Does a workation seem too crazy to you, but are you in paid employment and that doesn’t seem like an option? Think again. In this blog I, Alieke, prove that it is possible! I’m 33, I work as an event manager at a Dutch company and I regularly work from abroad. Curious how I arranged this? Below I share my story and tips with you!
To Spain on Workation
Unsuspectingly, I recently posted on LinkedIn that I was leaving for Spain for my workation. That message went viral. Lots of views and comments. Not only did I receive many messages, my employer also received responses. It was really cool to see how many people find this interesting and have questions about it. An Instagram page and now also a website followed, to answer those pressing questions.
On Salaried Workation, Is That Really Possible?
A workation is a combination of work and travel/vacation, for a short or longer period of time. You then work from abroad. And that is not only possible for digital nomads who have their own online business, but is also possible for ordinary citizens who are in paid employment.
Of course you must have a job where it is possible to work remotely and you only need a laptop. But certainly because of corona it has become clear that for many functions you do not necessarily have to be physically present in an office.
What Kind of Salaried Job Can I Get on Workation?
I work as an event manager at marketing organization Frankwatching in Utrecht. Several times a year I organize major events at the Jaarbeurs and logically I have to be there myself. Working from abroad is therefore not possible at those times, but between those events there is plenty of room to leave. In my work, location independent work has been very common for years.
Working from home has always been normal, you can largely determine yourself where you do your work. It takes a lot of confidence to work that way, and it gives everyone a lot of freedom. So I’m not the only one who does this. A colleague recently went to work from Ibiza with her whole family for a month, another is traveling through Bosnia at the moment. Fun fact:
The Field of Work Has Changed So That Going on Workation in Paid Employment Is Increasingly Easier
Not all employers will be open to working from abroad. But 2 years ago there were also plenty of companies that considered working from home impossible, and the opposite has now been proven. Fortunately, I know of examples of both corporates and SMEs who are in favor of workations. These companies value freedom and trust, giving employees the flexibility to work where they want.
Provided you meet certain preconditions, of course, such as good internet, a good workplace, being accessible and doing your job well. But that shouldn’t be a problem. I think that in the future many more people will go on workation or start working as digital nomads in paid employment.
What Does Such a Workation Look Like
Usually I go on workation for a week, but now I’m going to Spain for 3 months. Why not?! My friends joke a lot about grandma spending the winter in Benidorm. I can laugh about that, it also feels a bit surreal. But actually it is not all that complicated and for many people it is possible. During workations I often work 4 days and take 1 day off to do something fun.
On working days I work approximately from 9 to 5, because then your colleagues also work and it is so efficient. At the end of your working day, you close your laptop and go on the road. Often you are still in time for a beautiful sunset, so that you forget within 5 minutes that you have worked that day and after that you have the whole evening to yourself.
Do You Work as an Employee, but Do You Also Want Workation? 4 Tips to Manage It!
After this story, would you also like to try to go on workation while you are in paid employment? Check these four tips and who knows, you might soon also work from abroad.
1. Check the Policy
Workation are far from (yet) always included in company policy, certainly not on paper. Large organizations will have a policy about your workplace. This may be less concrete for SMEs, but it is good to start a conversation about the possibilities. The company can make a choice about whether or not to allow it.
2. Determine Your Destination
Where are you going? I always find this the most difficult decision, because there is so much beauty to discover. I have always stayed in Europe until now. Because if you’re dealing with colleagues, it’s nice to talk to them at normal times. And so you don’t want a time difference. Maybe you find it exciting to travel alone? I get that, it was the first time for me too.
Trust me, you got this! If you have your own apartment, you can go to flexible workplaces where you can get to know people, or chat with someone randomly at a cafe. You can also opt for a hostel. There are plenty of options for working and also somewhat ‘older’ travelers (read: people in their thirties, I don’t think old, but still). But maybe there is someone in your area who also wants this, and you can go together. There are also more and more organized workations, where you share a house with others and do fun things together in your spare time. Everything is possible!
3. The Conversation With Your Employer
Think about why you want to do this. If you need to convince someone to get permission this will help you. For example, your motivation may be that you are ready for new stimuli or positive energy, as was the case with me.
Single and now home alone a lot, where the walls came at me. Or maybe you can stick your partner behind the wallpaper by now, and… you just want to go away alone for a week! Prepare your conversation well and be clear about your wishes. That also gives someone confidence that you have thought about it and is more likely to give you the freedom you ask for. Here are the most important tips:
- How long do you want to leave and where do you want to go (note the time difference)
- What will your working week look like (number of hours you work, what times)
- Where do you stay (strong and safe Wi-Fi, good workplace, be accessible)
- Do you want extra days off or unpaid leave (be specific)
4. Prepare Your Trip
This is the fun part: preparing your trip. Scouring blogs, Instagrammers and websites with great tips for your destination, that will brighten you up spontaneously! You may not have as much time as you would on vacation to get out and about, so check out what’s on and pick what you want to do or see anyway. I never plan too much, I also want to be able to really enjoy my surroundings and rest. Being in a different place is already a win anyway, so I don’t have to check off the entire tourist bucket list. When choosing where to stay, consider things like good WiFi and a quiet workspace. For example, above a noisy cafe is not necessarily the best place to work, although your noise canceling headphones work wonders.
Are You Still in Doubt About Going on Workation? My Advice: Go Now!
Many people suffer from a (winter) dip. It’s cold, wet and the corona measures are taking their toll. Positive energy is sometimes hard to find. A sun can do a person so good. At least a change of scenery. Right now a workation is very nice. I have a number of friends who, because of my story, now also work from abroad and they are all very happy with their decision to go away for a while.