Remote Work Perk: Travel Stipends for Workations
Working remotely is not the same thing as working at home. You can of course work from home as a remote worker but it doesn’t mean that you have to. Remote workers often work from apartment rentals, cafes, coworking spaces, and common areas of hotels and hostels around the world.
Working while traveling is not uncommon—location independence is one of the main benefits of working remotely after all. Remote companies are well aware of this, too, with many of them beginning to offer travel stipends as one of the unique perks of the job. These stipends can provide a leg-up in hiring, as their positions are more attractive to prospects. It also makes workations accessible for remote workers, embracing the flexibility to travel while working remotely.
Let’s dive into the benefits stipends can create for both the employer and the employee.
What is a workation?
The word ‘workation’ is a combination of work and vacation—we can say that it’s a working vacation. Unlike a traditional vacation where everyone goes offline, individuals continue working remotely at their new destination. There are no set rules to a workation. It all depends on the work culture of the company. Some employees may choose to keep their full-time work hours while some might simply focus on the tasks that need to be done and organize their day according to it.
A workation can be abroad or at another city in your home country. It can last a couple of days, a week, a month, or longer. You are free to organize it the way you want keeping in mind your company’s needs, your visa requirements, and your budget.
Benefits of a workation
Workation is technically what digital nomads have been doing for a long time. It has a lot of benefits for both the company and the employees. If you are a remote worker who is working for a company, the concept of workation would help you travel more and save you time. You wouldn’t have to use up all your paid holidays when you want to go somewhere. Workation also means a more local experience of the destination.
During a traditional vacation, you have the whole day to explore the destination. But in most cases, you wouldn’t have a lot of time as there are a limited number of days you can take off from work. Thanks to a workation, you can stay at the destination for a longer period of time. Just like the locals, you would be working during the day and this would let you get a better idea of how real life is at your destination.
You can also use your paid time off before or after your workation. For example, let’s say that you planned to work remotely for a month in Bali. You can work for three weeks, explore your surroundings after work, and take the last week off to visit more during the day.
By making workations possible, remote companies would have more efficient, more productive, and happier employees. Employers can also tailor their own workations considering the company’s working style and needs. For example, they can organize company retreats or meetups as a part of the workation. Company meetups are a great way to strengthen the relationship between remote colleagues and to build a strong company culture.
Travel stipends in remote companies
Some remote companies offer additional benefits besides the traditional benefits such as insurance and paid time off. One of the best ones for remote workers who don’t necessarily want to work at home all the time is a travel stipend. These stipends help cover travel-related expenses such as flights, train tickets, and gas. How to approach travel stipends is completely up to the company and there is no set way.
A huge reason that people opt for or seek out remote work is for the freedom it allows. Offering a stipend that offsets travel expenses and allows you to work from different locations is a perfect fit for a new generation that can technically work from anywhere.
Some companies – like Anyplace – provide a yearly stipend and give the employees the flexibility to use it as they see fit. And many others offer travel stipends as well, such as Airbnb, Evernote, TourRadar, Afar Media, and Bamboo HR.
Planning your workation
Let’s be clear — planning a workation is not the same thing as planning a vacation. You can’t simply pick the cheapest hostel room or the hotel room that has the prettiest view. You need to consider your specific needs depending on the situation. Maybe you need to be in a specific time zone for your job. Or maybe you need to apply for a visa before going to your dream destination. In any case, you will have plenty of options to choose from.
After you choose where to go, here comes the tricky part: accommodation. As you will be working remotely, a good WiFi connection is essential. Even if you’re planning to stay at your destination for a short term, a bad WiFi connection can turn your workation into a nightmare.
Depending on your job, you might also need to do a lot of meetings and your accommodation needs to be suitable for this as well. Work is only one-half of the workation, what happens after you’re done with work? The location of your accommodation is also important. Google Maps is a great tool to check out what’s around, how far the lively neighborhoods are or how to get there to a specific part of town. Last but not least, reading the reviews is the best way to get an idea of how the accommodation is.
If you want a hassle-free move-in process, you can check out Anyplace Select. All apartments are furnished and specifically designed for remote workers and workations. They include a fully-equipped office setup with a standing desk, ergonomic work chair, ultrawide monitor, keyboard, mouse, and other useful gear, along with gigabit internet. It is especially a good option if you hold a lot of video meetings, as you’ll have a webcam, microphone, key light, and collapsible green screen. After booking your place, you will also have access to plenty of perks such as discounts from 100+ travel brands.
Where to next? Find flexible month-to-month rentals across the globe on Anyplace.
Yaren, a freelance writer from Cyprus, writes about travel, food, culture, and more. She is also a serial expat who has lived in five different countries and speaks four languages.