.
Singapore is also a great place to find some work from hotel packages. These workcation packages can come with a range of additional extras to add to your stay, including fast wifi, free tea and coffee, or room service to feed you and allow you even more time to explore this city.
2. Workcation in India
India is a great option if you’re looking for somewhere super affordable. You could easily spend a few months exploring the different districts from Goa in the south to Punjab in the north and cities such as Mumbai, the commercial capital of the country.
3. Workcation in the U.S
Of course, there is also the whole of the U.S to explore if you would rather stay a little closer to home or are nervous about traveling abroad since the pandemic. As America is so vast, it is quite possible to feel you have traveled abroad since each state’s nature and culture are so different.
Best Locations for an Insane Workcation in America:
- Boone, North Carolina: quaint town in the mountains with lots of opportunities to explore the local nature and get involved in outdoor activities and watersports.
- Carmel-by-the-sea, California: European country town with cute independent shops and close to San Francisco for weekend trips to the city.
- Catskills, New York: just 1.5 hours from New York City lies this charming town set in the mountains.
- Cincinnati, Ohio: an affordable workcation location with a lively social scene and friendly locals. Cincinnati also has lots of cafés with good internet so you can work from a new location every day.
- Naples, Florida: if you prefer a warmer workcation, Naples is the best destination for you as you can work from your lodgings or in a cafe, then hop to the beach after work or during your lunch hour to soak up some sun on the white beaches.
Road Trip Across America
You may even wish to buy or hire a van so you can travel across the country for 1-6 months and explore various locations across North America.
Part-time YouTube vloggers Katie and Dan in a Van have shown just how easy it is to work during the day from the comfort of their home on wheels using portable wifi and then use their evenings and weekends to explore new areas of the country.
Katie runs her own business in digital media, while her husband Dan works for a tech company. Both have successfully adapted their working routines to escape their city life and enjoy traveling in their twenties while working. Therefore, there is no reason you can’t jump on the bandwagon (or vanwagon) and road trip across the states during your workcation.
4. Workcation in Belize
If you are after some sun and a mojito straight after work, the stunning island of Caye Caulker in Belize is your best bet. There are many adventurous activities to keep you busy on the weekends and lots of laidback cafés to work in during the day.
Accommodation is usually fairly affordable here. If you are usually based in the U.S, the time difference should not affect your working hours, which can help with the transition into your workcation.
Remember: A Workcation is NOT a Vacation!
Before we wrap things up, we must remind you that a workcation is not the same as a vacation. Although a workcation can allow you to see new places or visit family and friends further afield, you are still working the same number of hours per day as you would be at home. Therefore, this is not an adequate substitute for time off.
Research had shown that people are more productive when well rested after some respite. In fact, employee performance has been known to increase by as much as 80% following a vacation. Therefore, you should plan time for a workcation and a vacation in the working year.
Now it’s almost time to start putting your dreams into reality and experience new scenes and different cultures before you reach retirement or experience remote work burnout. With the tips on how to manage a workcation, you are almost ready to book your trip! Remember to ask your boss before you pay for anything, ensure you have a stable internet connection and stick to your current work from home routine for maximum workcation success.
Learn more about how to successfully work from home or support your employees as a remote-first leader on the NoHQ blog, where we share actionable guides, how-tos, and tools to help you work remotely.