Part of running my business is the fact that I pride myself on being able to work anywhere, and at anytime – Sleep needs pending! So I often do – In fact work anywhere – And I mean as long as there’s an internet connection and / or space for my laptop I can do my thing (right now for example I’m typing this on a crowded and fast moving train – I’m offline and will paste onto my blog later.
So the Workcation is formed – A cross between a holiday and working – Ok vacation as the Americans put it and working – Workcation – Get it now?
Ideally your time is spend working, but then downtime (The bit you fill at home by cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, running errands, exercise and with the odd social engagement and hobby time thrown in) is instantly on your doorstep and fun – Which is a vacation part – So full working day (granted maybe by the pool) but then you can pop out in the evening for a luxury dinner oh and swim, sunbathe and hike etc in between. Active downtime plus you get some if not more work done.
Buying into it yet??!!
There’s also the fact that change of scenery and work is clearer, you are more focused, less distractions and you get more done. E.g. I’m 5 minutes into typing this (still on the train) and I’m 231 words in – That’s way more than I would have done working from home right now as I would have got up to make a cuppa, finished the washing up, you know the drill!
I’m lucky that I have a fast (SSD) MacBook Air but it’s the 11” version, so super portable with long battery life and being called Let Me Organise You – Not only do I organise others in their Online Marketing, but I’m super organised in my own work and workload that I’m paperless so everything I can access from Laptop – So when you see the photo of me ‘working’ on the beach – I really can work from that spot – Cool eh?!
Anyone who travels will know that Wifi connections are getting better now – More reliable, easier to connect and faster. You can also ask about Wifi before you book anywhere and if a place has good Wifi their Trip Advisor will praise that they have from satisfied reviews.
Fellow business associate Emily and I recently took a Workcation to Ireland to try out the whys and wherefores. We went to stay with my client at her B&B in the mountains. So short hop and a plane ride and we were there.
We managed to combine hiking, coffee shop, spa day, titanic(!) including walking around the boat deck, mountains, beach, hotel bar (v. expensive wine!), power posing, garden evening and shopping all into our Workcation.
We set aside specific times (when we had wifi and a decent place to sit) for working in-between activities. We found a really decent wifi connection at a local hotel resort that we’d already booked a spa day at. We loved the connection so much that we didn’t want to leave it so kind of took up residence in a corner of the bar area (sorry, not sorry!) and worked from there for a good part – It helped that the food was excellent and that we had a view of the sea for the most part!
So all in we had a blast and I highly recommend a Workcation! See below for my learnings from this.
My Top Tips for taking and having a successful Workcation would be as follows
Have and set a to do list before you go.
Maybe 5 tasks max. I didn’t plan properly my time and spent most of it clearing down my inbox (See my separate musings of zero inbox on this). So I spent time trouble shooting client needs (often with iffy Wifi) and even making client calls (For those that received, yes I was spa side!).
Check the Wifi connection and reliability before you go.
We didn’t do this – The property we stayed in is listed and has very thick walls – Wifi was only available in the main reception area, which had 1 desk seat (and that’s down to the fact I know the owner). So to do any online work we had to go out – A 2 mile hike into town which great in itself, but (see point above) sans planning I found this hard as didn’t have sufficient offline tasks to do, so almost needed the Wifi like the desperado ‘digital nomad’ that I am!
Travel is hard.
We shared a room (Strange when you are a single lady whom lives on her own – I likes my freedom and space). I get travelsick also so tiny plane and turbulence didn’t help (Sorry Emily!). So being better prepared for these aspects would have helped me. I’ll know or next time!
Pick a neutral location.
I travelled to a client’s business (B&B and therefore home) and whilst it was great and we were made to feel very welcome AND had a complimentary stay (We even had a home cooked meal each evening! THANK YOU AND THANK YOU AGAIN!) I felt my time was to then be divided up between spending it with my client, with Emily and working – So feeling pulled in 3 directions. Emily and I could have structured our time more efficiently on neutral territory.
Manage client expectations.
If you choose to run business from a different location for a foreseeable time then you are just that, in a different location. I work mostly from home but usually pop out for local meetings for clients usually within a 45minute driving radius of Leicester (surprising how far you can get in that time!) as I do believe in the value of face to face. However if I’m not in Leicester let alone the country I can’t do that – So a meeting may be delayed or a Skype / FaceTime substitute penciled in also – I value my clients and want them to know that they aren’t getting second best because I’m not there for a while.
So there you have it – The run down – The info. What did you think? Tell me about your Workcation ideas in the comment section below. I’ve also got to go – It’s my train stop!