Your Workcation Guide: Dos and Don’ts on How to Work Remotely

Your Workcation Guide: Dos and Don’ts on How to Work Remotely
Jobstreet content teamupdated on 23 November, 2022
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The past few years have seen massive shifts in the way people work. The pandemic forced people to learn how to work remotely. Although this flexible work arrangement has been around for a while, it evolved into a byword in the last two years. As things calmed down, companies soon after exercised a hybrid setup, which, according to PwC’s Global Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey 2022, was preferred by Singaporean workers.

From telecommuting to the hybrid setup, another kind of work arrangement is gaining traction – the workcation. Learn about this latest version of the flexible working model, and see if it can work for you.

What Is a Workcation?

A workcation is a portmanteau of work and vacation. You can be on the job while in some fun, tropical paradise. A workcation allows you to be location-independent. You can put your usual eight hours of work wherever you want: visiting your friends in the U.S., chilling out on a terrace in Sydney by yourself, or being with relatives who need looking after at the moment. After a day of video calls and emails, you can clock off and schedule a tour.

You’re probably shaking your head, thinking how impossible it is to work full-time while on holiday. However, there was a time when there was scepticism over working at home with kids and staying productive. As employees adapt to the benefits of flexible working, they're discovering that one of the ways to find work-life balance is to mix the personal and professional.

7 Dos and Don’ts on How to Work Remotely

With work and travel becoming more intertwined post-pandemic, workcations are becoming more and more popular. In case you are considering a workcation, here are seven things to note.

DO: Find the best internet providers in your location.

Your internet connection is the most crucial detail you need to pay attention to. Hotels and serviced apartments do not necessarily have lightning speed wifi connections so consider getting a robust mobile data plan, particularly if your work entails presentations and video conferencing. If you booked an Airbnb, ask your host about the wifi speed, and as a backup, inquire about the location of the nearby co-working space or cafe where you can camp out during office hours.

DO: Bring what you can from your home office.

The pandemic may have trained you on how to work remotely effectively. Think about the essential things in your home office that help improve your productivity. Bring your cables, keyboard, mouse, and headphones.

DO: Mix your tasks.

One of the issues you may encounter while on a workcation is feeling disconnected from your colleagues. To avoid this, have a good mix of tasks where you can work with the team on some days and work independently occasionally. When you make time for team-oriented activities, you can remain visible to your colleagues despite working remotely.

DO NOT: Overlook time zones.

The success of location-independent work will depend on your productivity. During a workcation, be mindful of the time zone difference between your colleagues and your current address. Make sure you have an overlap with your work hours for meetings and other standups. As much as possible, sleep during your night time so you have energy for fun things when your workday ends.

DO NOT: Ignore potential challenges.

Since this is a workcation, you could be touring with friends or family. Make sure you set expectations with them to avoid any conflict. Agree on places in your “must-see” list, and set priorities on things you would like to do. Make your work hours clear to the people with whom you are travelling. One way to do this is by designating a period and area where you will be working.

It may be challenging to follow and respond to any decisions made at work because of the time difference. Request to conduct important decisions via email to stay informed about critical points.

DO NOT: Forget to update your calendar and communication applications.

Can you work remotely and still enjoy your holiday? Take advantage of apps while doing remote work ! Update your calendar to show your colleagues when you are available for meetings. You do not need to drop by a meeting in the middle of the night! If rescheduling is not an option, delegate someone to attend for you and then ask for a debrief.

Avoid getting messages in the middle of the night by enabling your communication apps, such as Slack or Discord, to pause notifications.

How Can You Ask Your Company for a Workcation?

The company you’re in may not have heard of a workcation, so do the following before you ask for one:

Do your research.

Talk to someone from your human resources department and ask if your company can support this kind of work arrangement. If speaking to someone from HR is daunting, you can also check your employee handbook. It will tell you if workcation figures in your organisation's remote-work policy.

If you have no such policy, a quick online search of companies with one can help. Pro-tip: Check with your direct competitor or an organisation with a similar work culture as yours that your boss admires. It will be a compelling precedent to show.

Show you are capable.

Find as much proof as possible that you are a results-oriented worker. Show work you did in the past that was done well with minimal supervision.

In addition, it will help to see that you have mastered the art of communicating with your colleagues while doing remote work. One reason companies may be hesitant to agree to extended remote work is the challenge of reaching employees when they are away. Show that you are a consistent hard worker to reinforce your workcation idea.

Be ready with data.

Use facts to show that remote work is mutually beneficial for you and your company. Cite Slack’s Future Forum study to show how flexible work arrangements improve work-life balance and decrease stress among employees.

Preparing for Your Workcation

Hypothetically your boss says yes and allows you to go on a workcation. Congratulations! Here are a few quick tips on how to prepare yourself – and your office.

Set boundaries with your colleagues.

This tip is foremost on the list because a workcation is unlike other work arrangements, like a four-day workweek. Tell your colleagues when you will be online and on breaks. Don't forget to rest because remember that you're also technically on holiday.

Declutter, declutter, declutter!

Designate a work area and keep it neat, organised, and free from distractions. In the same way, prepare yourself for a mental declutter so you can stay focused on what you need to deliver.

Create a routine and stick to it.

Don’t forget the best practices you’ve developed when working from home. If you start your day with a big breakfast or a quick run, keep it going during your workcation. Continue whatever routine you have established that helps you find balance and recharge after work.

Be consciously productive.

One of the perks of going on a workcation is the experience of being in a new location. Maximise this opportunity by taking advantage of your free time and making it complement your career. Think about building your professional network where you are, even if you are there temporarily.

Workcation Benefits And Challenges You Need to Know

As with any endeavour, a workcation comes with pros and cons. Here are some workcation benefits:

Your PTOs are intact.

By now, you must be convinced that taking a break from work is critical. When you are on a workcation, you don't use up your vacation days despite being half on holiday.

Work-life balance becomes real.

You can start and end your day doing something you know will be good for your body and mind. You don’t have to wait until the weekend to do something interesting because you can incorporate it during your work day.

You become more creative.

When you explore new places and try novel things, you boost your creativity. You approach challenges with more insight and an enhanced perspective.

However, there are also challenges you need to watch out for:

You may be out of the loop.

Because of the potential time difference, it may be hard to keep abreast with critical situations in the office. Stay connected with your colleagues by asking them to email you when important decisions need to be made so you are still in the know.

It requires a higher level of time management.

A highly developed skill of managing your time is essential to make a workcation work for you and your company.

You risk overworking.

Because you are away from an office environment, the temptation to overcompensate by working longer hours can happen. Watch for the tendency to be addicted to work. Again, remember to schedule breaks.

People are different in the ways they get motivated at work. The pandemic may have given you a respite from being in an office environment, or you may have languished during that period. Either way, explore the possibilities that a workcation offers. It may just be the setup that works best for you.

While thinking about whether or not you want to try a workcation, keep updated with positions in your industry that you may want to consider. Download the JobStreet App to see in-demand roles in your field.

To get more ideas on the latest trends in job searches and to help you#SEEKBetter, check out Career Advice on JobStreet. You can also download the JobStreet app (available on Google Play and App Store ) to find the best job that can suit your working style – workcation or otherwise.

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