With the advent of remote work, work vacations have become much more common. How do you strike the balance between having fun and being productive?
After spending almost 1.5 years watching the outside world through the screens, only a good long vacation can rejuvenate the traveler in us. But, getting some time off work is a luxury not every one of us can afford at this point.
So here's the deal — a vacation where you get to take your work! A Workcation!
The thing that you thought only existed for digital nomads or freelancers. Guess what? We are in 2021 and we are all at least giving a workcation a shot!
So what does it feel like to be on one?
You wake up to the view of mighty mountains or with the sound of serene waves in the background. You find a way to balance out your leisure time with your work hours. You spend your coffee breaks at a fancy café. You end your day with a walk into the woods or strolling around in a busy market. Between this, you also work, somewhere in the shade of palm trees by the ocean.
Sounds fascinating, doesn't it? But, it's not a cakewalk. Especially if you're taking on such an adventure for the first time.
So here are some dos and don’ts and tips and tricks for you to make the most of your workcation!
Keep your essentials close and your electronics closer
Two things here:
1. Each one of us has at least one travel story-cum-tragedy where we lost our phone charger or headphones. Although it's not a big deal on a personal trip, it would be a nightmare on a workcation. So, become an electronics hoarder and carry at least 1 alternative to chargers and devices.
2. Check with your hotel if they have stable internet connectivity. Regardless of the answer, carry a pocket Wi-Fi device in case things go south with their network. Also, ask about the network connectivity in the area you’re staying in and load up your data pack as a backup.
Become a 'Planning Freak'
Good planning is synonymous with a good trip, and this is no exception for your workcation. So we are here to remind you to plan:
- All the stuff you need to pack
- Travel itinerary
- Documents as per the travel guidelines
- First aid, painkillers, your regular medicines
- Your hotel bookings
(if you're not a hotel person, you can opt for an Airbnb, Zostel, Villa or maybe a friend's house)
- Your work (more on this in the next point)
To make things even easier for you, here's a wonderful app called Wanderlog that helps you with planning trips and mapping your itinerary.
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Don't forget to wave your coworkers goodbye
But wait, before you do that, keep those innocent souls in the loop about how you plan to structure your workday on the workcation. Ensure that you communicate your work hours, work deliverables, availability for meetings, and of course, the duration of the trip, with them.
Make everything clear and set the expectation right.
All planning and no spontaneity makes the workcation boring
Plan to keep yourself sane, not to take control of every minute of your day. You may pre-plan where you're going to spend the day but you can still be spontaneous about how you're going to spend it. Decide the way you want to, just make sure you don't end up living the same routine as you do back at home.
Choose where you're going based on what you want to do
Excited to try scuba diving but the beaches in the country are not permitted to reopen yet? Maybe you can opt for a different country. Avoid this mess by thoroughly checking the COVID-19 regulations of the location you're planning to explore, well in advance.
Balance fun and work
Two things you don't want to feel on your workcation:
1. Here we go again, I'm stuck with my laptop.
2. Wait, it's 5 p.m. already? I gotta get back to the room to send that email.
So, to make 'work hard, play harder' come true for you:
Have a fixed number of hours or timings for taking calls, attending meetings, answering emails, writing reports. You can also set your Slack status to let people know when you’ll be available to connect.
Practice deep work techniques like the Pomodoro technique (25-minute work, 5-minute break) or 80:20 time management rule
Try applications like Forest which help you stay focused and boost your productivity. (We've discussed more such tried and tested apps here)
When you're out enjoying yourself, don't let the thoughts of work take up space in your head. Enjoy fully!
Don't let FOMO crush you, go for longer!
If you're staying only for 2-3 days, you will be constantly stressed about how you are going to tick off all the activities on your list while juggling your office work. And this will be regardless of how effectively you may plan your trip or the work. To escape this FOMO (fear of missing out), design your trip as per the pace you would like to maintain.
Test yourself for COVID-19 before getting on the flight
No excuses for this! Get yourself tested (and also the people that you'll be taking along) so that you get to enjoy your workcation in the best health and there's no further spread of the virus.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do
Mark this as a general travel tip that you could also apply to your workcation. No matter where you are going, go local. Speak their language, follow their rules, understand their culture. The residents would be the best guide to direct you where you need to head next and what dish you should try.
Document your journey
Okay, we are not discussing a tip here but just a little heart-to-heart conversation between one traveler to another. CAPTURE STORIES, my friend! We all take photographs, but only a few of us take back the stories from our travels that we can cherish for a lifetime. Stories that will keep these moments alive long after we've lived them. Stories that we can share with friends, coworkers, and family to inspire them to get on such adventurous workcations.
So when are you planning your first or next workcation? Whenever you do and wherever you go, we hope you truly have a gala time!
Meanwhile, if you happen to miss your co-workers and want to ditch those typical Zoom calls to hang out, Bored games can be the icebreaker!
Did we tell you we recently made yet another crazy addition to Bored with Memelord?
A meme game that brings out the memer in you and gets you to bond with your co-workers over some hilarious daily life relatable situations. Go, check it out!