Workation simply means working and vacationing at the same time. It can also be interpreted as adding leisurely elements to your work. This idea is usually with either people who work remotely or managers and senior staff that have the privilege of being able to take work on the go.
Top Five Places to Visit for a Workation
Wouldn’t you rather be writing reports on a warm, sandy beach than your office or room? Work doesn’t always have to be underneath fluorescent lights and a cubicle. With the rise in popularity of remote work, traveling while still fulfilling your job’s duties has never been easier.
Cabin in the Woods
The idea of sipping on a fresh cup of coffee while overlooking a lush forest is no longer reserved exclusively for writers. As long as you check to make sure the place you rent has a secure internet connection ahead of time, you’re golden.
Cabins in relatively remote places with trees and rivers promote tranquility and focus. There won’t be any cars or people to distract you from your work. All you’ll hear is the rushing of the river and birds chirping.
Imagine tending to a fire and roasting marshmallows while checking your email. Fresh air will do you good and allow you to concentrate more easily. It’s in our nature to feel good and have better blood flow when we hear the sound of water. Being near a river will help with that immensely.
While working remotely in a cabin, it’s important to have a designated space for working. Having a separate room or patio altogether would be ideal. However, don’t be afraid to migrate around the property if you’re feeling stuck.
Being in a cabin has an unexpected benefit; exercise. You’re probably going to be in for a workout in more ways than one. Keeping active is a great way to keep your energy up. Every hour or so, go out for a quick walk. Maybe chop up some firewood for later that night.
Perhaps it’s time to get away from the cities and suburbs. Reading reports while sending emails at a resort in Mexico or Hawaii might be just the thing you need. Getting sun isn’t just fun and relaxing. We need natural sunlight on a regular basis to stay healthy physically and mentally.
Getting into a bathing suit and taking the laptop to the beach or pool will help you feel less lethargic or isolated. Just because you’re working doesn’t mean you can’t have a little bit of fun at the bar. Order yourself a virgin drink, like a margarita or pina colada.
If you stay at a hotel, try to get a room that’s high and has a great view. You might as well enjoy the view of a beach and boats passing by if you’re going to work in the room. If you don’t already live in a tropical climate, these areas of the world will be a good change of pace.
Bed and Breakfasts
There are small towns with so much to offer sprinkled throughout the country. If you’re looking to escape the bustling of big city life but don’t want to travel very far, a bed and breakfast is right up your alley.
Bed and breakfasts are great for stimulating local economies and historic preservation. Most B&Bs are older buildings that are typically decorated and preserved in older styles from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
They are focused on coziness and comfort first and foremost. In contrast to normal hotels, bed and breakfasts pay special attention to your experience and accommodations. Usually, each room in a B&B is unique. Part of the fun is choosing your room beforehand.
Most hotels have typical meals available, but some don’t serve food at all. B&Bs take pride in their homestyle food, especially the breakfast. And it better be good, considering it’s in the name of the business.
Lots of these B&Bs are located in towns with great boutique shops and mom-and-pop restaurants. Some of these towns are better at keeping big food chains out with local regulations than others.
You may already live and work in a small town or more isolated areas of the country, so a workation in a busy city could be fun. New York City is a real treat in so many ways. The city is known for some of the most amazing food, sights, and sheer density.
Currently, there are over 26,000 sit-down restaurants in the city and even more street food vendors. A fun idea, if the weather permits, is to work outside in Central Park. Grabbing a New York hotdog from a street cart or a classic slice of pizza is the perfect complement to your workflow.
Another great place that can be fun to work in is one of the thousands of independent cafes. Be prepared for high prices, though. New York City has a well-deserved reputation for being one of the most expensive cities in the world.
Try to find cafes that have rooftop views of the city. Imagine how jealous your coworkers will be at video conferences when they see the Empire State building behind you. Other cities, like San Francisco, can definitely offer views and amazing restaurants.
However, San Francisco has other benefits that New York City can’t claim to have. Take your laptop to the Redwoods just outside the city. Cell phone and internet services may be spotty or even not available at all here, though.
It can get a little overwhelming being in a big, loud city like San Francisco. Taking a walk in a beautiful forest and finding a spot to sit down and get some work done can help you refocus. You might end up finding out the city’s too distracting.
Home, Sweet Home
Sometimes all you need for a workation is to simply add elements of a vacation while at home. There’s no packing involved, no traveling, and a lot fewer expenses. There are some things that sound like a good idea, but you should probably avoid them.
Do not work in bed. While working from home, it’s incredibly tempting to wake up, roll over, grab the laptop off the nightstand, and start working. This practice can turn into a bad habit with potentially serious consequences.
When you work in bed, it’s extremely comfortable, but you may end up messing with your sleep quality and patterns. Your bedroom should be a sanctuary that protects you from stimuli and stress to promote good sleep.
Adding something potentially stressful, like your work, to that environment will start to make you associate where you sleep with stress and activity. This can have effects like not being able to get to sleep and staying asleep.
If you have an outdoor patio that you want to work on, add some things to make it more comfortable. Add decorative lighting and footrests to keep your feet up on. Play atmospheric and relaxing music at a low volume.
Mobile Workstation Essentials
There are a handful of accessories you can add to your workstation that will make you wonder how you were able to work without them. Ergonomics tend to suffer when you travel away from a designated office space with all of your favorite accouterments. Here are some things to help you on your workation.
One of the most important tools in a mobile workstation is something you probably already own; a set of headphones. Wireless buds are crucial to be able to somewhat privately conduct video calls and listen to music while working.
If you don’t have a pair of quality, noise-canceling headphones, you’re missing out. Not only are they great for blocking out annoying noises an airplane makes, but they also help your focus when at your workation destination.
If you can’t escape big city noises, a pair of these kinds of headphones will almost completely block out those distractions. If you’re taking a workation at home and have kids around, throw these headphones on, and you’ll be teleported to another dimension of tranquility.
You’re probably going to be wearing these headsets for many hours at a time, so the lighter the headphones, the better. Your neck will thank you in the long run. Heavier headphones usually squeeze harder to your head to stay up, and that can cause discomfort and headaches.
If you’re taking your laptop on the go, a fantastic addition to it would be an angled laptop stand. These products fold flat and hardly take up any room in a bag. They not only raise your screen higher but also provide a more ergonomic angle for your wrists.
Having a raised screen will encourage more comfortable sitting positions for long work periods. The last thing you want flaring up on a workation is carpal tunnel syndrome. Angled laptop stands reduce the odds of that happening significantly.
Casual Work Life
Balancing your work life with pleasure is a difficult task, especially when traveling. Take the time to think about how you work and what kinds of things can distract you too easily. This will inform the type of workation that will be best for you.
Why Trees Can Make You Happier | Greater Good Magazine
Muir Woods National Monument | US National Park Service