Although countries are going in and out of lockdown, travelers are still incredibly eager to travel, with bookings surging for ‘green’ destinations as soon as they’re added to the no-quarantine list. To that end, we’ve seen how countries and organizations are trying to do whatever they can to encourage travelers to keep traveling, whether it’s enabling business travel or setting up safety precautions to make travel as safe as possible.
Many destinations around the world have found a new way to capitalize on the fact that most people are working remotely while catering to travelers itching for a getaway. Their solution? A ‘Workation’.
Aptly named, the Workation combines a vacation with remote work. With a sizable proportion of the workforce working from home, the ‘where’ you work from has become more fluid and less strict. For many workers, especially those in countries with severe restrictions, this is a perfect opportunity to spend some time in a nicer destination or one that affords more freedom due to a better handle on COVID-19.
This, of course, isn’t a new concept in itself, but what has changed is that now, many employers have no choice but to allow their workers to work from home, making it possible for employees to choose where they work from. Furthermore, many tourist destinations have identified this as a way to attract travelers, and are deliberately marketing packages as ‘Workation’ trips with unique features to fit the remote worker.
Palma, for instance, has increased the frequency of flights from key tourist origins, instituted new safety protocols for travelers, and many hotels now offer long-stay packaged geared at remote workers. This allows travelers to get worthwhile longer-term deals at hotels that might be above their price range on a per-day basis.
Dubai is now offering a program that would entitle travelers to stay in the city for up to a year, with access to co-working spaces in the city and to governmental services for the duration of the stay.
Many Caribbean islands are also offering specialty remote-work visas that allow travelers to stay on the island for up to a year. The government has put together useful guides for remote workers that includes information on co-working spaces, long term holiday rentals, schools (if you’re moving with children), and much much more.
One thing that is said time and time again about COVID is that it will change the way employers view remote working, making it acceptable long after COVID ends. Some companies, like Twitter and Square, have even announced that employees will never need to return to the office.
With more and more countries offering specialty visas ranging from one month to one year and a structured support plan for those wishing to take advantage, it’s definitely possible that ‘Workations’ will become a common part of the new reality of work that develops after the pandemic.