How Do Americans Really Feel About Taking Workcations?

The term “bleisure” (aka combining aspects of business and leisure into a single trip) has become pretty well-known amongst the travel community over the past few years, as people look for more ways to slip some relaxation time into their otherwise stressful schedules —especially Americans.

Which makes perfect sense, given the fact that US workers get an average of 10 paid days off per year. Europeans think we’re mad, given that most countries on the Continent give employees somewhere between 20 and 30 days off annually, and perhaps they’re right.

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As we’ve seen since the pandemic struck, most workers’ work-life balance is far from ideal, and has widely led to burnout, and negatively influenced people’s mental and emotional health. But, the widespread transition to remote work and hybrid models has also opened up opportunities for people to take their jobs on the road with them while reaping at least some of the benefits of a leisure trip.

Thus, the “workcation” was born and was adopted into the mainstream almost immediately. And, it looks like the concept will continue to dominate travel plans in 2022, according to a report from Passport Photo Online, which conducted a recent survey of American workers about their recent experiences.

Key findings include:

— Most Americans (67 percent) took a workcation to “recharge their mental and emotional batteries”, and 94 percent plan to go on a workcation again in 2022 and beyond.

— Fully 86 percent of employees either agreed or strongly agreed that a workcation boosted their productivity, and 81 percent said they became more creative at work after taking a workcation.

— Nearly 69 percent of workers were less likely to quit their jobs after going on a workcation and 84 percent felt more satisfied with their job.

— A combined 83 percent of participants either agreed or strongly agreed that a workcation helped them better cope with burnout.

Woman sitting on the beach with her laptop in St. John, US Virgin Islands
Woman sitting on the beach with her laptop in St. John, US Virgin Islands. (Photo via iStock/Getty Images E+/cdwheatley).

Main motivations for taking a workcation:

— To recharge mental and emotional batteries: 67 percent

— To avoid feeling stuck in one place: 62 percent

— To explore a new destination without having to use vacation time: 60 percent

— To escape the routine and enjoy a change of scenery: 57 percent

— To meet new friends, business contacts or love: 42 percent

— To prevent or cope with burnout: 18 percent

Main challenges encountered on workcation:

— High cost of living: 71 percent

— Negative impact on one’s work-life balance: 56 percent

— Visa and/or work permit issues: 54 percent

— Tax implications: 51 percent

— Time-zone differences that harm work communication: 48 percent

— Loneliness: 18 percent

remote work, remote, digital nomad, bleisure, workcation, workation, computer, laptop, pool
A man working remotely. (photo via GaudiLab/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

The concept of workcationing sounds good in theory, but it does seem impossible to disconnect from stressors and recharge your batteries when you’re being constantly interrupted by work messages and emails. It never allows you to be truly present, center yourself, and regain your mental and emotional balance—which is really the point of taking a vacation in the first place. Expedia’s recent Vacation Deprivation Report speaks to similar issues.

Still, workcations at least offer a change of environment for telecommuters who have spent the past two years mainly at home, while both on the clock and off. That in itself can make a person more productive, creative and able to think outside the box. Simply breathing some fresh air and stepping away from the computer can help people cope with mental, emotional and physical exhaustion.

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