For many, the past year has seen our typical work patterns turned upside down.
With several companies extending remote working policies well into 2021, we are faced with the continued challenge of balancing work, family and leisure from one place.
However, this shift in remote working also creates new and exciting opportunities for employees. While lockdown proved that in many cases, working from home made us more productive than being in the office, what is key for sustained productivity and effectiveness, is a change of scenery.
In Expedia’s recent ‘Work From Here’ report, the travel company found a strong desire for a change of scenery amongst British workers who currently work from home, with more than half (55 per cent) wishing they could take a workcation from a new location or holiday spot. Many workers have even suggested that a break away for one or two weeks while working would help improve relationships with their family, significant other and even their boss.
A change of scenery is important for a fresh perspective. If we’re stuck in the same place for five days a week, our brains can get stale if we’re not getting fresh inputs. Whether it’s a different room, or overlooking a beautiful view, a complete change of scene can help get the creative juices flowing, provide new insights you may not have seen previously, and it’s also good for our wellbeing.
Before the pandemic, the benefits of flexible working have been a hot topic for years. However, the more traditional managers tended not to trust that their employees were actually working, unless they could see it with their own eyes. The biggest shift we’ve seen over the past year is that we have all had to work remotely, so managers who may have been resistant previously, are suddenly more comfortable with the idea of flexible working.
This openness to flexible working and recognising that it shouldn’t matter where one is based is exciting for the future of work – and most importantly, the well-being of employees. For those interested in taking up a workcation, here are my top tips on what to consider and how to approach it.
Chat it through with your boss
First things first, you check in with your boss if you are considering a remote working getaway. The first thought your boss might have when you ask to take a workcation, is that it will be all play and no work. Take the time to explain to your boss that this time away from home will help relieve any stresses of being at home, perhaps for those in a house share or with a large family.
Check local laws
With each region moving at its own pace, it’s important to assure your boss you have checked the latest health and travel advisories to ensure you’re allowed to travel and there are no quarantine periods needed.
Get a fresh perspective
Once you have the green light, consider whether you’re in the middle of a project. Assure your boss this change of scenery will help you focus and give you a fresh perspective to tackle any challenges you have been facing. If you’re starting something new, demonstrate how this change of scenery will encourage you to hit the ground running.
Sort your set-up
Expedia has found one of the top barriers of booking a workcation is concerns about the new office set-up. For reassurance when booking, the travel provider has added a ‘business friendly’ filter option. Once confirmed, ensure your boss wherever you’ll be working from will have everything you need to complete your work. This includes adequate Wi-Fi and reception, power outlets and a proper desk set-up that won’t impact your video meetings or calls.
Although it’s important to keep productivity levels high, when it’s time to clock off, make sure you are doing just that. At lunch, research nearby cafes or restaurants to experience living like a local. At the weekend, or when you can put your ‘out of office’ on, book activities so you won’t be tempted to stay in your home-office out of hours. Balancing your work and leisure time is key for a successful workcation.
For more workcation information, Expedia has launched a ‘Work From Here’ portal. Here you’ll find inspiration of where to go within the UK, plus tips from travel bloggers on how to plan ahead.
About the author
Lucy Adams is the founder of Disruptive HR which she created having grown frustrated with the lack of innovation and fresh thinking in the profession. She and her teamwork with business leaders and HR professionals to help them lead, engage and develop their people differently. Lucy led HR in major organisations and is also the author of bestsellers “HR Disrupted” and “The HR Change Toolkit”.
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