7 ways a workation can boost your work performance

Guest Author 27.03.2023
A person on an island

Workation – infusing your work with a touch of holiday spirit. Would you believe if I said workations are the magic ingredient in fulfilling your career aspirations?

According to a recent study, 86% of employees agree that a workation boosted their productivity, bringing a much-needed breath of fresh air into their day-to-day life. Case in point – my last Tenerife workation allowed me to experience its positive impact on my workflow firsthand.

In this article, I will cover the benefits of workations, i.e. how they help people perform better in their jobs, and explain how to prepare for a workation to make sure you get the most out of it both professionally and personally.

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What is a workation?  

As the name suggests, a workation is a mix of vacation and work. You get your job done, and in your leisure time, you explore a new travel destination. 

The workation trend is relatively new and has grown in popularity with the rise of remote work. With the ability to work from anywhere (as long as it’s in line with one’s company policy), people have started to work remotely from other locations than their homes more often than before.  

Workation is similar to digital nomadism. However, the difference between the workation definition and nomadism is in the duration of the travels. Digital nomads constantly explore the world while working, but with workation, a person travels for some time and then returns home. 

Workations can also be a company-wide initiative when an entire team goes on a, for example, week-long workation to a selected destination. In such cases, the main workation benefits revolve around team-building, employee relationships, creative team brainstorming, and more. 

7 productivity benefits of workation

Some people wonder how they’ll manage to stay focused in a new and exciting location. I was also skeptical about it. When going for my Tenerife workation, I thought I wouldn’t be able to focus on my work while being in such a dreamy place.

Luckily, I was wrong. My work performance saw a fantastic boost because I felt energized, I was more focused, and I was keen to get my work done. 

Hence, here are seven proven ways a workation can help you perform better – just like they did for me.

1. A change of scenery

According to scientists, traveling to new destinations can enhance your brain’s abilities. When exposed to new environments and cultures, your brain creates new neural connections and can even repair existing ones. This phenomenon is known as neuroplasticity. It’s significantly improved by the intake of new and exciting information – like the one you deliver to your brain during trips.

Neuroplasticity is essential for effective work, remembering details, and learning new things. So, combining work and travel gives a fantastic cognitive boost as it provides your brain with an influx of fresh and diverse stimuli, improving your neuroplasticity and boosting your work performance. 

I can relate when I recall my workation in Tenerife. Not only was I fascinated by the local culture, but I also found myself engrossed in new studies within my industry. The travel experience triggered the curious part of my brain and allowed me to explore new avenues of knowledge.

A workation walk around Tenerife streets
A photo from author’s personal archives

2. Escaping routine and bad habits 

Have you ever wondered how habits work? 

Our habits are formed by everyday occurrences, emotions we recognize, or even objects in our immediate surroundings. For example, catching a glimpse of your coffee mug might instantly prompt you to brew another cup, even if it happens to be your fifth that day, and you really ought to cut back.

We all have our fair share of detrimental habits that can hamper our health and productivity, from mindlessly scrolling through social media to indulging in too many sweets that leave us tired and unfocused at work. 

But here’s the thing. Since our habits are closely tied to our environment, changing our surroundings can help us break free from these unhealthy patterns. That’s where taking a workation comes in handy, providing an ideal opportunity to establish new routines. 

And the best part? You can continue practicing these new habits even after you return home. This way, a workation can have a lasting positive impact on your workflow.

3. Exploring workation destinations as a creativity boost

The creativity engine has its own fuel – novel experiences.

According to psychological research, there is a strong correlation between one’s creativity levels and living abroad. The reason? While living abroad, we soak up another culture, constantly surprising us with new experiences. Thus, traveling helps open the mind, making us more creative.

It doesn’t matter how far you travel. The point is to explore new places.

This approach works not only for travelers but for workation’ers as well. In the Passport Photo Online’s study on workation, 81% of respondents reported they grew more creative after taking one. 

So, when you’re feeling stale in your creativity, consider a workation trip. Why not give it a try and see where this journey takes you?

4. Ditch the isolation by joining a workation’ers community

Popular digital nomad destinations are a magnet for workation’ers. But the benefits of these destinations usually go beyond beautiful scenery. With many remote workers flocking to workation hotspots, plenty of coworking spaces and networking opportunities are available.

That being said, a workation can help you cope with feelings of isolation or disconnection you may experience when working from home. By visiting some of the most popular digital nomad destinations, you’ll have the chance to connect with other remote employees who share your challenges and mindset.

