How to make your workation work for you: Five BON tips

“Excuse me, what is a workation?” We better answer this common question before we start on how it can add to your life.

As the name suggests, it is a blend of holiday and work. It may not seem appealing at first, but it offers a chance to change your environment, explore a new place, pull the escape hatch on boring routines, and even avoid burnout.

With online meetings, email, laptops, and high-speed Wi-Fi, it’s possible to work anywhere in the world. You can swap fluorescent lights and stale coffee for a Cape Town beachfront cafe or a desk with a view of the green hills of Ezulwini Valley. When you close your laptop for the day, you can hike Table Mountain or explore a new town. It allows you to stay longer at locations without sacrificing your precious leave.

So it’s easy to see why this portmanteau has made its way into the Collins dictionary. Here are five ways you can make your workation work for you:

1. You don’t need to travel far

We often miss out on hidden gems within our own country. Workations are the perfect way to rediscover South Africa and southern Africa through the lens of a traveller, not just a resident. See what it’s like to live in another city, or challenge yourself to find those off-the-beaten-path experiences, from stargazing in small towns like Oudtshoorn to epic road trips, travelling from Eswatini to Cape Town or along SA’s famous Garden Route. 

BON’s top tip: Social media pages focusing on hyperlocal tourism can be goldmines! We love @secretCapeTown, Oudtshoorn Tourism South Africa, and Free State Tourism.  

2. The nomadic office

Coworking spaces are your workation secret weapon. They give you a productive work environment, a desk, and a chance to network or just strike up a water cooler conversation with locals or other digital nomads. You might even get some great tips on where to find the coolest hole-in-the-wall cafes, tastiest food, and social scene spots.

BON’s top tip: Many coworking companies in South Africa have spaces all across the country (and internationally!), giving you a lot of flexibility with your membership. We love Spaces and Workshop17 (the latter even has a podcast studio).

3. Desk duty

Having somewhere to work at ‘home’ is also crucial. Choose a hotel and hotel suite with a dedicated workspace, high-speed Wi-Fi, natural light, and a steady supply of good coffee, if you are so inclined (we love a good caffeine-kick! Just ask the Café Brûlé baristas). Make sure the space will provide you with peace and quiet when you need it. And, if you need meeting rooms or a corporate event venue, having them available at your hotel is a big perk.

BON’s top tip: Check out the corporate facilities and venues at BON Hotels by clicking the ‘Meet’ section on the individual hotel pages on our website.

4. Compartmentalise your schedule

The art of a workation lies in striking a balance. There’s no need to stick to a rigid 9-5 schedule unless your job demands it. Plan your work blocks around the experiences you want to have, whether it’s a sunset on the beach or an early morning museum visit. This flexibility can surprisingly boost your efficiency, allowing you to enjoy your surroundings to the fullest.

BON’s top tip: Check museums and other attractions’ websites for days when they have discounted rates – often, these apply to off-peak times (which you can take advantage of when you’re on workation and staying at a location longer!).

5. Extend your workation… indefinitely

Just like you’ve always secretly wanted to, you can live your own version of Eat, Pray, Love. For many, the workation isn’t just a temporary escape – it’s evolving into a full-fledged digital nomadic lifestyle.

BON’s top tip: Choose a serviced apartment for longer stays. Having a kitchen, more than one room, and relaxation spaces makes a real difference and gives you an insight into what it’s like to live like a local. Serviced apartments come with all the creature comforts, too, like complimentary Wi-Fi and housekeeping. We love Majorca Apartments by BON Hotels – how can you go wrong with an indoor heated swimming pool, outdoor pool, onsite restaurants and gym, and a location on picturesque canals? All features this apartment-style accommodation in Cape Town offers.

Ready to pack up your briefcase and sunnies and go on a workation adventure? BON Hotels excels in crafting packages that blend work needs with leisure, ensuring your workation is both productive and pleasurable without stretching your budget. Check out our deals and specials, or contact the BON Team directly today.

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