Prologue: Destiny and Melody are TalentQuest employees who have become close friends. In addition to working on the same team, they spend a lot of time together socially outside of work. Their quality and quantity of work, combined with a strong work ethic, has earned well-deserved trust from their manager and their team. Over the last year, they have been planning a trip together to New Orleans that combined work…and a little fun!
Work is not a place. It’s what we do.
The ability to work anywhere is one of the few positives that have come out of the last couple of years and has been widely accepted by many organizations. In fact, that kind of flexibility is what employees are choosing when making decisions on whether to stay at or leave an organization. With that philosophy in mind, if done correctly, there’s no reason that now we’re coming out the other side of the pandemic that we can’t further stretch the definition of remote work to a Workation! Just like Destiny and Melody, this kind of activity requires some advanced planning to be successful. What follows is how they successfully turned their trip to New Orleans into a Workation.
Step 1: Get Approval (well in advance)
Though many workplaces are embracing remote work, if you want to go the extra step and work away from your home (a vacation destination, different city, etc) you’ll need to get approval. If there is anything that the past two years has taught us, it’s that employees can definitely be productive and focused when not in the office, but a sense of trust needs to be established between employees and their managers to result in a successful remote working trip!
Step 2: Be prepared
Once you’ve received approval, you need to consider the necessities of a remote working trip. You’ll definitely need stable access to the Internet, your work laptop, a charger, any required applications for task completion, and a good attitude. Also make sure to have a contingency plan in place in case you run into any issues.
Step 3: Plan your work ahead of time
Anytime you are planning to work while traveling or enroute to other destinations, you’ll need to decide, in advance, what work you will need to accomplish for that day and clearly communicate those expectations to your manager. Take into account your access to Wi-Fi, the amount of space you’ll have, and project priorities. We chose to take the train so Amtrak provided us Wi-Fi while traveling from New Orleans to Atlanta – but we were traveling though some areas where the bandwidth was limited. Since we planned ahead, we had tasks planned to get done that day that didn’t require the internet – ex: project planning, scheduling, wireframing, etc. We also took video calls from our phones that helped ensure we had stable connections during important calls. The main point is that work is mobile, but in order to be productive you need to plan ahead and be strategic with your work plans!
Step 4: Squeeze in the fun stuff
Remote working trips can provide you the opportunity to experience new parts of the world while also not missing out on important work tasks. We enjoyed the food tour of our dreams while also executing deliverables for our team, truly sharing and spreading our work across new cities.
We spent four days in New Orleans – a city known for many things, but most especially their cuisine! We had a goal of 20 restaurants in four days, and by managing our time well, we hit 16 of them. We did this through strategic planning – similar to how we plan projects here at TQ! Some of our favorite foods from the trip included pineapple upside down cornbread, shrimp and goat cheese crepes, blue crab beignets, stuffed beignets, original beignets, and of course gumbo & turtle soup!
Now more than ever, it is a good time to go the extra mile – plan that trip you’ve always been wanting, visit that city that’s always been on your bucket list, get experiences that you normally would not have the chance for! By following the steps outlined above you can turn remote work into your dream Workation!