How Workation Helped Me Avoid Burnout

Employee meditating
HR professional stories
Karolina Turowska
December 26 2022

Did you know that about 70% of employees experienced burnout in 2022?

Yes, you could have heard about it; it was a big HR issue last year. Literally, the whole business world became interested in fighting this nightmare:

  • employees were searching for burnout cures;
  • employers were looking for burnout prevention;
  • HR experts were investigating the causes.

Could anyone miss this topic?

Since I started my remote career at that time, I have become interested in risks related to my working environment. Burnout was at the top of the list.

I got two choices. I could ignore this issue, hoping it would never happen to me. Another option was to learn about it to recognize the early signs and take action when they arise. I followed the second path.

Thanks to this knowledge, I was aware of burnout symptoms, and luckily, I have never allowed my work fatigue to get out of hand. But this year, the revival I got in October helped me maintain this state. Thanks to my company, I went on the Burnout Prevention Trip: Workations.

Are you interested in workation benefits and how it combines with reducing burnout?

I’m going to share my experiences on it with you. So, HR professionals, employees, or employers – enjoy and get inspired!

What Burnout Is & Warning Signals

“Burnout” is quite a poetic, beautiful term. Unlike its meaning.

Firstly, it implies being ignited (meaning: passionate) for a long time. But there’s no happy end. In burnout, the flame of passion is so intense it devastates someone, leaving only ash and dust.

Unfortunately, this poetic description is accurate. APA Dictionary of Psychology says that burnout is physical, emotional, or mental exhaustion accompanied by decreased motivation, lowered performance, and negative attitudes toward oneself and others. Okay, does it mean you can call yourself burned out on a rainy day when you have sore muscles, and you wish you would watch Netflix rather than solve workplace problems? Of course not. Burnout is when you perform at a high level in a stressful environment for a long time, and suddenly you feel like you can’t manage it anymore.

In short, burnout is when your work motivation and passion turn into ash.

Honestly, it’s a horrifying vision. Burnout sounds like a total depletion affecting nearly every aspect of life! Since I really like my job, I would never want to be faced with a choice to stay at work (and burn) or save myself.

So, I learned about burnout’s early symptoms to know when my stress levels are alarming.

Burnout early signs you can notice are:

  • Feeling exhausted all the time. That includes both physical fatigue and a lack of motivation to manage tasks.
  • Starting every day with a negative attitude.
  • Lack of engagement in your duties. Depending on what you do, you feel mind-numbingly dull or overwhelmed.
  • Work and home responsibilities seem totally pointless.
  • Feeling no impact – like nothing you do matters or is valued by others.

If you ignore those symptoms, things worsen, manifesting both physical and behavioral symptoms, like frequent gastrointestinal problems, sleep disturbances, and heightened emotional responses (quick to cry, quick to anger).

Can you relate? I hope the answer is no!

But we all know it’s difficult to avoid the above signs while working from home. In the home office, all days pass on switching from work to home responsibilities, leading to feeling overwhelmed. Also, remote working makes you disconnected from coworkers, giving you limited chances to share your state. I also faced a season of lower motivation and exhaustion, but luckily, I didn’t reach the severe burnout stage.

My workation experience helped me find engagement again and get new power to enhance my workflow.

How Can Workation Help?

83% of US employees agree that a workation helped them cope with burnout.

It’s at least what was revealed in the latest study conducted by Passport Photo Online. It polled 1,000+ American professionals on recent workation experiences and how this experience affected their performance. The results speak for themselves!

  • A full 86% of employees agree a workation boosted their productivity.
  • 81% of Americans grew increasingly creative at work after taking a workation.
  • Nearly 69% are less likely to quit after going on workation.
  • Roughly 84% are now more satisfied with their job.

But why does it work so powerfully?

From my experience, a work-travel mix is an exceptional period when you change scenery, leave your daily worries and get a break from everyday life. At the same time, it’s a chance to experience another culture and have an adventure without using your vacation time.

