Workation is the new concept of a vacation that combines business with leisure. With people working from home during this pandemic, this concept has become a much-needed escape and great opportunity to take work on a holiday
Travel. With everything that has been going on right now, it is the last thing on all our minds. After all, we can only fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic by isolating at home. Since the last few months, we have all been doing exactly that by working from our homes.
Yet, travelling is what we crave right now. To leave the four walls of our bedrooms, and be lost somewhere on those idyllic beaches or the majestic mountains, the feeling of sitting on an airplane or a bus to reach a destination.
Well, now that some places are reopening by undertaking proper precautions, travelling might just be back as an option. You may not be able to fulfil that Euro trip this year, but there are places in India that you would want to explore. However, if your Work From Home is stopping you from taking that much-needed socially distanced vacation, we have good news for you. And it is called – workation.
WHAT IS A WORKATION?
The idea behind workation is basically what the word literally means – working + vacation. A working vacation. If you can’t go on a vacation, take your office along. The concept, earlier frowned upon as it was believed it blurred the lines between work and leisure, now seems like an appealing prospect, what with all other work-home lines anyway blurring this year.
The idea of relocating for a few weeks, a month or even longer to a destination that is within driving distance does seem like a lucrative idea. Take a second and imagine yourself up in the mountains or sitting in front of a serene beach with your laptop, in comfiest clothes and a cup of hot cocoa or a pitcher of beer. Who wouldn’t want that, especially now? In fact, you can also throw in the benefits of pleasant weather and unlimited access to outdoors along with fun activities like trekking, fishing or biking.
Travel companies around the country are exploring the idea of a workation fully to provide people a chance to enjoy work and a leisure holiday at the same time. So, IndiaToday.in got in touch with some of the leading backpacking and travel companies who are providing the option of staying for a longer period of time at a property to their customers. Considering we are living in the middle of a pandemic, all these companies are functioning at a 50 per cent capacity and keeping in mind WFH guidelines by providing a safe, sanitised environment, high-speed internet connection, along with a heavy dose of recreational activity.
SANITISED CAB PICK-UPS, FAST INTERNET
For Dharamveer Singh Chouhan, Co-founder and CEO of Zostel, workation seems like a permanent travelling pattern in the future. Zostel is currently operating in various places across India like Jaipur, Jodhpur, Coorg, Gokarna, Udaipur, Mukteshwar and many more. Dharamveer said, “The properties have been made workation-ready for people staying for longer time periods, with facilities like dedicated dorms and workspaces, high-speed internet connection, power supply.” For them, the key challenge right now is the dissemination of Covid-19 guidelines, but they are doing so by setting up helplines for their customers. “We are providing sanitised cabs to our customers, we are following social distancing guidelines within the dormitories, we are admitting at half occupancy and sanitising regularly. People who are bold and courageous are going to become the pioneers of this process,” he added.
According to Chouhan, during this pandemic, people have realised all they need is electricity and a good internet connection to work from anywhere, which is why workation is going to be the next big travel trend.
“Travellers are opting for longer stays. We have received more than 1,000 applications till now. Every place has a soul, its own culture, history and cuisines, and you need to stay at any place for two to three weeks to understand that. Now, because we will be able to work remotely, people will stay at a place for months, do their day job, and experience the place. Workation will do justice to travelling now,” he added.
WORKATION: THE NEXT BIG TRAVEL TREND
According to Pranav Dangi, CEO at The Hosteller, people are fed up with their cities, their homes, and workation has become a good way for them to travel. The aim is for a person to work for five days, then enjoy for two days around the destination they are staying at.
Talking about how their company is making this an experience for travellers, Pranav said, “We have jungle walks, river walks, short hikes, bonfire nights, movie nights and games to keep our customers engaged.” Till now, they have received over 500 applications, while Zostel has received over 1000 applications.
Pranav added, “This will pick up because a lot of companies are pushing their people to work from home. And this will continue till March 2021, at least. Workation is going to become a huge trend.”
WORK+TRAVEL = POST-COVID FUTURE
For Govind Gaur, the founder of WanderOn, a travel community that recently announced their first workation destination, the concept of work+travel is the future.
He said, “Workation is trying to provide a work-life balance. We are currently living in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan and planning to expand to Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka. The idea is to provide people a chance to work remotely by travelling to a place that is within a drivable distance. They can stay at a hostel, hotel, homestay or even a villa and work while holidaying.”
Govind’s company has even partnered with ICMR labs to help people get their tests done before they travel to create a seamless process. “After people have quarantined, they are free to travel anywhere, go for hikes and explore around. I think this is how the entire industry will work because people now know that working remotely is possible,” he added.
According to Manuj Sharma, the co-founder of another travel company, Workation, the number of travellers interested in a workation has increased 3 times. “This is going to drive domestic tourism for sure. In the future, workation is going to be the revival of tourism, along with leisure travelling of course,” said Sharma.
And, why not? After all, why work from home, when you can actually work from the mountains or the beaches.