In fact, there is no crystal clear origin, at least we could not find out when, where and by whom the term workation was created in the first place.
Rather, workations are the next logical step in the business world as a consequence of a whole series of developments and new circumstances. Below an overview of these developments and drivers
# 1 – General change in the work environment and new models
Let’s go back in time a little bit: The first considerations for new working models to separate work place and working time and to arrange them differently already existed at the beginning of the 80s. The reason for this was the increasing burden on the environment, as well as the employees’ time and money resources, due to the increased commuting from home to work. Added to this were the developments in information technology, the rise of the internet and the fact that more and more people started to work in information technology. As a result, new models have emerged, such as trust-based work-time, in which an employee is measured by his results rather than mere working time. (Employees are allowed to decide on their own responsibility when they perform a particular task). And also the ” homeoffice ” model, in which an employee can work from home if his job allows it.
# 2 – Digitalization
Smartphones, artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, you name it – the digitalization and development of new technologies is unstoppable. Wifi can be found today even in the most remote places in the world. Like an extension of our arm, our mobile phones are always with us and we can be reached almost anywhere and at any time. As a consequence, we tend to make business calls away from the office, answer emails and so on. At the same time, however, the expectations of companies that their employees are always accessible in order to be able to react in emergencies are also increasing. In a survey in the USA, a quarter of all respondents stated that they had already been contacted by their employer or colleagues during their holidays. This blurs the line between our work and the rest of our lives and takes us to the next point:
# 3 – More and more people are working from holidays
If a vacation used to be there only for recreation, it is becoming increasingly the norm instead of the exception to also work while on vacation. That’s not tragic at all, as long as you don’t overdo it.
# 4 – Growing number of remote jobs
Digitalization has another side effect: The Internet offers more opportunties each day to work online and location-independet. More and more people prefer the freedom to work from home or from any place in the world, start their own business or operate as freelancers. For many jobs it doesn’t matter where on earth you may be. The global interconnectedness also makes it possible for programmers, consultants and other professions to work from somewhere else.
# 5 – Millennials
The Millennials generation is the first to have grown up with information technology from an early age. The Internet, computers, smartphones everything already there. The best opportunities and prerequisites ever in history to be free and do what you like. This is probably why the work-life balance is so crucial to this generation as it has never been before. A job or career is no longer just a financial pillar. Rather, it is about making a difference to the world, having fun and realizing oneself. To accomplish this, they are willing to work anywhere, anytime. According to a study, more than 60% of all 18 to 34% year-olds work even when on holiday, compared to 48% of 35-54 year-olds.
Which other factors, in your opinion, are responsible for the advancement of the workation? Or maybe you have found out where the expression came from? Let us know in the comments.