Are you one of those who find it difficult to clock off completely while you’re away on a vacation for the fear of losing that project you’ve spent sleepless nights working on? At the same time, cannot resist the temptation of taking long walks along the beaches of Seychelles, romancing under the twinkling lights of Eiffel Tower in Paris, getting thrilled in the Disneyland in Shanghai, watching an opera performance in Sydney and experiencing the gondola ride through Venice’s maze of canals. Then, ‘workcation’ is here to let you do all this, and a lot more!
Workcation is an amalgamation of work and vacation, when you’re logging in from a vacation destination without compromising on your work hours and yet not sacrificing the precious time off. “Workcations are technically faux vacations, where the individual gets a little break from work yet is not completely ignorant about important issues that may need immediate attention. Since the work is not completely ignored, it helps in keeping anxiety at bay and does not allow stress to accumulate, letting you relax better while vacationing, says Dr Deepak Raheja, Senior Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist, Director of Foundation Hope.
This allows a compromise in a world, where the workload is greater than the availability of free time and it becomes nearly impossible to not answer phone calls or emails, when something urgent arises at work. However, workcation is largely dependent on the nature of work; where it’s easy for employees to work remotely, especially in the creative industry enabling them brainstorm better.
“Productivity of employees may increase as they are not in the usual work environment and can feel at ease. At the same time, they can join in on special moments with family and friends which will make them feel involved and not left out, irritated or upset. This again shall make them enjoy their work and increase their efficiency, making them return to mainstream work feeling fresh and re-energized,” adds Dr Raheja.
However, we cannot ignore the downside of this arrangement. If one doesn’t get to spend sufficient time off work, it can lead to a burnout. Moreover, some vacations are a time to connect with family and prioritize one’s passions outside of work. In such cases, it is recommended to disconnect completely from work and return to the same rut and routine after a good break. Dr Raheja opines that work should not be the only defining aspect of one’s existence and mingling the two might become too messy.
Mr Sarthak Raychaudhuri, VP, Human Resources, Asia South, Whirlpool Corporation, also shares the viewpoint, “Workcation maybe a dangerous way to recharge your batteries. Organisations should encourage employees to completely “switch off” rather than intrude during their vacation. The concept is completely contrary to the concept of vacation. Vacation is for the family and they must get the undivided attention of the employee, just as the manager would expect while an employee is at work.”
It all depends on you…
Work productivity ultimately depends upon an individual’s approach to work. Some people like to multi-task and can juggle between both work and vacation, while it becomes stress inducing for others.
Richard Lobo, SVP & Head HR, Infosys Ltd, says, “We do see a trend in the way people choose to maintain some contact with their work while on holiday as technology today makes this easily possible. Call it a workcation or anything else, it is finally a matter of individual choice and companies need to respect that.”
If applied judiciously, workcation can act as a bridge to restore work-life balance by creating an oasis in stress or it may even further impact your productivity, depending on what you make out of it.