Every day, it seems, a new word or phrase pops into our lexicon from out of the blue.
Some of these buzzwords emerge from viral social media posts; others trickle down from pop culture. Origins aside, many leave a large chunk of the population scratching its collective head and wondering, “Okay, what the heck does that mean?
But here’s a new word you’ll definitely want to file away: workcation.
It’s not a particularly clever word—in fact, it’s just two already-existing words smushed together, and it is exactly what it sounds like.
A workcation (or “workation”) is a vacation that combines work with leisure. These types of trips have been growing in popularity for several years, but the COVID-19 pandemic has truly given them their star turn. Here’s the catch, though: the workcation isn’t just some silly-sounding fad. It’s here to stay.
Prior to the pandemic, roughly seven million people in the U.S. already worked remotely. That number spiked 44% in five years, and last year, remote work became more of a necessity than a luxury. It seems pretty reasonable, then, for us to expect those data points to skyrocket in the months and years ahead.
The hotel industry has certainly bought in: major players such as Hilton Luxury Brands have been catering heavily to workcation travelers by offering extended stay packages and other perks driven by the work-leisure mindset. Popular publications like Travel + Leisure have also jumped on board with workcation-focused content, including lists of the best U.S. cities for a workcation.
All that’s to say: workcations have arrived, and they aren’t going anywhere any time soon. With that in mind, we need to ask: how can short-term rental owners capitalize on this market-shifting movement? If you want your rental to appeal to the booming workcation demographic, here are a few things to consider:
1. Internet: It’s 2021, and that means a huge percentage of jobs can be done online. Look, even vacation-rental owners can manage properties remotely thanks to modern technology. A reliable Internet connection—and ideally, a high-speed WiFi connection—is an absolute necessity for workcation travelers, who spend the work day reading and sending emails, jumping into and out of digital meetings, and trading chat messages with their co-workers.
2. Workspace: A dedicated workspace is a big selling point for workcation travelers. Because even though they are totally visiting your rental to kick back and relax, they are also trying to do their jobs from a distance. If you can carve out a quiet, distraction-free space with a desk, a nice chair, and perhaps a door, you’re providing the proper space for your guests to do their jobs —especially workcationing parents.
3. Advertising: Workcation travelers can only know about your commitment to their comfort if you fill them in on what you have to offer. Make sure your listings broadcast your rental’s workcation-friendly amenities loud and clear in the heading, description, and most importantly, in the photos, since great visual content is a proven way to drive bookings.
Data has shown that average trip duration has spiked significantly during the pandemic. When you consider that alongside some other 2021 travel trends—such as the growing popularity of last-minute trips—the big picture comes into focus: people want to travel, and many of them are ready to do so right now. They also want to be safe and, as the workcation craze demonstrates, they’re willing to cram their professional careers into suitcases and take them with—so long as the destination can accommodate the needs of today’s workcationer.