Welcome to the new era of WFH: why so many of us are taking our work away with us

Written by Amy Beecham

According to new figures, more and more of us are choosing to bring our laptops away with us.

Since the pandemic, flexible working has boomed, with more of us doing our jobs from home with hybrid schedules that allow us to balance work and life in a much healthier way than before. But there’s also a growing trend that promotes a different kind of WFH: working from holiday.

For most of us, a holiday is typically our time to switch off from work. We set our out of office, delete the email app from our phone and enjoy a blissful break from the day-to-day tensions and stresses of our jobs.

But now an increasing number of us are tagging on remote working days at the start or end of a trip to make the most of our time away. According to research by LinkedIn, 39% of UK adults have worked from holiday this year alone, with 28% admitting that it helps them to feel more positively about their workplace.

LinkedIn says that, alongside the upsurge in hybrid working,the easing of travel restrictions post-pandemic across popular holiday destinations such as Spain and Italy has also contributed to the rise, as we look to extend our time abroad by combining a holiday with remote working.

Hanna*, a 29 year-old marketer has ‘worked from holiday’ regularly since the end of Covid restrictions. “I’ve been lucky enough to work from holiday a number of times, most recently on a business trip to New York,” she tells Stylist.

“I decided to extend my trip and, following the various business meetings I had travelled stateside for, I took a couple of days of annual leave. I then continued to work from New York in our office based out there, so I could ultimately spend more time in the city and enjoy evenings exploring while not using up all my annual leave,” she explains.

“I love to travel, so not having the ability to do so during the pandemic made me even more desperate to get away when travel restrictions were lifted. At the start of 2020, I really wanted to explore Europe, but when the pandemic hit, these plans were put on hold. Fast forward to now, I’ve been using my ability to work remotely to my advantage, and I love it.”

Working from holiday is the new WFH

Hanna says that while she only has 25 days of annual leave each year, in 2022 alone she’s technically been abroad for more than 40 days by working from holiday.

“For me, having spent my whole career working from offices, the pandemic made it clear what is and isn’t necessary for getting the work done, and location is a big part of this,” she explains.“A quick Zoom call or message on Slack is sometimes all that’s needed for collaboration. And more often than not, having strict allocated time for a Zoom call allows you to be more in the moment, whereas a face-to-face meeting in the office can end up getting side-tracked by various distractions.”

It’s true that budgets would seem more bearable in Barcelona as would spreadsheets in Seville, but the trend won’t be for everyone, particularly those who favour clear boundaries between their work and personal life. And, of course, not every job can be done from the other side of the world. But Hanna remains clear on the overwhelming positives.

“If I can do the same thing at my desk in my flat in London as I can while sitting on an outdoor porch in Spain, it’s a no-brainer for me,” she says. “Ultimately, I’m still able to do the same job, just in a different location.” 

There is one absolutely crucial factor to consider, says Hanna: “Make sure you have strong enough wifi!”

Images: Getty

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