PhotoAiD, a Polish startup, opened an office in Tenerife in the summer of 2022. Now, all its employees can make their “workation” dreams come true with no accommodation expenses. The result? High employee satisfaction and low turnover rates proved the success of this experimental project.

What is a Workation?

Workation is a new trend that connects travel and the business world. It’s the answer to remote employees’ needs.

Work from home (WFH) has gained popularity over the last few years, raising new challenges. The longer some employees worked from home, the stronger their sense of being stuck in one place became. They wanted to escape routine and recharge their mental and emotional batteries. At the same time, a limited number of days off hinders people from traveling often.

But since remote work posed new challenges, it also opened new possibilities. If you can work from anywhere – why not work from vacation spots? It is how the workation trend arose.

“Workation” is the time when remote employees go on vacation while continuing to work remotely. It’s an attractive way to blend work and fun without using paid days off.

The workation can be beneficial both for employees and employers. The latest study on workation proved that:

  • A full 86% of employees agree or strongly agree a workation boosted their productivity.
  • Nearly 69% are less likely to quit after going on workation.
  • As many as 83% agree/strongly agree a workation helped them cope with burnout.

Thanks to its power to boost creativity and rejuvenate, workation can become a big thing for WFH employees in the coming years.

Employee Feedback Shapes Workation Program

Job perks should answer employees’ needs. So, before committing to the workation idea, PhotoAiD’s founders wanted to gauge how their people would feel about it.

In April 2022, they ran a survey, asking employees how likely they would go to Tenerife for a workation if the company arranged an office there and reimbursed 50% of airfares. 

workation interest
source: Company survey

As many as 50 of 56 respondents (amongst 80 employees) rated the idea positively or very positively, giving the founders the green light. They went to work, and in July 2022, Santa Cruz de Tenerife became PhotoAiD’s new office location.

Why Tenerife? The sun never hides behind the cloud here, and the weather is perfect all year round. It’s an excellent alternative to Poland, especially amid dark and gloomy winter.

The Workation “Company Charger” Charges Employee Satisfaction

Rafał Młodzki, the co-founder of PhotoAiD, is the mastermind behind the Tenerife workation idea. Rafał explains:

“We thought about the Tenerife office as the ‘company charger,’ whose goal was to re-energize employees and boost the team spirit, somewhat depleted by remote work.”

The company made every effort to create the perfect work setting. Based on a post-workation survey, spacious office rooms and a balcony with fantastic ocean and mountain views are just a few perks that helped employees to enjoy their working time.

Dominika Stasiecka, Senior Customer Support, said:

“It’s easier to get up to work in a place like that.”

Other pros that employees mentioned were office location, big kitchen, and home facilities. Thanks to all those conveniences, employees could draw on workation benefits while taking a break from the stresses of everyday life.

workation benefits
workation benefits 2
source: Internal check-in company pictures taken by Mateusz Chodakowski and Patrycja Dubińska.

The result? Between April (when the first survey was run) and August (when the first “workationers”. returned), the eNPS went from 58 to 65. Of course, many internal actions contributed to it.

But, in regular employee satisfaction surveys, employees often point to “Tenerife workation” as the thing that the company does well, proving its impact.

Of 24 employees who’ve visited the Tenerife office so far, 20 rated their experience as very positive, and they all wished to return.

How the Company Benefits from Offering a Workation

But let’s face it – what is the most motivating factor in workation? All the exciting adventures that are waiting on the doorstep.

We all know work-life balance matters and workations are more than office hours. So, besides having an excellent work setup, the Tenerife office lets employees have fun. There are board games and a bicycle, and it is located close to the city’s attractions. 

Rafał said:

“Our primary concern was if people would work effectively when spending time together in such a lovely place. But we love testing – it’s part of our company culture – and Tenerife was also an experiment.

The result? Tenerife’s charms didn’t distract employees. On the contrary, they made people happy, and happy people performed better. Noteworthy, this energy has lasted long after their return.”  

He added that the ever-growing eNPS and record-low turnover rates proved that a workation works great both for employees and the entire company.

workation team
workation meal
source: internal company pictures taken by Mateusz Chodakowski and Karolina Turowska.

Besides improving employee experience, the Tenerife office is a magnet for job seekers. Sylwia Śmietanko, the HR Specialist in PhotoAiD said:

“When recruiting, people often mention that they applied due to workation, among other things. Also, candidates always positively react when I mention workation during job interviews. It’s an attractive benefit that plays a significant role in our talent acquisition strategy.”  

Overall, the Tenerife office fits PhotoAiD’s experimental culture and mission statement:

“To create with exceptional people a super company that will globally dominate the ID photo industry.” 

photoaid logo

This is a guest post from PhotoAiD. PhotoAiD is a fast-growing technology startup developing AI tools for photography, particularly biometric photography (passport photos, ID photos, and driving license photos). Learn more on their LinkedIn.

by in HR Content