Actually, it’s not only my viewpoint; workation benefits perfectly fit workationers’ expectations. In the mentioned study, employees shared the following reasons that pushed them to go workations:

  • To recharge mental and emotional batteries: 67%
  • To avoid feeling stuck in one place: 62%
  • To explore a new destination without having to use vacation time: 60%
  • To escape the routine and enjoy a change of scenery: 57%

It sounds like an accurate description of the benefits I experienced! So let me tell you how my Tenerife workation was.

My Workation Experience

Clear mind at work, pure adventure in afternoons – that is how I recall my workation time.

Count to three:

  • finally met my remote colleagues in real life
  • I relaxed and recharged my mental batteries
  • I had a chance to discover the Tenerife beauty I fell in love with!

But let’s start where it all began.

Even though I thought about workation during the past year, I was too busy to organize it myself. Indeed, finding accommodation that is cheap and has good conditions to work is time-consuming. Here my company stepped in, offering us Tenerife workations. Excited, I applied immediately, deciding to go to the sunny Canary island in October when the gloomy autumn starts in Poland.

What exactly did our company offer? They opened a workplace at Santa Cruz of Tenerife and invited all employees there. Of course, the accommodations were free, and flight tickets were partially refunded, making it an easy and affordable option for workation. The company provided a flat with bedrooms, a living room as well as a few fully equipped office rooms. The office was beautifully located in the capital’s center, offering a view of the main square, ocean, and mountains. Also, its balcony with delightful views was a perfect spot for coffee breaks!

So, I started every day by watching a sunrise over the ocean and got to work. Honestly, I don’t remember the last time I felt so engaged. No home things to distract me! The well-designed working environment, views, and companionship of colleagues helped me stay focused on work. Also, I enjoyed short breaks, chatting with coworkers, drinking coffee on a balcony, or taking a short walk around Santa Cruz’s center streets.

But the best started after working hours – it was time to explore!

During the working week, we explored locally. We took long walks, tried delicious Tenerif specialties, swam in the ocean… and just soaked up the atmosphere full of energy and sunshine. But weekends were for adventures! We spent them visiting other parts of the island – charming coastal towns, mountain trails, and hidden black beaches. We created great memories together! From our trips around the island, we returned energized and ready to start a new work week.

Anyway, let the pictures speak for themselves!

The Long-Lasting Results

To sum up, what I got from workations?

  • I recharged mentally and rested from daily life worries.
  • I met my coworkers face to face and felt grateful for being a part of this amazing team.
  • I discovered how the working environment could improve work performance.
  • I created great memories that are now lighting up my winter.
  • I got inspired both professionally and personally.

Have those results stayed with me? Yes, indeed.

Workations changed my perception of the workplace. Since I worked in the office with people from my team, I feel more engaged in our projects. Now I feel that the real people stay behind the company, and we work together to achieve real purposes.

Also, workation experience forced me to improve my home office! Workstations in Tenerife were excellent, which helped me to concentrate on work. So after returning, I changed my small desk for a bigger one and got a new external monitor.

Finally, I came back rejuvenated. The trip energized me so much that a part of this energy stayed with me after returning. And it also has a lasting result – it comes back to me every time I drink a barraquito or view Tenerife pictures!

Get Inspired!

For final thoughts, I have only one thing to say – get inspired!

Employers: consider “workation” offices. It benefits your employees by improving their well-being and performance and, as a result, contributes to your workplace results. What a win-win strategy!

Employee: be aware of burnout and how you can cope with it. Consider workation. It doesn’t need to be an exotic island – domestic travel also works excellently since the point is to change a setting and get your mind off worries for a while. By feeling back on the roll, you’ll be ready to face new challenges.

Everyone: keep thinking outside the box and be brave with your ideas! You never know which will be revolutionary on the scale of your workplace or your life.

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