We all love our offices: they are cozy, and they have air conditioning! But let's be real, sometimes you want to change your setting and set off somewhere else. That's where workcation comes in: you go on a trip with your colleagues but never stop working. It can be beneficial to your work motivation, relationships with your colleagues (and your boss), and overall mental health.
What Is It?
Yeah, it's a strange word. I have never heard it before myself before going to workcation myself with my team, and I decided to dive deeper into this strange term. You can also call it "workoliday" or simply "woliday", but the definition remains the same: getting a suntan while hitting your daily, monthly, or yearly quotas. It doesn't mean that you can't go to a ski resort, treat yourself!
A Little History
Movadex team recently had a workcation too! We set towards mountains a month ago, and that was quite an experience. I had my doubts about how it will affect my productivity, how everything is going to play out in the end, but the results were quite positive. All the tips above come from our experience, so take them with a grain of salt, like always.
So, What's Good About It?
We found a lot of benefits for us, and even having some negative sides to it, our workholiday was a raging success. 10 out of 10, would do it again.
Let's be real, sitting in an office or at home is boring. You can be really satisfied with having all the comfort of your room at first, but the fun quickly runs out. Our trip to the Karpaty mountains was a significant motivation booster for the team. I couldn't understand why at first, but then it hit me: it was the greatest team-building experience I had. All the little things like settling in, choosing rooms, going on walks and hikes together, and even looking for a river that wasn't there (somebody's gonna hate me for mentioning this) — made our team only closer. A new environment is a great way to unleash your inner motivation monster, as you are now far away from your daily routines with a copy machine at the office: everything is new, and naturally, you want to explore. As the world is slowly coming out of quarantines and lockdowns, we will hopefully be able to go on with our lives and start traveling once again.
With great motivation, comes great productivity. We got a really good boost in this area on our trip, all of the team members had a really good time. You can think that being so very close to vacation, workcation makes people lazy and unwilling to do their work, but our practice showed the opposite: we were more productive than we used to be. I blame our human brains, as again, we get bored of the same environment again. Besides, the mountain view from basically any room in the hotel was astonishing and inspirational. Our design team had the most awesome time, being in a such beautiful place. I think that trips like these are most beneficial for creative people, as they perceive everything in a whole different manner.
It depends on where you go, but people don't usually go to places where you will feel physically worse than at home. As we were in the mountains, very far from any large cities and quite far from even a small one, you can imagine the air. It was so crisp and fresh, that's something to remember. I never was a morning person, but it was so awesome to just get on the balcony and breathe in the somewhat cold mountain air. There are also many things that you can do after work: walk, hike, play some sports, have a picnic, possibilities were infinite! We tried a little of everything, but here's a tip: don't try and hike far into the mountains on a very sunny day without sunscreen. Apart from physical benefits, there were also mental health ones. For me, it was a way to escape from daily routines, and see something new.
Increased Employee Satisfaction
All the previous benefits combine into this one. If you have a team of people who are bored out of their mind with sitting in the office all the time, you know what to do. You won't have a possibility to do that more than once a year possibly, so don't waste your chance. Most of your team will probably enjoy it, and it will bring them a great boost in those areas that I have specified above.
Surely, everything comes with little negative sides here and there. The most important thing is not to focus on them solely, as our lives are all about black & white, and you can't go around thinking about one of them only. There weren't any major downsides to our trip, but I'll try to write down some things that you should consider carefully before choosing the place you are going to.
Climate & Weather
That's a very important thing, and I have somewhat encountered some problems with this one myself. I live in a completely different part of the country, so the climate in the mountains was a very new thing to me. Besides, constant pressure changes were something to build a tolerance to. In general, if you are changing the climate, even for a short trip, consider the possibility that you will be out for a day before the acclimatization will do its thing.
Reliable Internet Connection
As we were heading to a quite distant place, and we're an IT company, after all, the internet was one of the deciding factors for us. Every industry somewhat depends on it, so that's something that you should always ask in advance when booking rooms in a hotel. The first three days were good, and the internet was fine, but on the fourth morning we woke up to no connection at all. Quite panicked, some of us had to pack our things and set off on a long trip back to the office, while others stayed in the hotel for two more days.
It's Not For Everybody
The last thing that I wanted to mention is that workcation is not for everyone. Some people will prefer to work from home or take a regular vacation, and that's completely fine! Even if somebody doesn't want to go, don't make them. Chances are, they have their reasons and they will do better at the home base rather than from somewhere far away.
That was a good show, so we'll do it again, folks. I advise you to try it with your team if you haven't already, as it might be the best experience ever!