Editor's Note: This guest post was written by Karolina Turowska, the Community Manager at PhotoAid, a fast-growing technology startup developing AI tools for photography.
We’ve all heard about 'workation' this season – but have you heard about companies that offer it as a work perk?
Actually, my company did so. With an amazing view from the office, strolls around the vibrant city, and barraquitos with workmates is how I memorized my Tenerife workation.
Job perks should answer employees’ needs. So, before committing to the workation idea, PhotoAiD's founders wanted to gauge how their people would feel about it. In April 2022, they ran a survey, asking employees how likely they would go to Tenerife for a workation if the company arranged an office there and reimbursed 50% of airfares.
As many as 50 of 56 respondents (amongst 80 employees) rated the idea positively or significantly positive, giving the founders the green light. They went to work, and in July 2022, Santa Cruz de Tenerife became PhotoAiD’s new office location.
The sun never hides behind the cloud here, and the weather is perfect all year round. It’s an excellent alternative to Poland, especially amid dark and gloomy winter.
Rafał Młodzki, the co-founder of PhotoAiD, is the mastermind behind the Tenerife workation idea. “We thought about the Tenerife office as the ‘company charger,’ whose goal was to re-energize employees and boost the team spirit, somewhat depleted by remote work,” Rafał explains.
The company made every effort to create the perfect work setting. Based on a post-workation survey, spacious office rooms and a balcony with fantastic ocean and mountain views are just a few perks that helped employees to enjoy their working time. “It’s easier to get up to work in a place like that,” said Dominika Stasiecka, Senior Customer Support. Other pros that employees mentioned were office location, big kitchen, and home facilities. Thanks to all those conveniences, employees could draw on workation benefits while taking a break from the stresses of everyday life.
Between April (when the first survey was run) and August (when the first workationers returned), the eNPS went from 58 to 65. Of course, many internal actions contributed to it. However, in regular employee satisfaction surveys, employees often point to “Tenerife workation” as the thing that the company does well, proving its impact. Of 24 employees who've visited the Tenerife office so far, 20 rated their experience as very positive, and they all wished to return.
But let's face it – what is the most motivating factor in workation? All the exciting adventures that are waiting on the doorstep.
We all know work-life balance matters and workations are more than office hours. So, besides having an excellent work setup, the Tenerife office lets employees have fun. There are board games and a bicycle, and it is located close to the city's attractions.
"Our primary concern was if people would work effectively when spending time together in such a lovely place"," said Rafał. "But we love testing - it's part of our company culture - and Tenerife was also an experiment. The result? Tenerife's charms didn't distract employees. On the contrary, they made people happy, and happy people performed better. Noteworthy, this energy has lasted long after their return".
He added that the ever-growing eNPS and record-low turnover rates proved that workations work great both for employees and the entire company.
Besides improving employee experience, the Tenerife office is a magnet for job seekers. “When recruiting, people often mention that they applied due to workation, among other things,” said Sylwia Śmietanko, the HR Specialist in PhotoAiD. "Also, candidates always positively react when I mention workation during job interviews. It’s an attractive benefit that plays a significant role in our talent acquisition strategy."
Overall, the Tenerife office fits PhotoAiD’s experimental culture and mission statement: "To create with exceptional people a super company that will globally dominate the ID photo industry."
Karolina Turowska is the Community Manager at PhotoAid, a fast-growing technology startup developing AI tools for photography.