Science says vacations are good for your health, happiness, and workplace productivity. But try telling that to the nearly half of the U.S.-based workforce who didn’t use up all of their allotted vacation days last year. From unsupportive managers, to too many deadlines, to fearing the backlog they’d return to, overworked Americans cite a laundry list of reasons for why they are too stressed to de-stress.
Too stressed for a vacation? When the problem is itself a contradiction, perhaps it’s worthwhile to consider some seemingly contradictory solutions. Here is where “workcations” come in.
Some 66% of Americans are already routinely working during their vacation time. Rather than ignoring this inconvenient statistic, many companies have in recent years adopted an approach that doesn’t pretend that employees are completely unplugging while on holiday. Instead, workcation-friendly policies encourage employees to use travel as a means to simultaneously stay on top of their work and tend to their wanderlust.
Employer-sponsored working vacations take many forms. From flying the dev team out to Bali so that they can finish writing that beast of a coding project in style, to offering longer stretches of time-off in exchange for attending to some light tasks while on the road, workcations promise to blend the personal and professional so that both spheres can flourish.
But can working vacations really work? In order to transform the concept of working during vacation from a symptom of workaholism into a powerful force for employee happiness and productivity, you need to first lay the right cultural groundwork: