The Changing Office Landscape is Giving Rise to Workationers


The return to travel and slower return to the office is giving rise to the half–tourist.

Although the world is opening up for Canadians, the WFH life isn’t going anywhere. Earlier this year, a report from the Business Development Bank of Canada found that 74 percent of business owners plan to continue offering their staff remote work opportunities. And employees want that flexibility, too: An Ernst & Young survey released in June revealed that 93 percent of respondents would stay with their current employer for the next year or more if they have control over when and where they work.

September 8, 2021

Some companies already have new work environments in place: Wealthsimple, the Canadian online investment–management platform, will allow employees to choose their preferred style – remote, in–office or a mix of both – plus offer the opportunity to work internationally for up to 90 days a year. Toronto tech firm Lazer Technologies has provided similar flexibility to its 60–person team, with the additional option to work from a “travelling office” – they’ll set up in a different destination for a month every quarter (first stop: Costa Rica).

Related: How We Travel Now: 5 Emerging Travel Trends of 2021

What does this mean for the future of travel and work? Enter the half–tourist. The pandemic–era term describes someone who’s working from home – except “home” is anywhere but. Different than digital nomads (who typically work remotely while travelling full–time), a half–tourist combines workdays and vacation days to maximize time in their destination.

“Many people are re–evaluating their lifestyles and working lives,” says Kemi Wells, founder of Vancouver’s Wells Luxury Travel. “The changing office landscape will allow for slower travel where people can take longer trips.” A Travelweek survey released in July confirms this is precisely what we want: 43 percent of respondents said they are now planning to travel for longer periods of time.

Related: Best Apps to Use When Travelling During a Pandemic

Wells noticed the trend pre–Covid, but was calling it “bleisure.” “The pandemic has just enhanced this notion,” she says. “And as more flexible workplace policies are implemented, I believe it will change the dynamics of travel.”

A surfer on the beach.
   Photo: Raymond Forbes

Pick a place to go

Consider time zones for meetings, as well as Wi–Fi quality and reliability.

Book somewhere to stay — and work

Hotels are catering to the work crowd: Marriott Bonvoy’s Work Anywhere passes feature early check–in, late check–out and use of business services, while Work from Hyatt offers everything from an office for a day to longer stays, the latter of which include dedicated workspaces and, for those exceeding 29 days, access to the IT concierge.

Maximize your travel

Earlier this year, G Adventures launched a collection of 
36 mini–adventures – two– to six–day trips perfect for tacking onto longer stays abroad. Workationing in Barcelona? Add a mini–adventure in Marrakech.