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A Workation
with the Family

A Workation with the Family: Work from Home Abroad in Croatia

Who doesn’t want to travel more? Especially after a year like 2020, we’ve all been craving a nice getaway – and in the meantime we’ve also mastered the art of remote work. With nearly 47% of employed people working at least partly from home, a year of Zoom meetings has shown us that the office just isn’t a necessity anymore. In fact in a recent survey, 45% of working adults said they could easily do their jobs from abroad.

The workplace is changing so that people can have their cake and eat it, too. It could now allow employees to spend more time in the sun or explore a new country without using up limited paid leave. The trend is clear: with the help of digitalisation, working life can become less static. This means, among other things, more flexibility in the choice of a workplace.

The workplace of the future will be much more flexible. Fixed working hours and a fixed office will increasingly disappear for many job descriptions. The trend is towards multiple workplaces spread across the country and the world, key-words being "third space" and "satellite office". The concept of digital nomads will also evolve and establish itself: While you may not be working from a new location every week, perhaps you will spend half a year doing your job from Lisbon. Digital working also has an impact on other areas of our lives, such as transport. Fewer people will drive to the office every day, the roads will become freer, relieving some of the pollution caused by daily commuting.
Markus Albers

Markus Albers

Expert for New Work

The new prevalence of working from home is great news for families, who might ordinarily struggle for childcare while parents go to the office, and there’s one concept that goes one better than just working from your living room: the workation. A workation or ‘woliday’ combines your 9-to-5 with a family holiday, allowing you not only to work away from the office but also from somewhere other than your home.

In this post, we’ll look into what an ideal workation would involve and what families should look out for. Plus, we’ll reveal how many UK families have already booked their trip with Croatia Luxury Rent.

A workation: Working remotely from another country

The workation has evolved together with the digitalisation of the working world. Nowadays, more and more industries are using entirely digital business processes, with client meetings over Zoom, colleagues chatting over Slack or Microsoft Teams, and documents stored and accessed via the cloud. In short, employees no longer really need to be in the office most of the time.

Unlike digital nomads, who have no fixed home and move from place to place, a workation is temporary: you can get a change of scenery and still have everything back home waiting for you to come back. Workations are therefore much more suitable for families. With this flexible model, working parents can travel to new places with their families and take turns, one looking after the children while the other works. It’s just like balancing childcare and work during lockdown – but with much better weather, food, and new things to see and do.

A workation means children and parents can explore a new place together. It makes for a better balance between work and family life.

When working in the office, you’re very unlikely to work for eight hours straight. There are distractions in the office, such as questions, phone calls or meetings with colleagues - all examples of synchronous communication. A workstation offers people the opportunity to work asynchronously, i.e., to take note of the available information when it is needed. With fewer interruptions and distractions, workers are more productive and can get their workload done in fewer hours. This leaves more time for family and to explore new places together.
Markus Albers

Markus Albers

Expert for New Work

Working from home abroad in Croatia

Location, location, location! Not everywhere is suitable for a workation. Every family member has their own preferences when it comes to a holiday, and you are throwing the need to work productively into the mix. You have to be more creative and practical when it comes to choosing the ideal destination. Tasty local cuisine, lots of fun things to do, and gorgeous scenery for walks and activities are all great for a successful family holiday. For a workation, you also need to choose somewhere with stable internet and a time zone similar to the UK.

One country that meets all these criteria is Croatia. With its long, beautiful coastline on the Adriatic Sea and the Dinaric Alp mountains, it has a diverse landscape and friendly people. It’s also easy to get to, inexpensive and a great solution for a variety of holiday preferences. Croatia is a fabulous option for a family adventure – and Brits already know it! 11% of Croatia Luxury Rent’s bookings in 2021 came from the UK, so you’ll be in good company once you get there:

Working from home abroad in Croatia



Prerequisites for a successful workation

Even if you want to pack up your family and start your workation right now, this kind of trip involves a different kind of planning than your normal holiday! You should consider the following factors:

