The line between work and life is becoming increasingly blurred, with work spilling over into our personal lives and vice versa. But there’s a new trend on the rise set to provide a little well-needed distance…
If you’re an entrepreneur or freelancer, it’s likely your ‘work-life balance’ is pretty much a thing of the past. After enough Skype meetings in your pj’s as you work from home, your work is your life and vice versa. When it comes to taking time off, it’s become more of a fantasy than a possibility. Enter: the workation.
Unlike the concept of a solo work trip where you disappear off to distant lands with your laptop and spend your time hopping from cafe to cafe chasing a decent wifi connection, workations take a much more social approach.
On a workation, entrepreneurs and solo workers go away with clients, colleagues or other freelancers, and partake in activities that encourage productivity.
These activities (which usually involve being away from a screen) mean you’re able to relax, unwind and switch off, but you’re still able to think creatively and strategically about your work with other workers. Anything from a bike tour of the area, to mountain climbing, to a cooking class – it also allows for new sources of inspiration as you immerse yourself in totally new experiences and push yourself out of your comfort zone.
From a work perspective, going away with other freelancers has infinite benefits, one being some creative feedback and collaboration. When you work from home, it’s easy to get caught up in your own thoughts, and some feedback on what you do will allow you to gain a little perspective on your methods and working style.
Another huge benefit is having an accountability partner; someone to check in with your progress and champion you from the sidelines, as sometimes working can be lonely and de-motivating. Going away with your team, if you work in an office, can also have amazing team-building implications which could lead to better office relations. Triple win.
As the trend of workationing grows, snazzy wellbeing-focused workation retreats have popped up from Thailand to Switzerland, decked out with digital outposts and high-speed internet on beachfront workplaces. Some working retreats even come with a career coach to help employees and entrepreneurs approach their work with a new perspective.
If you’re working solo and don’t have an HR team to organise a high-spec work retreat (or fork out the cheque) there’s no reason you can’t curate your very own workation by gathering up a few fellow digital nomads and hitting the beach.
The anatomy of a good workation is breaking up your working days with time away from the laptop, doing physical activities, team building, exploring – and even chatting. The chance to discover a new place won’t just benefit your own wellbeing, but it will change your relationship with your work forever. What have you got to lose?