Opinion  by Ritu Mehrotra, country manager, India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Booking.com

As the Covid-19 pandemic placed people on lockdown in their homes for months, it also compelled many of us to work from home (WFH). The current employment trends suggest that the Indian workforce is undergoing a huge transformation in terms of the way people are adapting to the new normal work culture.

While WFH is currently being redefined with location independence, the monotony of a 9-to-5 job, especially when worked from home, can be enough to make anyone dream of hill-stations, beaches and a change of scenery.

There is a rising trend amongst those who seek greater freedom and flexibility in their work culture. As a testament to this, a recent Booking.com survey on the “Future of Travel reveals that 68 per cent of Indian travellers have considered booking somewhere to stay in order to work from a different destination.

“Workation” as the name suggests, is “Work” + “Vacation” and involves working away from office, blending leisure with business. While not a completely new concept, it seems to garner the attention of young travellers as India gradually releases itself from the shackles of the pandemic.

A path to employee productivity 

The concept of workation has grown in popularity over the past few years, with many of the MNCs and start-up organisations realising the importance of letting employees’ recharge and relax. They believe that workation is all about planning and organising your work, while also travelling and unwinding to improve wellbeing and productivity.

Workation is designed for employees who can operate remotely as a personal choice or maybe because of the pandemic which has forced remote working until things start getting back to normal. Some companies are even offering substantial reimbursements to ensure they feel more comfortable taking time off.

Besides the organisation and its employees, host cities can gain from workation too, as it helps open entry points for visitors who may not have visited a city or region, thus boosting local tourism.

Accomodation must-haves 

There are few basic thumb rules for planning the perfect workation. The first is uninterrupted wifi. A good internet connection is of utmost importance for a successful workation.

In today’s digital age, an employee has to access and consume enormous gigabytes of information – whether for company work, self-training, or video calls. Good health and safety precautions at your destination is again a top priority. It is tough to focus on your work if your mind is caught up with safety or security concerns around your property.

The other important aspect is the choice of destination, be it a quaint homestay in Lonavala, a bed and breakfast in Rishikesh or a luxury villa in Jaipur, the environment in and around the property holds a big impact on stimulating your headspace to achieve so much more.

Other accommodation must-haves include a property that offers home office facilities, high-speed wifi and most importantly, a spectacular view or cosy area to help make the work day fly by!

Work and play 

Now that people may have the freedom to work from wherever they choose, 2021 could bring a significant rise in travellers looking to take longer trips that combine work and pleasure. Many will take the opportunity to add a week or two to their holiday in order to work remotely.

With an aim to meet such evolving travel needs, Booking.com has introduced weekly and monthly rate plans on the platform. These rate plans will not only benefit travellers who are looking for an extended getaway, but also accommodation partners to capitalise on new sources of demand while boosting occupancy and increasing revenue as the travel industry begins its recovery journey.