Corporate Traveller

Will Co-working Holidays be the next big thing?

In today’s super-connected world, maintaining a healthy work/life balance is a constant struggle for many. Checking work emails afterhours can work for some but unnecessarily stress others while most self-employed entrepreneurs never really shut work OFF - ever. 

The lines between work and play have blurred. Creative people tend to strike while the iron is hot and realize that an idea could come to them at any time, and not necessarily between 9am – 5pm. They are constantly ON and can do their job from virtually anywhere.

To combat work fatigue while maintaining productivity, Sweden has been exploring 6-hour work days and many North American companies have turned the corner on ‘working from home’, giving employees a certain level of flexibility to their day. In turn, companies save a little on heating, electricity and office space, creating shared work stations instead of everyone having their own office.

With Wi-Fi accessibility rampant, faster, lighter and more affordable computers and jobs requiring less on-site work, remote offices seem to be the way of the future. But just how remote can your office be? Well, as remote as you like, thanks to a budding new industry. 

In the past few years, ‘work-resorts’ in some pretty exotic destinations have sprung up to host companies and individuals who like to change up their work environment. On-the-move office space can now be found in Bali, Costa Rica, Thailand, Morocco, Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan, California and Spain, just to name a few.

Facilities at these resorts are generally more than just a Business Centre with complimentary (spotty) Wi-Fi many typical leisure resorts offer. Most include a shared, fully-equipped kitchen with free-flowing coffee, super-fast internet connections, video-conferencing facilities and even massages and yoga. Private or shared accommodations and most meals are also included.

Operations like Hacker ParadiseSurf Office and Sun Desk are all growing in popularity with company team building retreats as well as independent nomadic workers.

For many, a work/life balance is harder to achieve at home than away. Working from home isn’t easy and even the most disciplined, those that list ‘self-motivated’ as a strength on their resume, can attest to that. The distractions are different and there are responsibilities to attend to at home.

Holing yourself up in a serene retreat used to be solely for painters, novelists and those in the clergy but today, up-start entrepreneurs, freelance bloggers and copywriters and those in the tech industry can all find solace in a workplace that incorporates both, a productive work environment as well as a relaxing natural setting that can be enjoyed whenever work fatigue sets in.

Networking becomes more natural too as young professionals share ideas and contacts outside of the more formal office or conference settings with other like-minded individuals. Meetings can be conducted anywhere, even on a sunny beach. Work and play can co-exist.

It’s true that nothing changes thinking more than a new environment, so why not make it someplace inspiring?

The counter-argument, of course, is that co-working holidays enable workaholics instead of providing relief, relaxation and a digital detox conventional vacations can offer. That, in the long run, workers will need a holiday from their co-working holiday. But hey, to each their own. Right?