Laptop screen and sunscreen?: How the 'workation' is gaining momentum in Scotland

Switching off your laptop at the end of the working day – then heading outside for a dip in the pool on a balmy summer evening under a cloudless blue sky.

The appeal of a “workation” – a combination of remote work and a vacation – needs little highlighting as an alternative to yet another monotonous day living and working under the same roof.

Indeed the workation concept is gaining traction due to factors such as remote working’s increasingly mainstream role due to the pandemic, workers consequently being more certain of the freedom of movement this allows, against a backdrop of loosening travel restrictions.

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has now confirmed that Scots will soon be allowed to travel to the same 12 countries as those in England without the need to quarantine. These include Portugal, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

It's claimed that the greatest benefit of a workcation is that you visit destinations you’ve always dreamt of. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto.

Cottage rental firm My Favourite Cottages is a keen flag-waver for the workation concept, stating: “No longer confined to either the office or the home, workers can now opt to bring their work on holiday – think Zoom meetings by the beach or sifting through emails while looking at rolling hills.”

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The firm, which has several properties in Scotland on its books, cites the fact that an estimated 60 per cent of the UK’s workforce have been remote working since the coronavirus crisis began, also citing SAGE officials encouraging Brits to work from home indefinitely.

Furthermore, many firms are officially embracing the concept of hybrid working – a mix of clocking in remotely and in the office.

My Favourite Cottages managing director Harry Roberts has highlighted the productivity-boosting potential of a workcation.

He has some pre-booking tips, such as checking the availability of wifi, quiet spaces and the costs involved in a workcation. “But with remote workers on average saving £44.78 per week [by working from home], why not treat yourself with some much-needed R and R?”” he said.

Indeed many accommodation providers have been quick to put together their own workation offerings – which marries their need to attract business with workers’ need for peace and a change of scenery – in locations such as Mauritius and the Algarve.

Mr Roberts sees the workation as a way to escape work drama and the distractions of home life.

Additionally, he is convinced of the potential of a workation-induced change of scenery boosting creative thinking, saying travel and exposure to different environments have been found to be able to change the neural pathways in your brain, for example.

His comments follow a call for people to allocate time for themselves every day to practice “TOYO” [Time On Your Own] to help their mental wellbeing as lockdown lifts.

Mr Roberts added: “Though remote working has brought its own challenges, the major benefit is that employees have been able to explore different work environments to discover what best suits them and their lifestyles."

He also highlights how a workcation enables workers to destress and recharge in preparation for the return to the office, without having to pause productivity.

But the greatest benefit, he believes, is that you can experience new adventures and travel to destinations you’ve always wanted to visit. “Plus, you can do all of that without having to sacrifice holiday days – and still get paid for your time.”

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