American workers are notoriously short-changed when it comes to paid time off.
In Europe, most companies offer employees between 20 and 30 paid days off per year. However, U.S. employers give workers an average of just 10 days off.
With vacation days at such a premium, it’s easy to understand why workations — where people blend a vacation with remote work — are becoming increasingly popular among Americans.
To gain insight into this trend, Passport-Photo. Online recently surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. employees about their workation motivations, experiences and challenges as they traveled in late 2020 and all of 2021.
Just over 85% of the study’s participants said working vacations increased their productivity, and 81% said they boosted work creativity. Around 84% said workations boosted their job satisfaction, and 83% said they helped reduce burnout.
As for motivation, 67% of participants said they went on a workation to “recharge their mental and emotional batteries,” 62% went to avoid feeling stuck in one place and 60% went to visit a new destination without having to eat up their vacation days.
Due to COVID-19 health concerns and travel restrictions, the vast majority of participants, 82%, chose to travel domestically, with only 18% venturing to a foreign country.
Of those who traveled internationally, 39% went to the United Kingdom, 14% to Mexico, 8% to Canada, 6% to Colombia and 5% to Germany.
More than 35% of the poll’s participants said their work-blended vacations lasted between one and two weeks, while 32% reported traveling for three or four weeks. Around 13% said they stayed on the road for over a month, and 9% said they were gone for at least two months. Only 10% traveled for less than a week.
Participants said reliable internet was the most important factor when choosing workation accommodations, with health and safety standards, online ratings and suitable workspaces following closely behind.
According to the survey, high cost of living, negative work-life balance, visa issues and tax implications were the biggest challenges reported by workation travelers.