Our field report on the tops and flops of working where others go on holiday

Pandemic, compulsory home office and culture change in HR is changing how we work. Being tied to a physical office is (usually) yesterday’s working world. We can combine “work” with “holiday”. But does the Workation trend really work? We tried it out for you.

Workation 1: Lea in Sri Lanka

Our Customer Relations Manager combined a holiday with work in May and spent a mix of pure travel and workation in beautiful Sri Lanka. She came back tanned, with a lot of good humor and exciting experiences in her luggage.

Framework conditions:

  • Position: Customer Relations Manager
  • Extent: 1 week pure Vacation + 2 weeks workation
  • Accommodation: Hostel with co-working space
  • Time difference: +3,5 hours

Tops:

  • Balance: Use the time difference to go surfing or do yoga in the morning and then start the working day with a fresh head.
  • Networking: Inspiration through exchange with founders, techies and freelancers from different cultures that you meet in the coworking space.
  • Feeling: Working outside with the sea in the background, monkeys jumping past you and a sip from the coconut for refreshment + street dogs that simply steal your seat. Could it be better?

Flops:

  • Internet & Security: Due to the economic crisis, power and internet supply failures occurred again and again on site.
  • Customer calls: To serve our customers, who are primarily based in Germany, the mobile phone contract first had to be adapted

Workation 2: Angelika in San Francisco

Framework conditions:

  • Field of activity: CEO
  • Scope: 1 week workation
  • Accommodation: Overnight stay at a friend’s house, working in a co-working space
  • Time difference: -9 hours

Tops:

• Infrastructure: With our WeWork membership, we can work in the 650 locations of the co-working space worldwide. Quickly checked in via the app and we were ready to go
• Productivity: Due to the time difference, all calls were made in the morning of San Francisco Time, so I had the afternoon and evening to work on topics without being disturbed by calls or appointments.
• Networking: San Francisco and the Bay breathe tech. Working surrounded by successful start-ups and going to the Valley for a networking event brought valuable contacts and lots of inspiration.

Flops:

• Time difference: As nice as the peace and productivity is, it is difficult to plan and manage a team with a 9-hour time difference.
• FOMO: With a pure workstation, you sometimes get the feeling that you would rather explore the city than sit in the office – so a combination definitely makes sense.

Our conclusion: Independence and freedom with proper planning

We think workations are great and will implement the possibility of them firmly in our human resources strategy. Because they push motivation, they bring new impulses and inspiration, and they create unprecedented freedom for us. For a successful implementation, however, it is necessary to plan well and to consider the framework conditions. In a completely new environment, a combination of holiday and workation makes sense in order not to miss anything. Sufficient infrastructure should be provided by renting a co-working space or a flat with stable internet. In addition, mobile phone contracts, for example, may need to be adjusted for this period. In addition, the issue of time differences should be considered and meetings planned and coordinated accordingly. Finally, we consider the mindset with regard to workation to be very crucial: it should not be seen as a holiday, but as work with the benefit of an unfamiliar and beautiful environment.

Angelika Birk & Lea Schmidt