Employees say that workations boost productivity and improve inter-team relations.
Ankit sits down on the balcony and begins to sip coffee surrounded by the beautiful snowcapped mountains in Manali and clicks “clock in” on Workday as he begins his work shift. He decided to work on a vacation with two of his colleagues as a way to relieve himself from the stress of his work life.
“Workations (Work+Vacation) have become popular amongst the working class and proved to be contributing positively to an employee’s work hours. Due to working from home, employees have not been able to stay in touch with colleagues or connect with them like they do at their workplaces. However, workations are taking over as a measure to mend inter-team relations,” said Tanisha Bajaj, a workationer.
Resorts, homestays have also adapted to this and have packages and deals around workations. According to a survey by booking.com, 68 percent of people have already planned for their workations in 2022.
“I have been on at least four workations since Work From Home (WFH) began and I prefer working remotely as it helps you visit new places without taking an off from your workplace [sic.],” said Ankit Singh, an employee.
Chandrayee Singha Roy is currently interning with the Oberoi Hotels, Bengaluru. She said that in the last one month 94 out of the 106 rooms in the hotel were reserved by a multinational company. The employees were on a workation and this has benefitted the hotel immensely. She added that more than half of the revenue was generated through the concept of workations.
“Working individuals are desperately looking for measures to alter their work environment. Companies on the other hand are trying to mend relationships between employees and workations are the threads that are tying these two together,” she added.
Workations contributing positively to the work environment:
“I was the only person awake around that time in my hometown, Hazaribag. I went with my colleagues and this did create a work environment. It did increase my productivity and improved my relations with my teammates,” Ankit added.
Workations are being preferred as they let you visit new places without taking an off from your workplace. Ankit said that he chose to go on a workation as it helped him break the monotony of working from home, especially a nightshift.
“Travelling and working is normalized at my workplace and this should be implemented everywhere else. The workation personally heightened my productivity as I was in a different setting. Being out of my usual work space helped me refresh my mind and gave me a break from my everyday life,” said Rohan Jayashankar who works in a multinational corporation.
“At the end of the day, work gets done either way. Office, home or somewhere else. But it does have an effect on my own wellbeing which directly impacts my capacity and drive to work everyday,” he added.
Sesha Sayee, head of human resources at Dukes has said that companies are considering to conduct regular workations for its employees and this practice is under implementation widely.
“Employees returning from workations show sharper engagement at the workplace by ideating effectively and coming forward with creative ways of implementation. Such breaks would ensure that the employees can focus on their personal goals and feel rejuvenated upon return,” he added.
Online team-building activities:
“The company I work for conducts team building activities every Friday. The main idea is to get a break from our work. In this hour, we either play online games which involve everyone’s engagement. However, we usually are exhausted around the time these are conducted. Most of us join these meetings because we have to,” said Vishnu Priya, an employee.
Vishnu also emphasized on how team building activities are usually effective when you are physically present in the workplace. “These activities at the office were fun as proximity and accessibility to your team members helps you build a positive connection. There is healthy competition which improves inter team connectivity,” she added.
Kanchana Rose, an employee shared her experience on team-building activities conducted at her workplace. “They are conducted twice a month as a part of team catch ups. They help us know more about our team members and their interests.”
Along with this, Kanchana also mentioned that her workplace conducts laugh and cry sessions which include conversations that help relieve stress so that the team can connect on more real time experiences.
“Relieving stress in a work environment is vital to an employee’s productivity and performance,” said Shikha Suresh, a psychologist. She mentioned that with WFH in place, employees find it difficult to achieve a work life balance and connecting online with their teammates does not help in building deeper connections.
Sabbaticals as a way of retaining employees:
“The company I work for awards a sabbatical if you have been a part of the company for four years,” said Subhash DR, an employee.
“The gesture is more about the company celebrating and recognising the consistent and continued hard work. Loyalty is a difficult trait to find in fast paced workspaces, rewarding employees for this is a sign of a good employer,” he added.
“Sabbatical policies succeed if integrated with structured leadership development. The planning processes in the organisation need to be successful to support an employee through a sabbatical,” said Budaraju Sudhakar, ex-Joint President Group HR at Adani Group.
Sudhakar also emphasized on the importance of including creative ways of improving team connections in a company. “The opportunity loss due to lack of teamwork and collaboration could make companies lose out in a competitive market space. Conscious attempts by the leaders in consultation with HR professionals to improve employee experience with the power of collaboration through structured experiential programs like workations would help.”