Hotel chain reports rise in work from holiday requests in pandemic

Working by the sea

Wfh (work from holiday). Picture: iStock

Victorians are looking to swap working from home for working from holiday.

Ahead of recent school holidays, Choice Hotels noted a spike in demand for business support facilities.

Asia-Pacific chief executive Trent Fraser said they had seen similar spikes in inquiries as both of Victoria’s last two lockdown restrictions were eased.

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“We are seeing more requests about office space and apartment-style accommodation, as well as Wi-Fi or if there is a separate area where someone can work from a desk,” Mr Fraser said.

“Or, ‘can the hotel handle zoom’?”

He said with staff in offices still capped and masks still required, he hadn’t asked his own staff to return to the building yet and they were encouraging staff to consider taking the laptop with them to extend annual leave with a few days of remote working.

“Whether they are at home or up on the Great Ocean Road in regional Victoria doesn’t matter,” Mr Fraser said.

“We have learned to work remotely during the pandemic, so why can’t we go away with our family somewhere for a few days and set up a remote workplace?

“If there’s expectations that people can be contacted after normal hours, there’s got to be flexibility there.”

Trent Fraser, chief executive of Choice Hotels Australia, at Melbourne's The Docklands. 

Trent Fraser, chief executive of Choice Hotels Australia.

Australian Psychological Society chief executive Zena Burgess said there could be benefits to a change of scenery with “some element of truth” in the adage of a change being as good as a holiday.

“I think that people are spending a lot more time dreaming about taking holidays, and there will probably be a stampede to the airports when that is an option again,” Dr Burgess said.

“It does give you mental relief and that’s why employers do insist you take it, as you can burn out if you keep on working. It’s the break from work or seeing something new.”

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