World Tourism Day – Workations have become increasingly popular: Chander K Baljee, Chairman & MD, Royal Orchid Hotels & Regenta Hotels | The Financial Express

World Tourism Day – Workations have become increasingly popular: Chander K Baljee, Chairman & MD, Royal Orchid Hotels & Regenta Hotels

The concept of hybrid work is fast becoming a baseline expectation for most employees, and organizations are already seeing the effects.

World Tourism Day – Workations have become increasingly popular: Chander K Baljee, Chairman & MD, Royal Orchid Hotels & Regenta Hotels
Workations are not restricted to just some industries. (Image- Pixabay)

The last two years have been a bumpy ride for the hospitality industry with uncertainty across every division. In such situations, while many hospitality establishment providers shut down, some managed to stay afloat, and many have fully recovered. In a post-pandemic world, with the Covid-19 graph flattening, people are starting to travel again. This time, it not just the normal travel rules but preferences have changed. Among the many trends such as staycations and weekend gateways, workations too have become increasingly popular among today’s travellers. It is not just the hotels that are turning into workation getaways but many hostels too are adopting this trend. This is being done to cater to digital nomads who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

In a bid to catch up on this growing trend, when the concept was fresh the market, our team reached out to all past potential clients. Guests who opted for the remote working options enthusiastically responded to the idea. Having catered to guests with workacation needs we realise that different needs motivate people to go in for long-stay rentals. Some want a safe sanctuary against Covid, especially as cases of Tier 1 & 2 cities. Many others want to escape household chores and finally, last but not the least, the only motivation is simply wanting a change from being cooped up at home, especially, if the option is a villa with a view and a pool.

Chander K Baljee, Chairman & Managing Director of Royal Orchid Hotels & Regenta Hotels, told FinancialExpress.com that he has also noticed that either directly or indirectly corporate and software companies encouraged this concept which helped both employees and also the hospitality industry. Here are the excerpt of an interaction with Baljee:

Workations have cropped up as an outcome of the pandemic. What according to you is the future of this trend in the coming years?

There has been a disruption in the hospitality industry since the onset of the pandemic. While many hospitality establishments have shut down, some managed to stay afloat, and some have recovered fully. Now, with the flattening of the pandemic graph, people are started to travel again. This time it is not just the rules, but travel preferences have changed. Similar to staycations and weekend gateways, workations have become increasingly popular among travellers. It’s not just the hotels that are turning to workations; hostels are also adopting this trend, especially to cater to those digital nomads who want to get away from the city hustle-bustle.

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Workations are not restricted to just some industries. Companies today are asking employees to return to work. However, the concept of hybrid work is fast becoming a baseline expectation for most employees, and organizations are already seeing the effects. Turnover has significantly increased when employees are required to come back into the office full time, and 52% of employees say flexible work policies will affect the decision to stay at their organization. Turnover will continue to increase as emotional costs of leaving an organization are lower when it is hybrid and there’s more choice. To combat this sustained turnover, connect hybrid employees to the organization’s culture and invest in talent processes to expand employee networks.

You mentioned that ‘directly or indirectly corporate and software companies encouraged workations’. Today, increasingly companies are asking employees to return to work with a drastic reduction in WFH culture. What is your view? 

Yes. Most companies today are asking their employees to return to work. They also have to be mentally prepared to return to normal. As per reports, out of 100 companies, 50-60% still allow employees to work from home for varied reasons. Nonetheless, news reports suggest that by 2025, normalcy will return to every industry. We have also noticed a hybrid approach helping both companies and employees. In this new trend, an employee is expected to be present in the office whenever their physical presence is required and also to host events and internal development activities.

With your experience in the hospitality industry and its ever-evolving nature, how has your businesses adapted and how are things different in a post-pandemic world?

The evolution of any new trend in the hospitality industry is adopted well to be on top of our game and capture the right amount of market shares for our business. When the concept of workation was realised our team promptly reached out to all our past potential clients who supported us. Guests who had remote working options enthusiastically responded to the idea as they want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. According to us, different needs motivate people to go in for long-stay rentals. Some want a safe sanctuary against the pandemic, especially as cases of Tier 1 & 2 cities are growing. Others want to escape house chores. The third motivation is simply wanting a change from being restricted at home, especially, if the option is a villa with a view and a pool.

Also Read | Advantage India: The world is coming to India as the country eyes increase in global medical tourism share

With respect to workation, which of your properties witnessed the most visitors? i.e. beach resorts, hill stations, business properties etc

We cannot exactly point to which properties got a lot of traction as guest preferences are varied. Many of our guests opted for beach properties while some hill stations or our wildlife resorts. Thus, we are clear that we want to give our guests an experience to remember. Today’s traveller is all about new experiences, in line with this thinking, we are investing in experiences like wildlife, spiritual, heritage, and leisure while continuing our expansion in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities. 

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