Much as we might hate to admit it, we all have those days when the synapses just aren’t firing, and we end up trading our to-do lists with lengthy trawls through Facebook and Buzzfeed, hoping in vain that inspiration will return.
In many instances, this dip in productivity comes about as a result of distractions – the constant drone of the office printer, the incessant chatter from the customer service team or the flurry of meetings that put a stop to any momentum. So perhaps all that’s required to fix our focus levels is a little change of scenery…
According to Christian Mischler, founder of HotelQuickly, productivity is often best served with a side of palm trees and panoramic vistas. The Australian entrepreneur, whose last-minute booking app is fast becoming a major player in the travel industry, is a firm proponent of a more fluid working culture, and encourages his employees to work both when and where they’re most productive.
So whether they choose to balance the company’s books from a beach in Fiji or launch its latest communications campaign from a villa on the Amalfi Coast is of no concern to Mischler – as long as they remain productive and connected.
“We’re no longer at work or at home or on holidays. There’s always a mix,” explains Mischler, whose company is fast becoming one of the most sough-after at which to work. “We have nine offices – they can work from one of those, their home, a beach, wherever they want, as long as they deliver results.”
And while Mischler’s admittedly progressive approach to ‘workationing’ is getting a lot of attention the world over, his company is by no means the only one with a geographically flexible approach to business.
Remote-based companies like Automattic (the brains behind WordPress) have long advocated a less structured business methodology, doing away with the concept of leave altogether, and hosting regular employee get-togethers in various exotic locations across the globe, significantly blurring the traditional lines between time off and time on.
With 190 employees spread across 141 cities and 28 countries, Automattic relies exclusively on online tools like Slack to keep their employees connected, paying little heed to where and when they get the job done, focusing instead on results and delivery. With the company recently valued at just over US$1 billion, it seems safe to say that this approach might be working for them.
Looking to follow in their footsteps? Here are just some of the business benefits you could enjoy by employing an effective workation policy:
OPEN ALL HOURS
With employees spread across countries and time zones, your business is essentially always on, allowing you to communicate with customers and maintain productivity around the clock.
By allowing your employees to work when and where they’re most comfortable, you’ll encourage optimal productivity, and avoid losing time and revenue to petty distractions and unnecessary office politics.
When the world is your office, there’s no need for the traditional brick and mortar version, which means you’ll have more revenue to invest in your employees’ wellbeing.
INSPIRATION ON TAP
Many businesses invest plentiful resources into creating innovative, stimulating spaces for their employees. But by allowing them to discover their own inspiration — be it on a beach in Bali or a Norwegian glacier – you’ll ensure they remain refreshed, relaxed and primed to do a better job than they would under stifling, static conditions.