There’s a new workplace “wellness” movement, and travel agencies are touting it big-time.
“Workation” or “work on holidays” (WoH) invites employees to lug their work laptops along to their holiday spots, find decent Wi-Fi, and peg away full-time for a few days.
At first glance, untethering from the physical office and conventional business hours seems like a liberating lifestyle perk. But co-workations are a further erosion of work-life balance, and they’re bad for business. Here’s why.
Co-Workations subvert the very purpose of a holiday: to check out, disconnect, and recharge the batteries. Co-Workations means getting work calls at four in the morning if you’re in a different time zone than the rest of your team. Instead of feeling overworked, stressed, and deadline-obsessed at your cubicle, co-workations encourage you to feel overworked, stressed, and deadline-obsessed while lounging in a hammock surrounded by a bunch of people gaudily enjoying themselves by not working.
A practical way to encourage employees to set boundaries between their personal and professional lives is by simply not asking them to work while on vacation. Many people don’t have the self-discipline for the “psychological detachment” that’s indispensable to rest and refresh.
Idea for Impact: Inviting—empowering even—employees to check in on their work responsibilities is a slippery slope. There’s an expectation that they are more generous with their personal time and consent to being badgered on days off. Besides, when senior managers don’t truly take a vacation, they set a cultural precedent for how others should use their time away from their desks.