Building a Better Mousetrap: Workations Reshape Travel and Work Life

More people are working remotely than ever before. And not just from home. A recent study found 80% of remote workers would seriously consider taking a ‘workcation,’ if it meant they could spend more time in a relaxing location.

During the pandemic, businesses were pushed into the work-from-home scenario to survive. Two years later, only a few businesses have returned to the ‘pre-covid normal.’

Upwork, in a recent study, found that by 2025, as many as 36.2 million Americans will work remotely. That’s an increase of 16.8 million people from pre-pandemic numbers.

With the increase in remote work, there is also an increased opportunity for the travel and hospitality industry.

In a recent report on travel insurance, they observed a rising trend in “workations” and “slow tourism.”

Slow tourism is a phenomenon that has become possible with the advent of remote work. People are more inclined towards taking one long journey rather than taking a few short stays over the course of a year.

Notably, according to this study, 67% of Americans went on a workation in 2021, and another 94% planned to do it again in 2022. That number is expected to continue to increase in 2023.

Why Will The Workation Craze Grow?

On average, Americans get only ten days of paid time off (PTO). That means, even if they want, they can only travel a little. A workation gives them a way out of this dilemma. And workations have other benefits.

According to trends analyzed by passport-photo.online, nearly 70% of US employees are less likely to quit after a workation.

Other prominent reasons listed by people who take workations include recharging mental and emotional batteries, avoiding feeling stuck, exploring destinations without vacation time, escaping routine, and preventing/coping with burnout.

The site also reports that 94% of workers plan to go on workation in 2023.

It is safe to assume that if the percentage of remote workers rises, so will the people who want to take workations, hush trips, and bleisure (business and leisure) travel.

Besides the people with hybrid working models, many consider making money online, starting a side hustle, or taking up 100% remote jobs to live a more location-independent life.

A study by Emergent Research and MBO Partners found an increase in the number of “digital nomads” in the US from 7.3 million in 2019 to 10.9 million in 2020. That’s an increase of a whopping 49%.

Digital nomads and workationers are also rising, increasing opportunities in the hospitality industry.

Travel & Hospitality Industry Adapts

A study on Why Workations Are All The Rave found that 36% of workations were between one to two weeks, and another 32% were between 3-4 weeks. That means people are looking for long, more relaxed workations that provide ample time to work a few days and take some time off to explore the city.

If you were to take a workation, there are three essential things people want.

  • Reliable internet connection
  • A workplace,
  • Online ratings and pricing.

Living costs are the most significant expense related to a workation. The same study found that 74% of Americans prefer to stay at a hotel or a friend’s home. The rest consider Airbnb, Couchsurfing, RV, and hostels.

If you are in the hospitality industry, there are many things you can do to capture this crowd. For example, if someone books longer stays of over 1-2 weeks, you can provide them with a special “workation” pricing. If you have room, you can create a working space to make it easier for workationers.

Many countries have created a digital nomad visa inviting remote workers to work from their country; hotels are jumping on the bandwagon and offering workation packages. Airbnbs are designed for longer stays with workspaces, and hostels offer massive discounts if you book an extended stay.

On the other hand, people with properties in exotic locations are starting side hustles, turning them into an Airbnb or a homestay with workation amenities. Many of them are making the workation-package deal attractive by including food and access to a kitchen in the pricing.

My Experience With Workations

I have taken several workations in India, and there is much to learn from here.

If you travel to India for workations, you will find a tonne of options that are workation-friendly. From hotels and homestays to AirBnB, hostels, etc. – you will find a place in your budget with the necessary amenities.

On a recent trip to Jibhi last month (a quaint town in Himachal Pradesh, India), we stayed with a friend (who came there for a workation specifically) at Cedar River Wind. The Airbnb had approximately four rooms on the first floor with glass windows to enjoy the beautiful outside view.

Besides a small workspace inside the room, they created a multi-purpose space on the second floor, which was used as an office for the guests. It had a WiFi router, glass windows, tables, chairs, plug points, etc. The caretaker and the owner stay right there and are available for anything you need – from food and drinks to arranging a bonfire.

Similarly, for our most recent workation, we stayed at Trishla Resort at Tirthan Valley, which provided us with a great view and a place to work, a good WiFi connection, and with breakfast/dinner included in the package. We had nothing to worry about the entire day and worked in peace.

However, my first workation was after a pandemic, and I stayed at a hostel chain, Zostel, in Jodhpur (Rajasthan, India) for my first ever workation. While the dorms were incredibly cheap, I preferred staying in a private room for ten days on a workation deal.

It was within budget and provides everything you need, from WiFi and workplaces to entertainment rooms, a restaurant, a prime location to explore the city, and good people to hang out with.

Workations Are Here to Stay

The best part of “remote” working is that anywhere qualifies as remote, as long as you get the work done.

After all, 27% of workers say it’s easier than taking time off, 29% say it enables more travel, and 40% say it has made them feel less stressed.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.