  • Distance: Even if the dream beaches in the Maldives seem tempting, not every country is suitable for a workation. Long flights are a stressful prospect for a young family and usually also mean a significant time difference. Croatia is a great destination not only because of its beauty, but also because of its proximity. London and Zagreb are only a two-and-a-half-hour flight apart.
  • Hygiene measures: Croatia has introduced the "Safe stay in Croatia" campaign to monitor hygiene measures nationwide. Tourist facilities have to comply with the necessary COVID-19 preventive measures, such as employee temperature checks, social distancing and disinfecting surfaces, in order to be classified a “Safe stay in Croatia”. Plus, according to Croatia’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports, all tourism employees should be vaccinated by the start of the holiday season.
  • Climate: OK, here’s where sun-worshippers might need to compromise. Hot weather does make it hard to work productively. It’s worth finding somewhere sunny for your workation, but not so hot that you’ll spend the whole trip sweating. This is also a plus point of Croatia, where temperatures don’t exceed 25-30 degrees in the summer.
  • Accommodation: Every family member has a different idea in mind of the perfect workation home. The children might love a pool with space to run around in, while parents may think it more important to have a big dining or living room to have family meals together. What is indispensable, however, is a fully equipped study where working parents can count on a calm environment to take phone calls and meetings. A villa in Croatia fulfils these criteria. You can enjoy great WiFi, spacious living areas and a beautiful garden. It is perfect for a successful workation with the family.
  • Internet: Above all, you need a stable internet connection! Make sure there is reliable WiFi when booking your accommodation. It’s also worth noting that more and more restaurants and cafes offer free WiFi, so you can take a break from the house or work on the road if needs be. The tourist office will be able to tell you about free hotspots in the area. Alternatively, buy an internet dongle with a prepaid local tariff – this should come to around €10 a week depending on the provider.
  • Insurance: This is a broad topic, so here are some basics (additional resources below). For healthcare, your private medical insurance like BUPA, or insurance through your employer, might not cover you abroad. It’s worth applying for a free GHIC card (the new EHIC/E111 post Brexit). Each member of your family will need their own. It is also important to look into other insurance questions such as health and safety, employer liability, and the fact that travel insurance does not usually cover longer policies. You should also check with your employer if you are covered under your company’s data privacy policy if you handle data overseas!
  • Cost of living: Croatia has a much lower cost of living than the UK – most meals out and groceries will set you back half the price of the London average. Of course, depending on your budget, you might prefer to keep things simple and cook most meals from home, or save more money for attractions like theme parks.



5 tips for a successful workation



3 tips for a successful workation

Tip 1: Inform your employer that you are on a workation and not in your own home.
Tip 2: Check in advance whether you can really work 100% digitally or if you will have to do anything on-site when you want to be away.
Tip 3: Set fixed working hours and breaks for a better work-life balance.
Markus Albers

Markus Albers

Expert for New Work

Keeping your kids busy on a workation

Leisure activities with children

Summer in Croatia is when all the tourist attractions are open, which makes it the peak season for exploring the country and finding family-friendly activities. In general, Croatia is very safe for children, especially in tourist areas. Playgrounds are fenced off, and there are lots of pedestrian zones. For any little geologists in your brood, Croatia is known for its countless grottos and caves, which are great for family visits. There are also plenty of open-air activities to get involved with, including water parks, horseback riding, cycling and tennis.

With its long Adriatic coastline, Croatia is a popular destination for families who like beach holidays. The bathing season is between June and September, depending on the region, so bear this in mind when planning your holiday. The water tends to be shallow on many sandy beaches, so small children can safely build sandcastles on the water without risk of strong waves. Croatian sandy beaches are also ideal for your little one’s first swim with floats!

Activities for children during working hours

Depending on their age, on your workation children will need to occupy themselves alone or with each other. This means that parents might need to move their workplace outside to supervise if the children were playing in the pool, for example. In general, however, it is most relaxing for all family members if parents share the childcare: one parent can work while the other takes care of the children. In this case, parents should still make sure to carve out some quality time to do things together as a family. Don’t forget the vacation part of your workation!

One thing every parent will have burned into their brain by this point: pack the toys and games your children will actually play with. Don’t forget a favourite, and don’t bring any surplus – it’s worth talking it through with your kids beforehand if they are old enough. The trip should be fun for them as much as it is for you. If they’re not having at least as much fun as they would at home, what kind of workation is it?

There are also plenty of family-friendly activities suitable for the villa’s outdoor space: badminton rackets, skipping ropes, or volleyballs won’t take too much space in your luggage. And of course, you can always cool off at the end of a long day at work with a dip in the pool.

Markus Albers

Markus Albers (Picture: Patrick Debrosses)

Markus Albers lives in Berlin as an author, consultant and entrepreneur. He is the co-founder and managing partner of Rethink and co-founder of Neuwork. He has written several books, including "Digital exhaustion: How to regain control over our lives", which is about digital working.


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