The Benefits of Workcations

Workcationers are more relaxed, creative and productive

The thought of workcations (working vacations, such as when an employee jets off to a vacation spot like Greater Fort Lauderdale, Florida, while working during their stay there) can often create unease throughout the ranks of organizations’ management teams. They’re afraid that if their employees combine business with leisure (“bleisure”), their productivity will plummet and the company will suffer.

This is largely untrue. Indeed, workcations can actually improve worker productivity. For example, a change in scenery and activities can dramatically alter workers’ mental and physical health, with new, more relaxed attitudes and behaviors filtering into their work.

To their detriment, some organizations are unfortunately still focused on the outdated orthodoxy of the nine-to-five, desk-anchor grind. They need to realize, however, that workcation flexibility actually gives them an advantage over their competitors.

After all, if employers treat their workers with trust and respect, they’ll respond in kind, without cringing at the everyday stress of a blaring six-in the-morning alarm, all-day clock watching or over-the-shoulder micromanagement.

Because of this, many organizations need to establish new and more open mindsets. They should allow employees to get out of the office—even if temporarily or within defined but agreed upon parameters—and go to wherever they’d like, as long as their work maintains expected quality levels. This allows them to, for example, go for a morning jog at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park in Fort Lauderdale, return to their laptops with less stress and bang out hours of solid work.

Indeed, according to a 2022 Passport Photo Online survey of over 1,100 Americans, 67 percent of them went on workcations to “recharge their mental and emotional batteries.” After these trips, 86 percent either agreed or strongly agreed that getting away from the monotony of set hours and blank-wall cubicles boosted their productivity. And 81 percent said they grew more creative at work after taking workcations.

Significantly, almost 69 percent of those surveyed are less likely to quit their jobs after going on these work/pleasure treks. Similarly notable, around 83 percent either agreed or strongly agreed that workcations helped them cope with burnout (an increasing issue in the workplace), leading to increased job satisfaction and reduced turnover.

These numbers aren’t insignificant, and companies and their managers should take note. After all, unhappy employees are more likely to visit job-posting sites to find new positions that offer more flexibility in terms of when and where they can and want to work. And this is a bottom-line issue, because filling now-vacant positions and training new hires are expensive propositions.

That’s why some organizations are breaking from tradition, realizing that happier, and more satisfied, creative and productive workers actually reduce operating costs. And as long as work-output expectations and deadlines are met and the quality of work doesn’t decline, there’s really no logical reason to discourage or not allow workcations.

In the long run, the benefits of workcations far outweigh the fears managers may have about them, as employees:

  • Break daily routines to become more flexible and insightful
  • Become more organized so they can accomplish their work with better efficiency and timing
  • Experience increased job satisfaction, knowing that they’re valued and trusted by their employers
  • Maintain work continuity by getting away from the humdrum of everyday life while still reliably, and with more creativity, consistency and satisfaction, supporting business goals

Both employees and their work habits and environments have changed dramatically since COVID entered the picture. Smart organizations have already recognized this and adjusted accordingly or are in the process of doing so, knowing that satisfied employees are the best employees to have.

Workcationers—because they’re more relaxed, creative and productive after, for example, enjoying the calm beaches in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea—are less likely to flake than their office-bound counterparts when it comes to their work. Indeed, they’re instead more likely to attack it with gusto, giving managers the piece of mind knowing they’re not networking to land other positions that better match their work/lifestyle goals.

As a result, companies shouldn’t be paranoid about allowing their employees to work in places such as Fort Lauderdale and beyond, away from the drone office environment. Indeed, they need to recognize that the working world and employee attitudes—especially given that employees now have more leverage than they did before—have changed and that it would behoove them to change accordingly.

Doing otherwise can result in consequences that are incompatible with new and unlikely-to-change work realities, as some organizations are now unfortunately discovering. It’s much wiser, after all, to work with rather than against employees to improve business outcomes. And allowing or even encouraging workers to take workcations is a big step in that direction

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