A New Twist on the Working Holiday

A New Twist on the Working Holiday

Working holidayUnless you're in the holiday industry, business and travelling isn't usually a good fit. It's often associated with sluggish sales, limited resources and an endless stream of 'out of office' autoreplies.

For a B2B sector like flexible workspace, operators tend to experience a slowdown during the summer period. However as more business owners continue to work on-the-go thanks to mobile technology, even whilst on holiday, workspace operators are finding the summer slowdown less of a blockade - even in holiday hotspots like Cornwall.

The question is, can the flexible workspace industry ever turn holidays to their advantage?

Indeed it can. Yet again, the possibilities lie in our sector's greatest strength - agility - which is opening doors for those with the vision to bend workplace boundaries and the desire to explore new opportunities.

Let's take a closer look at some of the holiday-inspired trends emerging from the flexible workspace sector:

  1. Organised coworking holidays

Mixing working with travelling isn't new, particularly for business owners with a penchant for the nomadic lifestyle. But as the coworking revolution continues to gather steam, eagle-eyed entrepreneurs are spotting new opportunities.

One of them is Hacker Paradise, a travelling community of workers who mix coworking with travel. This particular organisation takes entrepreneurs and freelancers overseas in a package holiday-style arrangement, providing the opportunity to work collaboratively together in addition to further travel and sightseeing adventures.

  1. Working by the pool

Mobile technology continues to boost today's work-anywhere mentality. Entrepreneurs the world over can now log-in to their networks via virtual desktops and remote connections from thousands of miles away. For small businesses with limited resources, this is becoming increasingly valuable to help keep things running smoothly whilst giving hardworking CEOs a little downtime.

And hotels are responding. Once, free Wi-Fi in hotels wasn't just scarce - it was also an incredibly frustrating experience. Wi-Fi users had to endure lengthy registration procedures to access a few hours' worth of Internet connection. And while this is still the norm in some locations, the situation is improving. As we heard at BCA Conference 2014, trailblazers like Citizen M Hotels are working to change such perceptions by offering easy-to-access Wi-Fi as standard - without the loathed log-on pages.

  1. Proactively targeting holidaymakers

In addition to organised 'coworking holidays', where workers are taken en masse to a place of work, forward-thinking workspace operators are also flipping the concept on its head by taking the workplace to the people.

That is, coworking spaces are springing up in popular holiday locations the world over. Gran Canaria's Surf Office is one of them, as is Salty Volt in Echo Beach, Bali.

There is also a growing collection of workspace venues at winter sports resorts, particularly in North America and Canada. Ski resorts like Vail, Aspen, Whistler and Lake Tahoe are getting in on the act. There's even a new Mountain Coworking Alliance, which unites high-altitude workspaces and offers membership benefits to customers.

These three examples demonstrate just how effectively our industry can adapt to evolving workplace needs, and that there are plausible prospects in even the most unlikely - and remote - of places. Talk about a world of opportunity.

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