You Need a Workation (What’s that?)

With summer here, our thoughts often turn to getaways. Are you thinking of packing up the laptop and picking up your life for a temporary escape?

At SpareChair, we like to think of that as a workation, and we’re all for it.

In fact, I write this post from a rustic cottage in Western Massachusetts, having fled the NYC heat for a week. We’ve been hiking, taking lake dips, and eating local food.

Family flew in from overseas, and while I’m hammering out work during the day, I get to take short breaks to cuddle a brand-new baby and chase my dogs around the garden.

Not too shabby =)

In the past couple of years, we’ve also snuck away for workations to LA and Miami in January and February — fleeing NYC’s “wintry mix” and “arctic vortexes” rather than the inside-a-sweaty-gym-shoe heat we’re experiencing now.

How do workations differ from the regular digital nomad lifestyle?

Especially for those of us who work remotely and don’t set our own hours, workations can be a way to spend time with loved ones without sacrificing those precious vacation days.

Perhaps it’s a distinction without a difference, but when on workation, the idea is to get a serious change of scenery or even climate, and potentially, to mix seeing family and friends with the serious business of serious business. Ideally you’re in the same timezone or not far off, so you can seamlessly keep in touch with colleagues, clients and others.

And of course, when the workday ends, you find yourself somewhere interesting, with cool people, and you can be fully on vacation after hours.

Some other spots we peg as good workation locales include Seattle, Portland and Lawrence, Kansas. Places to avoid, based on friends’ experience with horrendous internet, are Maine and, if cell reception’s important, be careful of upstate New York.

Of course, if you do find yourself somewhere with poor cell or internet, consider using a local coworking space to work from during the day. The Arlington Club in Poughkeepsie could be perfect for New Yorkers who’ve skipped out of the City.

Oh, and from sore experience, a workation with a huge time difference is a recipe for misery. Having attempted to swing the Sydney-New York time difference, I’d advise you to avoid it. New York’s business hours are between 11pm-7am Sydney-time at certain periods of the year, so unless you like to be fully noctural on workation and avoid both friends and the beach, you might be better off sticking to the same hemisphere.

Closer to home, a change is as good as a vacation. (Ok, not really, but still better than staying stuck in your apartment.) That’s the nice thing about SpareChair — we help you get a change of scenery for less than what you’d likely spend to camp out in a cafe.

Where else do you go for a workation getaway? Be in touch and let us know@Spare_Chair.

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