The new fashion of workation: They combine holidays with telework in Greece until the δη pandemic is over

Business executives around the world have changed practices and habits

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The British Carl Johnson is one of the approximately 3,5 million tourists who visited our country this summer (compared to at least 11 million who had come last year in the same period last year), but who did not return to his homeland, as he chose to… runs out for a few more months here. Ergenis, a senior executive at a geological survey company, started in London in early July and through Bulgaria, as direct flights were banned, came to Athens on holiday. After enjoying the capital, he chose to spend most of his summer vacation in a large hotel complex in Messinia.

He had with him the laptop through which he looked at his correspondence every day and gave directions to the company he works for. This, after all, he did from home in recent months after the company had applied the teleworking. When the days came for his leave to expire, he made the big decision. Thinking about the fact that the coronavirus is plaguing Great Britain and that on the island of Old Albion it would soon be autumn with the rain falling incessantly while in Greece the summer weather would continue at least until the beginning of November, he made the big decision. To stay in Greece combining work with vacations for a long time. He contacted the hotel management and made a mutually beneficial agreement to stay in Messinia's room until the end of the year.

Having fast internet connection, laptop and a comfortable room, he works from morning till late at noon and then relaxes by going even now, the good days of October for swimming, going out for food or drink and taking walks in the area. On weekends he travels to Pylos, Sparta, Kalamata, Oitylos, and even Nafplio.

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This is a trend that has been growing more and more in the last ten months that the coronavirus pandemic is plaguing the planet and is called workation, from the combination of the words work and vacations. We are basically talking about a "marriage" of vacation and telework away from home. In any case, the coronavirus has dramatically changed working conditions in most occupations. We all see it every day.

Where and whenever possible the work is done remotely (after all this is the directive of the National Public Health Organization in order to reduce cases). The fashion of workation started from abroad a few years ago but it spread impressively when the Covid-19. Experts consider this a successful venture as it helps the employee to relax and become more productive.

Of course, the truth is that it is not addressed to everyone as you should have the profile of Mr. Johnson that we mentioned above. Therefore, to be well paid, to be able to work remotely and not have large family obligations. Large hotel units in our country have already begun to close such agreements mainly in areas such as Corfu, Crete, Paros and Messinia.

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At the same time, large tour operators, such as TUI, now create attractive packages that combine teleworking with staying in a holiday destination, enjoying travel experiences without missing a single day of work.

As TUI Marketing Director Frans Leenaars puts it, "it's an interesting proposition for both the employer and the employee as the staff stays alert." Such a program is currently being piloted with a group of employees from 7 companies from the Netherlands and Belgium, who reside at TUI BLUE Falésia in the Algarve, Portugal. The employees work while enjoying the comforts of the hotel and the beauties of the destination, and conveying their impressions. Estimates indicate that this trend will develop much more in the coming years, even when the coronavirus pandemic has been overcome.

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At the same time in Japan they move in a slightly different way in terms of workation. In line with the new work standards, they try to attract employees to work from the… parks in an effort to return to nature. In the national parks (do not imagine the municipal gardens of your neighborhood, we are talking about huge parks that each have a much larger area than the National Garden and Pedion tou Areos together) provide access to free and very fast WiFi so that people can go and to work on them.

Because things are so organized there, the state creates hotel rooms in the parks that are available for a few hours as rental workstations.. These temporary stations are assembled and disassembled by the park staff while food is provided to visitors - employees, allowing them to focus on their work and free time.

With the support of the Japanese Ministry of Environment, similar workstations have been set up in campsites and hotels, most of which are closed to operate even in winter. «We want people to engage in telework while relaxing in an environment away from their normal daily lifePoints out the head of the Kyukamura Kishu Kada resort in the Japan Times. What is the best? You work in the morning overlooking nature, not the concrete blocks of flats in the big cities, and in the afternoon you enjoy activities such as hiking and canoeing with your wife and children.

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Some of the national parks that implement the program are Setonaikai (Japan's largest known for its fishing villages), Aso Kuju (known for its volcanoes), and Nikko spread over a mountainous wooded area. "As many of our compatriots remain reluctant to travel long distances, we want people to start visiting national parks in their area first," said Japan's Environment Minister Shinziro Koizumi. In this way, the local economies that have suffered a significant blow due to the pandemic are revived.

Finally, it should be noted that in the same context and with similar reasoning, there are island countries such as Bermuda in the Atlantic Ocean (UK overseas territory) and Barbados or Barbados in the Caribbean that have opened visa programs for professionals or students who want to work remotely while enjoying their vacation. Not a bad idea…