It is no longer a mystery how smart working has revolutionized the way we work, indeed to create the work performance. And if we can be productive from anywhere, why not from a special place?

In this introduction we talk about the new trend of Workation, a term born from the fusion of two English terms “work” and “vacation”.

The Workation predicts the increasing number of people who will book leisure holidays in the next 2 years but at the same time they don’t renounce to work responsibilities from remote or during the business trip itself.

But when does Workation can be beneficial for the company and the worker? And what is the role of the travel manager? In “Noi e Travel For Business”, the magazine of business travel, mobility and sharing economy – we tried to find answers to these questions thanks to a research carried out among users of Travel For Business community.

Workation research data: an overview

Curated by Riccardo Gabriele Ricci, commercial manager for Business Travel

70% of people agree that doing Workation is more environmentally sustainable. While on a personal level, the research shows that working with this form allows to achieve a greater balance between work and private life (74%).

However, there is little perception of how it contributes to reducing CO2 emissions and how to solve the problem of lack of socialization between colleagues. Instead, we opt for digital tools (26%) that would facilitate or increase the socialization with remote colleagues, requiring the implementation of platforms such as web-meetings (24%) or new virtual systems (15%).

But let’s analyze in detail the answers provided by the respondents:

What jumps to the eye is the 70% of respondents who consider the Workation to be more environmentally sustainable.

For example, just the fact that you don’t go to work by car, the chosen vehicle of 84% of Italians, significantly reduces CO2 emissions, but there is little information about the pollution produced by the worker during a day of Workation; Heating 100 houses is definitely more energy-intensive than heating an office with 100 people.

For this reason, structures the territory need buildings that can accommodate workers and families in Workation; They must be designed in a green perspective and provide a carbon footprint certification produced by each worker which companies must include in the sustainability report.

I made this clarification because I would not want anyone to think that a worker outside the company does not produce CO2. It’s not correct thinking that, thanks to Workation or Smartworking, we will magically live in the city without pollution.

Now let’s analyze the positive effects of Workation: find the right balance between work and private life is most appreciated by a huge part of the respondents; among the positive effects there is again the reduction of CO2 and in fourth place the increase of the corporate social responsibility.

I would like to focus on: corporate social responsibility. During the round table of GECO 2021, for those who followed me, I mentioned to the famous UN SDGs the Goals for Sustainable Development.

Doing Workation could contribute to many of those 17 goals:

Goal 1: to end all forms of poverty and therefore to start an inclusive economic growth in order to create sustainable jobs.

Goal 3: health and well-being and this point seems to me largely satisfied by the Workation.

Goal 4: a high-quality education, and this is one of those requirements that small villages and rural areas should include in order to allow all the families to assure an education to their children.

Goal 7: clean and affordable energy, but, I might add, local. Do you know that 10% of electricity is wasted in its transportation?

Goal 8: decent work and economic growth, a goal fully achieved by the Workation.

Goal 10: reducing inequalities within and between nations.

Goal 11:sustainable cities and communities. They are also a goal fully centered by the Workation.

Goal 12: to ensure sustainable production and consumption patterns. Local communities should contribute and understand that the investments made in infrastructures and sustainable energy sources, in accesses to basic services and in the respect for the environment, may result in benefits for the territory.

Objective 13: the fight against climate change.

Objective 15: to protect, restore and promote a sustainable use of the ecosystem. They are also centered by Workation.

If we check all the Workation advantages, we see that we have a WIN WIN WIN strategy, it means that we win together, we all win; the workers and their families win, Companies win, the territory wins and you start that path of sustainable growth that is made up of many small steps to take together.

Regarding the theme of Socialization the differences are more homogeneous, no answer prevails over the others, this actually conceals something that respondents know well, that is that working from distance does not facilitate socialization with colleagues. This is well known by a London employee, who every Friday at 17 runs to the pub with his colleagues to have a beer, but we, as Italians, also know it very well. 11% think that the Metaverse will help us, but I sincerely do not think so, it would be a nonsense to settle in a small village to re-experience a human dimension of life and then socialize with colleagues via a digital device.

The last question of the research asked how important it is to share with the family the Workation experience and here it seems very clear to me the everyone’s affirmative answer but obviously you cannot make such a radical choice without involving the family.

The real challenge will be how local communities, in collaboration with companies, will be able to develop infrastructures that attract workers to Workation. Creating, therefore, that added value that would win all, the villages in depopulation, companies, workers and their families. A difficult balance that would have a strong impact on the local economy and that would see Italy as the most attractive nation in the world to do Workation.

In summary: with this research we wanted to explore the positive and the critical aspects of the Workation and we are convinced that it will give rise to many reflections and discusions; We hope to be able to grasp all the positive aspects of this revolution and to improve the many unknowns that exist today.