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Working from your vacation spot: is productivity possible?

Photo: Unsplash
Photo: Unsplash

Working from home, working from home, working from home… Those words are all we hear these days! While we try to escape our home office by exploring our beautiful province, many people are attempting to combine work and play by working from their vacation spot.

Whether it’s with your in-laws, in a hotel or in a cabin, many people are trying to work from home and stay productive while their family is enjoying the sun or running around like tan, headless chickens. 

How can you stay focused in this new environment while also making the best of this situation? Here are a few tips from someone writing this article from a cabin in the woods, surrounded by a family who’s more than ready to enjoy their vacation.

  1. Establishing clear limits

You know your schedule better than anyone, and it’s crucial that you establish clear and precise limits from the beginning to avoid losing control. Adjust to the situation, but keep in mind that your work should remain a priority even if you’re not in your usual environment. 

Establish specific time slots during which your friends and family aren’t allowed to disturb you. For example, if you know you usually have meetings in the mornings, make sure your entourage is aware of that schedule and doesn’t disturb you during that period.

On the other hand, if you’re planning on having lunch with your family between noon and one, let your colleagues know that you won’t be available during that time. Communication is key!

  1. Get a plan B

Before leaving the comfort of your own home, make sure you’re able to get work done even if problems arise - especially technology-wise. 

If the WiFi goes out, make sure you have access to an LTE network. Save your work often. Communicate regularly with your colleagues and your superiors if problems pop up. These are strategies you should use at all times anyway, but they’re even more important when you’re not at home. 

Expect the worst, and make sure you have a plan B, C and D if a catastrophe ever knocks on your door.

  1. All about that cocoon 

Don’t hesitate to isolate yourself and create a comfortable little cocoon in order to be as focused as possible. It’s the perfect occasion to try out a different corner from your usual office, wrapped up in a blanket somewhere in the woods (yes, a blanket… I don’t know about you, but it’s pretty chilly here…).

This will help you stay focused and to isolate you from the festivities. Keep temptation at bay.

  1. Try a new schedule

With new concepts popping up such as the five hour work day, many people are flirting with the idea of trying a new work schedule. Working from your vacation spot is the perfect opportunity to dip your toes in a new schedule and to explore the different options available. 

It could be pertinent to start earlier and thus be able to finish your work day in advance. For example, if you start an hour earlier, you can enjoy the peace and quiet that precedes your family’s awakening, and you can spend time with them by finishing work early. 

With your superior’s permission, it could also be interesting to try a new way of working that is focused on productivity rather than a set schedule. For example, establishing a list of tasks to accomplish before you can enjoy your day can be an interesting option. When that list is completed, your day can be spent spending time with your family! What matters is getting the work done.

  1. A guilt-free balance

There’s no point in lying: working from a vacation spot means you won’t be as focused or productive as you are at home, even if you try really really hard. 

Allow yourself to take breaks, to breathe a little, to enjoy this opportunity. After all, the goal is to relax a bit so that you can go home rested and more efficient than ever. 

Without falling into excess, focus on finding a balance that will allow you to disconnect from your routine and to enjoy your moments of freedom without feeling guilty. By applying the tips mentioned above, you should be able to enjoy the best of worlds. 

Laurie Dumas-Ruel

Laurie Dumas-Ruel is the web editor for Hotelleriejobs as well as a fiction writer in her free time. She's worked in food service alongside tourists for years and loves to explore the different ways in which human resources and the food service, hotel and tourism industries intertwine.