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Do we even need holiday leave anymore?

Forced into working from home and adapting to home-schooling has changed the way many of us have looked at the portability of our jobs. Does that mean we don’t need to take our annual leave?


Over the past year, companies have had the chance to look into the viability of remote work options. When productivity didn’t suffer, some moved to permanent remote work, or offered their employees the option to choose a hybrid model (come in a couple of days, stay at home for the rest). 


But has this changed the way we consider using our leave days?


For those with relatively ‘portable’ jobs, it is no longer necessary to take a day off in order to visit the dentist or the like. We’ll simply make up the time. But can the same be said for travel?


As someone who has worked from home for the last decade, I can tell you that there are definite pros and cons to working (and educating) from the road.



If you don’t have kids or your school allows a home-schooling option (that’s a whole different article right there), you can avoid travelling when everyone else is. That means that it will usually be cheaper and easier to get accommodation and flights. 



Travelling in the low or shoulder periods can be of great support to regional businesses.


Despite looking forward to a busy Easter holiday period, many regional Australian tourism businesses are worried about the lull between April in September, a time when a drop in domestic travel is buoyed by international travel. 


In Anglesea, Great Ocean Road Resort owner Damien Cerantonio said bookings were strong throughout the Easter break.


“The unknown is what happens after the school holidays,” he told The Age. 


With JobKeeper over, many businesses are looking at closing and “if we don’t have these businesses in place when international borders reopen, what kind of visitor experience are we going to have?” Victorian Tourism Industry Council acting chief executive Chris Porter asked. 



Internet accessibility can be sketchy so you need to ensure that you have back up plans and back up plans for your back up plans. If you’re planning on working during your next holiday , you’ll need to have a system in place should you be unable to work and make sure that people in the office are aware of your system. You’ll also need to make sure your clients and colleagues know that you may not get onto things immediately. 



Forget coming back to your hotel after a day at Disneyland to just sit back and relax. Australians will be coming into the office and you‘ll be on the clock. That can actually be great. Putting in the hours after a day sightseeing can actually make you appreciate both work and play more. But it can also make you feel like you’re not giving 100% to either. And some time differences are are terrible for the Aussie work day.



The way we embraced Telehealth options provided during the pandemic will change how we interact with health professionals going forward. But can the same be said for schooling? During lockdown, parents and teachers were suddenly embracing technology to allow kids to learn from home. But school teaches so much more than the curriculum. So taking kids from school is simply not an option for many. 


There are also many of us who cannot work from home, let alone a hotel. Whether in client-facing or hands-on roles, these people can’t take their work anywhere else. 


The world has changed since COVID-19 hit our shores, but has it changed enough to alter our patterns of travel?


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Published: 29 March 2021

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