A desk in paradise
This new business trend makes work seem like a walk on the beach.
story by LUCINDA SCHMIDT
It’s 6.30am on Koh Lanta, a tropical island in Thailand’s south-west, and Joshua Ballard is already at his desk. Dressed in shorts, lounging on an open-air bamboo deck surrounded by palm trees, he’s fielding emails from clients in Adelaide, where his digital-marketing agency is based. After Skyping his employees in the Philippines, he’ll break for lunch – sharing his papaya salad with the monkeys – then finish the day brainstorming business ideas on the beach over a few Leo beers.
Ballard is part of the “workation” and “co-workation” trend that combines working with travelling to exotic locations. It’s not about checking emails in your hotel room before taking a dip in the pool. Nor is it just about the growing tribe of digital nomads who constantly roam the globe, running their businesses anywhere there’s high-speed internet and a low cost of living. The co-workation is typically a one-week to threemonth
escape from your routine work environment to strategise about a startup, take your business to the next level or perhaps refocus your corporate role. And you’re surrounded by like-minded entrepreneurs and professionals who are there to trade tips, collaborate and keep one another motivated. Integral to the trend are the co-working spaces that have sprung up around the world over the past decade.
But what’s new is the shift from major cities to holiday destinations, such as Bali, Costa Rica and Majorca, as internet infrastructure has dramatically improve