Wellbeing & Health

Workation: An Anti-Burnout Employee Benefit

4 Mins read

Imagine your perfect work setting.

Close your eyes and tell me – is it a tropical island? New York? Italian village? (I’m all for Iceland!)

Now, think you can spend a few weeks and experience everyday life there without using your vacation time. Doesn’t it sound appealing?

It may be the reason why workation is all the rage these days. Workation is when you mix work and travel, meaning visiting another place to work remotely and enjoy the nearest area in your free time. It’s incredibly trendy among remote employees, tired of working in their homes. However, not all of them decide to take advantage of this, either due to their busy schedules or a lack of funds.

It was exactly my case.

At the same time, workation helps beat burnout, a problem that has affected 75% of workers. Its potential to improve mental health and prevent mental health issues among employees makes workation an excellent employee benefit.

Luckily, my company PhotoAiD decided on that step – it offered Tenerife workation as an employee perk – so I got a chance to experience it. 

In this piece, I’d like to, driven by my experience, tell you several reasons why workation help to avoid burnout and why those reasons make it the perfect employee benefit.

Burn-what? What is burnout?

Let’s start by making it clear.

Even though “burnout” rhymes with “chill out,” its meaning is the opposite; it is the state of being overwhelmed or overstressed for an extended period, resulting in mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion. In workplaces, three kinds of burnout may occur: overload, under-challenged, and neglect. 

You can identify burnout by emotional, behavioral, and physical symptoms. 

Some of the emotional signals are:

  • low mood
  • anxiety
  • low self-esteem

Behavioral signals include, among others:

A few of the physical symptoms are:

  • headaches and stomachaches
  • irregular sleep
  • changes in eating habits

How to avoid this horrible thing? A few strategies work excellently. Workation, with all the advantages it offers, is one of them.

How Does Workation Help With Burnout? A Change Of Scenery

Changing scenery is one of the main reasons people decide on workation.

The latest study of Passport Photo Online that polled 1,000+ American employees revealed that their core motivations for workation were to avoid feeling stuck in one place (62%) and to escape the routine and enjoy a change of scenery (57%).

Thus, the temptation to get out of the rut is really high – and workation ideally responds to this need.

But how changing the place can help to fight burnout?

  • When working remotely, you are surrounded by home duties and personal affairs. On workation, nothing around distracts you.
  • Being far away, you leave your everyday worries behind you. So, in your free time, you can truly rest and regenerate.
  • A new place is like a new beginning, making you feel renewed. You change perspective, reboot your mind and open it to expand new possibilities.
  • A stunning destination puts you in a good mood, which increases your work engagement and inspires improving your workflow.
  • After working hours, you can relax watching the sunset on a beach or walking through a vibrant old city.

The result? Workation – Burnout is 1:0.

How Does Workation Help With Burnout? Fighting Economic Uncertainty Stress

Is burnout only a workplace issue? Actually, no. The truth is stresses of everyday life also contribute to it, making things worse. 

And today, reality does not spare us bad news.

Even in the best employee-centered companies, workers feel threatened by prolonged pandemic stress and growing inflation. It negatively affects their mental health, also lowering their work performance. At the same time, this situation sets a vast range of possibilities for employers. 

People would like to escape this neverending ride of worries by travel, but the current economic situation doesn’t encourage them to take trips. Especially to foreign countries.

A dead end?

Not anymore; business owners can help their employees to get back on track by offering them workation. Most workers can’t afford it, but they would benefit from the occasion to rest from this stressful environment on an exotic island or in a foreign country. Then, they would return to work and life with fresh energy.

How do I know it works? Because I experienced it by myself.

I wouldn’t decide on workation due to the rising cost of living crisis. However, my company introduced a new work perk – workation in Tenerife. It offered me accommodation and a partial refund of my flight tickets, making it an option I could afford.

Tenerife workation boosted my energy, allowed me to take a deeper breath, and came back with readiness for the challenges the world brings.

How Does Workation Help With Burnout? No More Isolation

Compared to the hustle and bustle of on-site offices, the home office offers peace, silence, and… loneliness. 

Indeed, remote workers often feel isolated until sitting the entire day next to the screen. Even writing with colleagues on chats doesn’t fully compensate for a need to socialize. The lack of real contact closes people to each other and limits chances to share workplace challenges. Thus, employees who feel upcoming burnout can’t get support from their coworkers.

How to break away from that trap? Again, workation is the answer.

A company-organized workation is a fantastic opportunity to meet distant colleagues in person. Suddenly, you can ask them questions live instead of on Slack, take lunch breaks together, or explore a city in your free time. From my experience, it’s a fantastic time to meet other people from a company and get professionally and personally inspired by their work approach and interests.

A good thing about workation is that relations remain strong after returning home. It makes remote work much more enjoyable since you feel that your organization is driven by existing(!), passionate people.

Final thoughts

Does workation pay off? 

Undoubtedly, employees enjoy workation. Among other things, they get a change of scenery, a break from everyday stress, and social opportunities. All adds up to their better well-being.

In return, employers gain loyal, engaged, and non-burned-out employees.

So – workation as an employee benefit is a win-win for both parties!

Short bio: Karolina Turowska, a writer and travel enthusiast at PhotoAiD. When it comes to writing, she loves bringing dry facts to life. When it comes to traveling, she just loves bikes.

Further Reading

Digital Employee Experience: The Complete Guide
Managing Overqualified Employees
Models of Change: 7 Main Models

2 posts

About author
Karolina Turowska, a writer and travel enthusiast at PhotoAiD. When it comes to writing, she loves bringing dry facts to life. When it comes to traveling, she just loves bikes.
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