A survey of UK office workers has revealed that having a ‘change of environment’ is the biggest motivating force behind booking a workation. Rose Dykins reports

According to Comparethemarket.com, almost half of office workers (46 per cent) have taken a workation in the past year – and a third (35 per cent) are likely to take one within the next 12 months.

Workations – where employees carry out their normal job away from the office or home, combining work and leisure either in the UK or abroad – have been on the rise since the pandemic, as remote working has become more possible for the global digital workforce.

Comparethemarket.com commissioned Censuswide to survey 2,005 UK office workers in October 2022 to explore their ambitions and motivations for taking a workation.

According to the results, office workers have several motivations for working remotely. Among those who have taken a workation in the past 12 months, Comparethemarket.com found a change of environment (31 per cent), visiting family and friends (28 per cent) and a better quality of life (26 per cent) were the main reasons for doing so.

Top reasons discouraging people from taking a workation included accommodation costs (23 per cent), destination costs (20 per cent) and childcare responsibilities at home (20 per cent).

A large portion of office workers (43 per cent) are also unable to work remotely as say their employer does not allow them to. There is also some hesitancy in asking to take a workation – more than a third of respondents (34 per cent) believe their employer will react negatively to the request.

Meanwhile, more than a third (37 per cent) say the rising cost of living will make them less likely to take a workation. Those that have taken a workation reported the average cost to be £1,828 per person and lasts two-and-a-half months.

Comparethemarket.com’s research also reveals working remotely may create tensions between colleagues. A third (33 per cent) of office workers think colleagues are likely to do less work on a workcation.

Two in three (67 per cent) are also irritated about doing extra work to cover for a colleague on a workation, almost half (47 per cent) would be frustrated about changing the time of a meeting to suit someone in a different time zone, and two in five (40 per cent) would not be happy receiving emails out-of-hours.

While workations can be an exciting change of scenery, they can also be stressful without proper planning. People risk invalidating their home and travel insurance by going away for months-at-a-time. Comparethemarket.com is reminding people planning a workcation to speak with their travel and home insurance provider or take out specialist insurance if intending a long stay abroad.

Helen Phipps, director at comparethemarket.com, says: “Many people are fortunate enough to be able to work away from the office or home as part of their company’s remote working policy. However, if you are planning a workcation and a long trip away, it’s really important to notify your travel and home insurance providers before taking a workcation, as long trips away risk invalidating your insurance policies.”

She adds: “When taking out travel insurance, make sure you’re covered for the length of your trip. Long stay insurance is available if you’re away from the UK for a while, usually three to 18 months. You should also check that the policy remains valid if you’re working abroad, as some policies only cover leisure activities and not business.

“Your home insurance may also be invalidated if your property is left empty for a prolonged period. Make sure you speak with your insurance provider about your plans, even if you have house sitters or additional security measures. Leaving your home properly insured whilst you’re away can provide extra peace-of-mind.”