Are you daydreaming about vacation right now? I probably am as you read this. I spend a lot of my time thinking about the places I want to go to on this Earth that I haven't been before.
The problem is, at least for American workers, that we're taking fewer vacation days than ever and it has nothing to do with our employers. Even when vacation days are offered, many professionals, especially in Silicon Valley where I'm from, are reluctant to take them. The U.S. Travel Association labeled many of us “work martyrs.”
For many entrepreneurs and freelancers all over the world, the drive to work nonstop can be impossible to resist. If we can get away for a much-needed week at the beach or the moutnains, we’re tethered to our electronic devices, afraid to miss an important notification or call from a client.
We can tell our clients or customers that we’ll be away for a week or two, but will we truly be able to enjoy that time away? Or will we spend it thinking about what our competitors are doing?
Image from ‘Thought Catalog’ on Unsplash.
The Remote Work Option
While today’s workers may take less vacation time than previous generations, many of us do have the benefit of being able to work from anywhere. Unless your work requires face-to-face meetings on a regular basis, you can pack up your laptop and head to your favorite destination, handling work in between family activities.
Whether you choose to take a long weekend or join your family for a full-blown getaway, your clients may not even realize you’re on the road, thanks to your ability to access your cloud-connected applications and files.
Before leaving, make sure your chosen accommodation has all the amenities you’ll need to work from home. Check reviews from other travelers to make sure the Wi-Fi is reliable and ask for pictures of the desk setup to ensure you’ll be able to work comfortably.
If you’re staying at a hotel, check for a work center if you think you might need to print or fax something during your time there.
A Co-Working Option
As co-working centers have become more prevalent, remote-work options have sprung up across the world. These centers are geared toward employees who need a getaway but still want to be productive.
In fact, many entrepreneurs use these co-working centers to get away from the many distractions at home and power through their work tasks.
Like local co-working centers, these remote stations provide all of the amenities a busy professional or freelancer needs, including high-speed Internet, kitchens, and office supplies.
Instead of holing up in a hotel room, you can travel a short distance to a nearby office and work alongside other traveling entrepreneurs. These centers even schedule get-togethers like barbecues and biking trips.
Image from ‘Charisse Kenion’ on Unsplash.
Working in Paradise
Are we at the beginning of a shift in the way workers vacation? Instead of completely disconnecting and leaving for a week, professionals are starting to take work to paradise.
But what I always wonder is -- Does that time away really benefit you if you’re working while away? It depends. Many of the physical benefits of a true vacation can be experienced while working in a new location. These benefits are felt when a person experiences true stress relief.
If heading out for a morning canoe ride with smartphone in tow is less stressful than taking that same canoe ride while the smartphone is back at the hotel, perhaps a working vacation can have benefits for you. But if work keeps you from spending time with family while on vacation, it could have a serious downside. It really just depends on your personality, preferences and situation.
An entrepreneur usually has little time for adventurous hikes or poolside lounging. But if that lounging can be done with a mobile device in hand, it’s likely better than sitting in an office, staring at four walls.
For you professionals or freelancers who simply don’t have time for a vacation, a working getaway may be the best possible compromise, as long as you can still take time away to do something you enjoy.
Thanks again all for the support! Please check out some of my more recent writing:
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