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Photo: iStockphoto
Photo: iStockphoto

Millennials, Gen Z take workcation to ease WFH stress

With the increasing burden and boredom of working from home and the consistent anxiety and stress around job security, some millennials and post-millennials are willing to take workactions in the hills, a farmhouse or even move to the outskirts of a city for some time

After three months of working from home, Kiran Gupta decided to change the view outside her window. The 27-year-old, who works as a tax consultant at a consultancy firm, packed her bags, closed her home door to crammed Mumbai buildings and left for the beaches of Goa last month. “I was miserable. Work was hectic, especially for my department as we had never closed a financial year end remotely. But the change of scene has done wonders to my productivity," admits Gupta, 27, who “loves meeting people". After completing her quarantine period and some time at her friend’s apartment in the coastal state, she’s is now looking for a flat to stay in till at least September, the time till her organization has announced its staff can work remotely.

“After the change of place, I can meet the new friends I have made, and do the creative things I have wanted to do. It makes me feel more efficient and productive towards my work," insists Gupta.

With the increasing burden and boredom of working from home and the consistent anxiety and stress around job security, some millennials and post-millennials are willing to take workcations in the hills, a farmhouse or even move to the outskirts of a city for some time, to take a break from their house office and daily routine.

“There is no incentive to return to the city even by Monday now. So, you can plan a longer stay," says Jay Shah, the Mumbai-based founder of One Tree Hill Wealth Partners. Two weeks ago, Shah and his family went for a five-day farmstay in the outskirts of Mumbai. “The place was very basic but I felt a sense of peace. I was working in the open, spreading out my calls, spending time with my kid. At night, the family who runs the farm, put on a projector and we all watched a movie. It was a welcome break," says Shah, 38.

Safety was a top concern, and so they asked people whom they knew and had stayed with earlier to check if their property was open. “Over the years, we have come known the family who owns the farm very well. And that’s the reason they let us use the property," says Shah.

According to a recent study on the impact of lockdown on behavioural change by a creative agency mcgarrybown India, owned by Dentsu Aegis Network, guarded and well-planned domestic travel is going to replace spontaneous adventure trips because of covid-19. “People are stressed with work, home chores, and generally staying at home. They will eventually travel to relieve this stress but with safety and hygiene as top priorities. They will want to avoid touristy clusters to avoid crowd, and would want to rather rest and unwind at place for a longer duration," says Nishi Kant, president, mcgarrybowen India.

At Atali Ganga, a property comprising 22 cottages in north of Rishikesh, the increase in queries about internet facility lead to the conference room being converted as workstation for guests. “We have seen families coming, with kids doing their online classes and parents working on their laptops," says owner Vaibhav Kala, who opened the property early July and had at least a dozen bookings in the month. Most guests are from Delhi NCR who are coming for weeklong stay due to quarantine requirements.

Longer stay would also mean the expenses going up. For the young workcationers, that’s not an issue. Himanshu, who doesn’t wish to reveal his last name, is paying about 15,000 a month while staying at a friend’s hostel in Goa, while also shelling out 30,000 for rent of his Bengaluru apartment.

“We anyway were spending about 15-20,000 a month for social activities, so it’s not an additional expense. Plus, it’s my friend’s hostel, so we have trust in the safety and hygiene standards," says Himanshu, who works with an ecommerce company in Bengaluru and drove to Goa with his wife in June. The couple will be heading to their hometown in Assam this week. “After work, I catch up with my friend and other people in the hostel, sometimes we go for a walk on the beach. The change of location has helped me to stop thinking about work constantly. I don’t feel the work pressure, and it has drastically reduced our screen time." He adds: “My wife and I don’t bicker about trivial things, which we had started doing after being at home so long during lockdown."

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