With more and more people tired of working from home but unable to go into the office, they are looking to book alternative accommodation for a long term working holiday or ‘workation’.
The former editor of toolbox.com defined a workation as:
‘A workation is a vacation that allows you to work remotely while integrating elements of leisure that let you unwind, relax and be more productive’.
Simply put, it is: work + vacation = workation
In essence, a workation is taking a break from your usual place of work, but not from the work itself. Think of it as ‘work away from work’.
So as property owners, what can you do to attract these long term guests looking to take advantage of home working?
These guests are often looking to stay during the off-peak season, providing additional revenue during the quieter months.
Expect to discount long-term bookings.
Potential guests will often find you through an OTA and they will contact you directly to negotiate a special deal.
OTAs often make it harder to book using their site so it is more important than ever to be contactable either by your own website or social media.
To keep costs low for the guest, look for ways to reduce costs whilst maintaining quality.
Possible savings include fewer cleans, fewer change overs and a reduction in both booking and marketing fees.
NICE WORKING ENVIRONMENT
Modern working often means you only need a laptop, fast internet connection and a mobile phone.
Add to that some home comforts, access to decent food and drinks, and you have the perfect working environment.
- Make sure you have a comfortable space for your guests to work for an entire day. Test each space if possible
- Desks can take up a lot of space so you have to think about where the best place to put one is. By the window? In the living area? Can it be doubled up as a dressing table? If space is an issue, consider fold down desks that are attached to the wall and can be pulled down when in use, but stored away nicely when not needed.
- Couples will often need 2 workstations and might not want to share the dining room table. Consider adding an extra desk to accommodate 2 remote workers.
- Make sure you have plenty of power sockets and provide extension leads. It might also be useful to install plug sockets that have built in USB slots to charge mobile phones.
- Consider providing a plugin monitor or utilising your smart TVs.
- Ensure your Internet connection is up to the job. Consider supplying CAT5 cables which are much faster than WiFi as an alternative option so you aren’t relying too much on the WiFi.
- Check the WIFI connection in every room and add boosters to fill any weak spots. Are there any rooms in your property where your WiFi is slower than everywhere else? Invest in some WiFi extenders, or if you are a BT customer, check out ‘Complete WiFi’. This is where BT will send you more extenders to ensure wall-to-wall connectivity.
- Test the speed of your wifi using an online tool like fast.com. Other more sophisticated tools are available but fast.com is quick, easy and will give you a good idea of the speeds a regular web surfer will achieve.
- Grab screenshots of your WIFI speeds and publish the results of your speed test on your website. People looking for a workation might choose you if you have a better score than competitors
Think about what you like to have around you when you are working. Little things always make a difference. Here are some ideas as to what you can provide to help make their workation a little bit better:
- Large mugs
- Large glasses
- Comfy desk chair
- Easy to use coffee machine
- Good kettle
- Different tea options
- A clock
- Spare chargers
- Sticky notes or note pads
- Chalk board or Cork board
- A manoeuvrable desk lamp
Guests on a workation will have to get up in the morning, so they might choose to stay in more than guests who are on a stereotypical holiday.
We all have different ways of winding down so it’s good to have a few options available for your guests.
- Smart TV with access to a range of channels
- Smart TV that guests can plug in their own game consoles or TV sticks
- Books – Have a good selection of different genres to appeal to more people
- Maps – suggest shorter walks around the area that can be done during a lunch break or in the evening after work
- Information leaflets – suggest activities or eateries that they could do after a hard days work
- Cookbooks – leave these in the kitchen for the guests to use. For example, invest in cookbooks such as easy, 5 minute recipes
It’s all about combining business and leisure.
Sending emails while sunning yourself.
Hitting targets while hitting the beach, anywhere in the world.
Working the hours while winding down.
We’re seeing the rise of the digital nomad, so it’s time to tap into this lucrative business opportunity.