‘Workcations’ catching on among Kerala IT companies

Settling down on a grassy patch by a riverside with a laptop in hand might be far away from the conventional images of a work day. But, with many months of work from home, necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to its own share of issues, IT companies in Kerala too have begun experimenting with the idea of a ‘workcation’, in which the work space shifts to a vacation spot for a few days.

Companies have been sending entire teams comprising 5 to 15 employees to beach resorts or hill stations for three to seven days to let them get away from the usual pressures of working at office or home.

Nishin T.N, an employee of QBurst Technologies in Thiruvanananthapuram, who recently had a ‘workcation’ with his team of 12 at Kumarakom for four days and three nights, says that it was a refreshing experience to work with colleagues in a fun atmosphere after months of not meeting anyone.

“Before the pandemic, we usually had team outings, but this is the first time work has become a part of such short vacations. Though it became a trend last year in Bengaluru and Hyderabad, it is only now catching on in Kerala. Employees have been raising various issues due to work from home, including lack of interactions with others, longer working hours and the extra pressure of house work. At the resort in Kumarakom, we hardly ever sat in the room to work, with the workspace shifting from lakeside to lawns and other locations. We went there after taking all COVID-19 precautions including RT-PCR tests,” says Mr. Nishin.

The emerging trend has also led to traditional tour operators, who have been reeling under the pandemic, coming out with packages tailor-made for IT companies, including a promise of uninterrupted Wi-Fi connection and continued technical support, factors that are most important for companies that choose to give workcation option its employees. Along with this, they also arrange kayaking, hiking or campfires for the entire team to unwind in the evenings or on the weekends. The workcations are often clubbed with weekends. The IT companies pay for the entire expenses, including food and accommodation.

“Before COVID-19, 95% of our clients were foreign tourists. We launched workcation packages in May last year. Before the second wave, we have had teams from Bengaluru-based IT companies coming to resorts in Wayanad and Munnar, and to beaches like Varkala. Now, we have tie-ups with IT companies in Kerala, which also lead to other referrals. Most of the enquiries come through Instagram. Till date, we have hosted around 700 IT employees in different locations. For bigger groups, we provide a bubble by blocking the entire property for the company,” says Naveen Mathew, who runs travel startup Tyndis at the Mizone Incubation Centre in Kannur.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2021 11:39:40 PM |

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