Vanderlei J. Pollack - Sep 11, 2023
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Showing appreciation to employees in innovative ways is always a positive thing. One such innovative concept that is currently trending is workation. However, although a work-sharing system is a great idea, it is only feasible for some. The hype surrounding it has led to a common misconception that anyone who is successful works from a small Mediterranean island and that those who work from an office are old-fashioned.

How many people in a typical company can qualify for workation? Except for small software companies, creative agencies, and those who work alone and take on all the risks, only a small fraction of the workforce can be eligible for workation.

Many People Feel Excluded

Showing appreciation to exceptional employees by granting them work time may seem like a well-intentioned gesture, but it can cause trouble overall. It can make other colleagues feel mistreated, as they may also believe they deserve the same reward. Additionally, colleagues who cannot take advantage of this reward due to their private situation, such as being a father with small children, may feel cheated and frustrated. Lastly, colleagues whose tasks make it impossible to take workation feel excluded and undervalued.

It can be frustrating for customers and partners not to be able to get in touch with their contact person in the morning or afternoon solely through digital means due to time differences and work schedules. The constant talk about workation and remote work may make employees in other companies feel less valued or out of place.

Expensive and Not Sustainable

Workations are both exhausting and costly, as well as unsustainable. Moreover, they diminish the value of the essential type of appreciation - the satisfaction that comes from doing a great job, delivering a remarkable performance, finding an innovative solution to a problem, or making a customer extremely happy. Eventually, this devaluation may have negative consequences.

Unrealistic Expectations

Unfortunately, the allure of "workation" or remote work is often overestimated. This creates unrealistic expectations for many employees who expect to feel much more satisfied with these perks than with traditional ideas like pleasing customers. However, reality eventually sets in, and they realize they miss the office, where they can gossip about their boss, interact with engaging and knowledgeable colleagues, and reflect on what truly motivates them in their work.

To sum up, the workation concept has good intentions, but its execution is not always successful. Therefore, the package should not be marketed solely as providing "Peace, Joy, Happiness" as it is not guaranteed for everyone. Recognizing that these outcomes are not absolute and may not suit everyone is essential.

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