Workers Take Their Tech To Paradise For 'Workations'
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A growing number of workers are taking their tech and heading to paradise for something called a "workation."
When Vanessa Van Edwards and her husband set out to travel the world, they didn't have to leave their careers behind.
"We literally had our entire office in our computer, on Skype, and with our phone," said Edwards.
It's not all work and not all vacation. Experts said "workations" like the trip Edwards took are growing in popularity and the benefits go beyond fun.
"We were able to network with people and industries we had never thought we'd be able to. And even if it's the same work, the different atmosphere inspires you. It's, it's a way to really recharge your life, recharge your work," said Edwards.
"Workation retreats" are popping up in locations around the world.
"What's allowing more people to do workations is the new work flexibility. So bosses, teams are much more open to working with a virtual person," said Edwards.
Co-working and co-living sites like the Surf Office offer travelers office space and the ability to meet new people all while enjoying the local surroundings.
"They run yoga workshops. They do wine tastings. They do sort of group communal dinners. Already in the short time I've been here, I've actually made a lot of very interesting connections and I'm hoping to kind of forge new business relationships," said Surf Office visitor Ruper Clage.
"I feel like I can be more productive in a workation. You have a lot more creativity and freedom and mental space to, to be able to produce," said Surf Office visitor Desiree Tavera.
A workation isn't just for independent workers or individual employees. Some companies are getting in on the trend and taking their employees on a group workation.
Zen Payroll CEO Joshua Reeves said staying and working together in a beautiful setting is a great way to build community.
"Sometimes just literally changing environment can create a big impact in terms of helping someone think about what they're doing differently," said Reeves.
A recent survey found 75 percent of employees rank workplace flexibility as their top benefit.
Dan Schawbel, founder of workplacetrends.com, said the workation is one way to give employees the flexibility they seek.
"The workation is becoming increasingly popular because employees know that they're getting less and less personal time but they want more and more flexibility. It's one way employers are coping with this," said Schawbel.
For those considering taking an extended workation, Edwards suggests starting small, with a weeklong trip, to get a sense of logistics on the road and when you're away, make the most of the local environment.
"Go to networking events. Try a meetup you've never done before. Do a dance class. Do a cooking class. It gets you out of your daily routine. That's what workations are all about," said Edwards.
Edwards said dealing with different time zones can be a challenge of a workation since 9 a.m. where your office might be in the middle of the night during your travels.
Others point out that in order to succeed at a workation, you have to have good self-discipline since you're managing your own schedule.
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