Post-covid employee engagement
Fiona Passantino, Late March 2022
What’s a “Workation”?
It was bound to happen: the Workation. Even during peak Covid, travel was still possible. Most companies have extended work-at-home measures and the urge to get away from home, visit friends and family in faraway places, escape for a change of scenery has been building up for the past two years. With fast wifi everywhere you go, traveling to another place to log in and work was an obvious way to stay ahead of exhaustion and the four walls closing in.
A true Workation is a working vacation; leaving one’s city or country for a week or longer, and working fully remotely using the video conferencing and visual collaboration tools that the pandemic brought us[i].
About 56% of us have jobs that can be fully executed remotely with no discernable change in productivity[ii]. At the same time, the war for talent is only heating up. The Great Resignation is still a fact, and employers are still trying to find ways to boost morale and attract workers. Workations are so popular with Digital Nomad professionals that it’s quickly becoming a selling point in the interview process; 85% of workers under forty want increased flexibility in a job[iii].
Workations are about “running to”; most work that demands creativity and out-of-the-box thinking improves with a new perspective, a change of backdrop and sensory stimulation[iv]. Creative workers can find inspiration, be exposed to new solutions and skills as well as have access to new markets and networking opportunities.
Protection from “interruption culture”
Workations are also about “running from”; the physical office and the home environment are all about constant interruptions, unplanned interactions, last-minute new tasks and mini-projects that come with face time. These interruptions don’t replace planned tasks and projects, but add to them.
Knowing this, it’s clear why 93% of digital professionals feel more productive away from the physical office, and 82% report lower stress levels[v]. Remote workers are 20% more productive; some even reporting losing 3-4 hours per day of their most productive time with interruptions[vi]. Interruptions also affect employee morale due to increased workload and lack of control over their schedules[vii].
Taking Workations seriously
A Workcation business model case study: “Digital Nomads Madeira”. Launched in 2021 on the beautiful Portuguese island to specifically attract the Northern European Workationer and backed by the Regional Government, Startup Madeira began as a pilot project. After a year it was so successful that the project, now titled the Nomad Village, will be ramped up extended until at least 2024[viii] and other locations – Ponta do Sol, Funchal, Machico, Porto Santo, Porto Moniz, Santa Cruz, Santana, will be added to the overall offering.
[i] Equalture, Localyze (2020) “Workation a beginning of a new post-covid era where remote work meets vacation” https://resources.equalture.com/hubfs/Infographic%20Workation%20Localyze%20x%20Equalture.pdf
[ii] Workation (2020) “Workation Facts & Figures” https://workation.com/know-how/resources/workation-facts-figures/
[iii] Equalture, Localyze (2020) “Workation a beginning of a new post-covid era where remote work meets vacation” https://resources.equalture.com/hubfs/Infographic%20Workation%20Localyze%20x%20Equalture.pdf
[iv] Cordeiro, M. B. H. (2019). How physical environment influence creativity: a sensory-based approach (Doctoral dissertation). https://run.unl.pt/bitstream/10362/69480/1/Cordeiro_2019.pdf
[v] Workation (2020) “Workation Facts & Figures” https://workation.com/know-how/resources/workation-facts-figures/
[vi] Workation (2020) “Workation Facts & Figures” https://workation.com/know-how/resources/workation-facts-figures/
[vii] Brown, (2015) “The Hidden Costs Of Interruptions At Work”, Fast Company. https://www.fastcompany.com/3044667/the-hidden-costs-of-interruptions-at-work
[viii] Digital Nomads Madeira Islands (2020) https://digitalnomads.startupmadeira.eu/about-us/
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