A Detailed Guide to Workation

If you are a professional, particularly working remotely in the pandemic, you probably know that working from home is not as fascinating as it sounds. Yes, you do have the comfort of being in your pajamas, but it can get incredibly monotonous.

Some months into work from home and everyone around the world is screaming for a change. And this is why ‘workation’ is becoming popular by the day.

What is a workation?

As the name suggests, it is working while on vacation. Workation = Work + Vacation.

When you decide to answer a work call as you walk up to a stream, send emails over a bonfire in the valley, or finish that report by the beach, you are on a workation.

What seemed like a dream a few years ago, has now caught up attention and created a stir in the lives of many people. While you are technically still working, you do not have to do it from an office or from your home.

It is a win-win as you are productive, and at the same time, you get some break to rejuvenate.

But does this mean anyone can take a workation? Let’s find out!

Who can take a workation?

While it may seem simple and practical, it is ideal for those who can work remotely without letting it impact their job. Take graphic designers as an example. They do not have to be present in an office to do the work.

They simply need a laptop with the required design software and a good internet connection on the go.

Similarly, many modern-day jobs are well-suited for workations. In fact, if you are a writer, an artist, or someone in the creative field, then traveling and working from a new place might just provide you with a dash of inspiration.

However, if you work in hospitality, real estate, or even in retail, then you might not be able to take a workation.

Types of workation

Not every workation ends up providing the same experience. Generally, they can be classified into the following types.

Short-term workation

It is quite evident that this type generally lasts a few days. To maximize the time spent in the location, you may travel over a long weekend to a place close to the city where you live.

For instance, if you live in Mumbai, your options for a short-term workation are Lonavala, Mahabaleshwar, or Panchgani.

Medium-term workation

This could last a few weeks. Depending on the place you wish to visit, you can decide how long you want to stay but these typically last at least a couple of weeks.

Long-term workation

In this type, you may choose to relocate to another place for a certain period. Since the pandemic, several young working professionals have temporarily relocated to popular tourist spots like Manali and Goa.

Moreover, the location and duration depend on your budget. That brings us to the big question. How should you manage your expenses?

Workation expenses

Let’s not forget that workations are part vacations, and if not managed well, can end up burning a hole in your pocket. It is important to keep your expenses in mind. Here are a few things you absolutely need to spend on.

Accommodation

This is probably where you will spend a lot of money, especially if you are out for a few weeks.

If you are budget-conscious, then consider living in a hostel that provides facilities like Wi-Fi, food, laundry, printing, photocopying, and much more.

Transportation

Irrespective of the mode of transport you pick, you will need to spend money. So, choose what works for you. Take public transport if you can, walk more, or better still, cycle!

Miscellaneous expenses

Look for accommodation that includes food or a cook. That way you will avoid eating out and save more too.

A few other expenses might be entry fees to places of interest, any shopping you might do, and so on.

Let’s assume that you are going to spend three months on workation. While you can go anywhere that has good connectivity and comfortable living conditions, here is a list of places that are trending spots.

Please note that the charges include the tariff and miscellaneous charges for three months.

Goa

If you are planning a budget workation in Goa, then consider North Goa because it is more affordable than South Goa. Pick a good hostel where you can either live in a dormitory or in a private room.

These hostels usually include every facility, so they make a good deal. When you are not working, you may visit the various beaches in Goa, their local markets, churches, and synagogues. You might find great deals on Goa workation packages online.

Darjeeling

Darjeeling is a beautiful hill station that is well-known for its sanctuaries, parks, viewpoints, and Buddhist monasteries. While on a break, you may also indulge in adventure activities like rock climbing, trekking, river rafting, and much more.

Manali

Manali is the most popular hill station in Himachal Pradesh and offers magnificent views of the snow-capped peaks. If you enjoy cold snowfalls, then the months between November and March are a great time to workation in Manali.

The Rohtang Pass, Solang Valley, Hidimba Temple, and Beas River are a few must-visit places near Manali. You may also indulge in skiing and other winter sports.

Udaipur

Also known as the ‘City of Lakes’, Udaipur is a majestic destination filled with havelis, forts, and lakes. Do not forget to visit its ancient architectural marvels and local shopping markets when you are not working.

Kasol

Although workation in Manali is trending these days, there is another destination quite close by, in the district of Kullu in Himachal Pradesh, called Kasol.

It is also quickly catching up to be a hot spot for working professionals these days. You may trek to Kheerganga, camp in Kasol, or just work and chill at a cafe.

Gangtok

The capital city of Sikkim is well-known for handicrafts and Tibetan carpets. Now, it is also an ideal workation destination.

The Nathula Pass, Kabi Longstok, and Seven Sisters Waterfall are a few places worth visiting.

Benefits of a workation

Like we discussed, a workation is a great way to keep everyone happy. You get to move around without hampering your work. Here are some of its benefits.

  • Get work done without necessarily being ‘in office’
  • Take a break from the usual office or home setup
  • Enhance productivity
  • Get inspired and unleash your creativity

Moreover, it helps organizations promote employee retention. Happy employees who have the flexibility to work from anywhere are less likely to quit.

Disadvantages of a workation

Workations can be awesome. However, there is a flip side to everything great. You must be watchful of these disadvantages.

  • Workations are not meant for everyone. While it is true that anyone with a desk job can take them, they require a certain mindset. A few people do not believe in mixing work and leisure, and for such individuals, workations can be disastrous.
  • They can be expensive. Not all locations cost you the same amount of money. And if you are already paying rent, then your living expenses might double if your landlord is not kind enough to waive off your rent for a few months when you are away.
  • You might not get to do much. And this can happen if you have a hectic schedule. You may end up tiring yourself and spend little time enjoying and exploring the location.
  • They can be distracting. For many people, the familiarity of a desk or a corner in their home is necessary to get work done quickly. A new place might make them less productive or just more distracted.

How to plan a successful workation?

Here are a few pointers for you to consider.

  • Make a plan and stick to it.
  • Switch off completely when you finish work.
  • Have an organized and dedicated workspace and carry all the required accessories.
  • Have minimal distractions when you are working.
  • Have fun when you must.

Important rules of a workation

Now that you know how to plan a workation, make sure to follow these rules too.

  • Ensure that you earn more than you spend.
  • Travel light. Carry only what is necessary.
  • Stay in one place for a good period so that you can accomplish a work-related task.
  • Make new friends and spend time with locals.

Difference between remote work and workations

Remote workers usually work from home or a specific location permanently. You may consider a workation as a temporary form of remote work, which is usually shorter and impermanent.

For instance, you might want to go for a Goa workation to take a break after the hectic quarter you had in the office. But you may not remotely work from Goa for the long term.

Workations are a great way to bring some excitement into your work. However, not everyone is open to the idea. Things in the post-COVID-19 world definitely look different but you will still need to be able to prove your productivity and show that you can truly be the asset that you are even when on workation.

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