And who knows – you might even forge some valuable professional connections that last long after you’ve returned home.

5. The energizing power of nature’s surroundings 

One of the best things I recall from my Tenerife workation is the sunny weather.

I visited Tenerife during the autumn season when the weather in Poland – my home country – was gloomy and unpleasant. Waking up in a rainy city made me want to crawl back into bed and curl up with a hot cup of tea and a good book instead of getting up and tackling professional challenges.

But in Tenerife, it was a completely different story. 

I watched the sunrise over the ocean while enjoying my mango oatmeal and eagerly anticipating another day of great weather. This energized me and helped me start my day with a positive mindset that I carried to my work.

During my work breaks, I could step out on the balcony to admire the view of the mountains. A quick sun break rejuvenated me before I returned to work.

I’ve seen how spending time in nature immediately puts me in a good mood and enhances my ability to work effectively. Scientists also say that cognitive abilities improve when the body is relaxed and energized by sunlight and fresh air. 

Isn’t it a wise investment to choose a workation destination surrounded by nature? Excellent mood and great cognitive capabilities guaranteed!

A sea view from a mountain walk
A photo from author’s personal archives

6. Curing burnout

Widespread employee burnout is another pandemic that followed the Covid-19 one. After a long time of working remotely, many employees began to experience decreased motivation, performance, mood, and overall well-being.

While employers were and still are looking for strategies to address this significant concern, workations can be an excellent burnout cure. According to the Passport Photo Online research data:

  • 83% of employees agree that a workation helped them cope with burnout
  • Nearly 69% felt less likely to quit their jobs after going on a workation
  • 84% of respondents were more satisfied with their job

As for me, going on a workation also worked that way. It was the most productive and energizing time of work I’ve ever experienced. In a spacious office environment, free from home distractions, I could focus more quickly, and the company of my coworkers motivated me to take challenges. Even better, the energy boost from my trip lasted long after the trip ended.

So, if you lack motivation and your mood is decreasing, consider going on a workation as a solution.

A workation office in Tenerife
A photo from author’s personal archives

7. Vacation time to charge your mental batteries

Last but not least – a workation can positively affect work performance by improving mental health. Women who took vacations more frequently reported experiencing lower stress levels and depression.

Vacations and traveling charge mental batteries – after all, we link trips with fun and relaxation. By disconnecting from daily responsibilities and immersing oneself in new experiences and environments, workations can be incredibly beneficial for mental health, providing a much-needed break from the stress and demands of work. 

The best part? You can get this vibe without using your days off. 

How to prepare for a performance-boosting workation?

Simply going abroad is not a guaranteed recipe for success. As with any trip, it’s crucial to ensure the right conditions are in place to maximize the benefits of your time away. 

Here are some tips to make your workations satisfying, both as a trip and as a performance-boosting experience:

  • Ensure a stable internet connection. When working online, a stable internet connection is a must-have. Before renting a place for your workation, ensure it has reliable WiFi. It’s also a good idea to check out the surrounding cafes or other locations in case of connection emergencies. Consider setting up a WiFi mesh network to ensure strong and stable connectivity.
  • Remember about time zones. When selecting a workation destination, it’s a good idea to choose a location in a similar time zone to your colleagues. It will help avoid stress related to working at different hours and make scheduling calls and exchanging information easier.
  • Find your perfect destination. Remember that your workation destination should be conducive to work and relaxation. Consider the climate, weather conditions, and popular activities in the area. For example, I chose Tenerife as my workation destination due to its warm weather, affordable prices, and outdoor activity options.
  • Get support from your company. Not all companies offer workations as an employee perk, but they can support your decision. It’s always worth discussing the possibility with your employer. Explain the potential benefits of a workation on your workflow and career development, emphasizing that it’s not just about having fun. With the proper support from your employer, workations can be a productive and beneficial experience for you and your company.

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Wrapping it up

A workation can help you reach your career goals by boosting your productivity and improving workflow. However, planning the trip thoughtfully is essential to reap the complete workation benefits. Three golden rules of a successful workation are:

  • Do not follow the crowd – adjust the workation trend to fit your individual needs 
  • Be aware of potential challenges  – and be prepared to overcome them
  • Enjoy – and learn from your own experience to see if it helps you or not

I wish you all the best in your workation experiences!

This is a guest post by Karolina Turowska, a writer and travel enthusiast at PhotoAiD. When it comes to writing, she loves bringing dry facts to life. When it comes to traveling, she just loves bikes.

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