Swap­ping board­rooms for beaches

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - AN­THONY KEANE

WORK­ING while on hol­i­day is a fast- grow­ing trend among travel- hun­gry Aus­tralians, and many see it as help­ing, rather than hurt­ing, their work- life bal­ance.

New re­search by Xero has found that one in five em­ploy­ees and al­most half the na­tion’s small busi­ness own­ers are tak­ing work with them on their trav­els – gen­er­ally hav­ing an 80- 20 split be­tween work time and hol­i­day time.

And al­most two thirds of peo­ple would con­sider work­ing a lit­tle while on hol­i­day if it meant they could take more an­nual leave or hol­i­days.

Bureau of Statis­tics data shows that Aus­tralians are trav­el­ling over­seas more than 800,000 times a month, al­most dou­ble what they were a decade ago.

Jen Thomp­son and Blake Poole are ex­am­ples of this new breed, bal­anc­ing their suc­cess­ful on­line busi­ness Naked Pa­leo with sev­eral weeks’ travel each year for leisure and to visit their fam­i­lies in Ire­land and Canada.

Ms Thomp­son, 31, said she had no friends that worked tra­di­tional nine- to- five of­fice jobs.

“They find that they can do both ( work and travel) to­gether. I think this is the way that our gen­er­a­tion will work,” she said. Ms Thomp­son said when trav­el­ling, she and Mr Poole would do about one hour of work a day “across seven days.”

She said us­ing tech­nol­ogy had made it pos­si­ble to mix work and hol­i­days – and jug­gle fam­ily life af­ter the ar­rival of their son Bear seven months ago.

“We wouldn’t be able to travel if we couldn’t,” she said.

Do­ing some work while away also made it eas­ier to come back when the hol­i­day was over, Ms Thomp­son said.

Xero’s Travel Habits re­search found that more peo­ple planned to em­brace re­mote work­ing in the year ahead.

An­neliese Urquhart, Xero Aus­tralia’s small busi­ness di­rec­tor, said the re­search dis­cov­ered that “peo­ple are do­ing it to re­duce workre­lated stress.”

Ms Urquhart said tech­nol­ogy such as the cloud, Google apps, video and phone con­fer­enc­ing and cloud­based ac­count­ing soft­ware were driv­ing the chang­ing life­style trend of work­ing at home and on hol­i­days.

She said em­ploy­ees and busi­ness own­ers should try to “recharge of­ten, even if it means your breaks are smaller”.

“A trend we have seen is rather than peo­ple want­ing to take a three- week break, they are more ac­tive and re­laxed if they have had more re­cent breaks.”

HAPPY TALK: Why the long faces?

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