Holidays

Xero research finds Aussies are mixing work and travel more

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Jen Thompson and Blake Poole, with son Bear, travel while running Naked paleo. Photo: Dylan Robinson

WORKING while on holiday is a fast-growing trend among travel-hungry Australians, and many see it as helping rather than hurting their work-life balance.

New research by Xero has found that one in five employees and almost half the nation’s small business owners are taking work with them on their travels — generally having an 80-20 split between work time and holiday time.

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And almost two thirds of people would consider working a little while on holiday if it meant they could take more annual leave or holidays.

Bureau of Statistics data shows that Australians are travelling overseas more than 800,000 times a month, almost double what they were a decade ago.

Jen Thompson and Blake Poole are examples of this new breed, balancing their successful online business Naked paleo with several weeks’ travel each year for leisure and to visit their family homes in Ireland and Canada.

Jen Thompson and Blake Poole, with son Bear, travel while running Naked paleo. Photo: Dylan Robinson

Jen Thompson and Blake Poole, with son Bear, travel while running Naked paleo. Photo: Dylan RobinsonSource:News Limited

Ms Thompson, 31, said she had no friends that worked traditional nine-to-five office jobs.

“They find that they can do both (work and travel) together. I think this is the way that our generation will work,” she said.

Ms Thompson said when travelling, she and Mr Poole would do about one hour of work a day “across seven days”.

She said using technology had made it possible to mix work and holidays — and juggle family life after the arrival of their son Bear seven months ago. “We wouldn’t be able to travel if we couldn’t,” she said.

Doing some work while away also made it easier to come back when the holiday was over, Ms Thompson said.

Xero’s Travel Habits research found that more people planned to embrace remote working in the year ahead.

Anneliese Urquhart, Xero Australia’s small business director, said the research discovered that “people are doing it to reduce work-related stress”.

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Ms Urquhart said technology such as the cloud, Google apps, video and phone conferencing and cloud-based accounting software were driving the changing lifestyle trend of working at home and on holidays.

She said employees and business owners should try to “recharge often, even if it means your breaks are smaller”.

“A trend we have seen is rather than people wanting to take a three week break, they are more active and relaxed if they have had more recent breaks.”

Originally published as All abroad! Combine work and holidays

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