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Sick of staring at the same four walls? You’re not alone. Treat yourself to a working-from-home swap and give your colleagues a new conference call background to be amazed by!

Many of us have been working from home since March. And while there are undeniable perks to this – like never changing out of your slippers and not having to commute – it can get a little ‘samey’. Well fret not, because home swapping is a great way to enjoy a change of scene, all whilst achieving the perfect work/life balance. Not sure how it could work for you? Then let us show you why a working-from-home swap can be a great way to unwind, and what to consider if you’re thinking about taking the plunge.  

 

What is a workcation all about? 

As the name implies, a ‘workcation’ is where you work whilst on vacation. Once a novel idea, (let’s be honest, it conjures up images of Millennials taking work calls in hammocks in a juice bar in Bali), workcations are now increasing in popularity. In fact, with the current move from office working to remote working that many of us have experienced, there has been the emergence of an enticing new trend, with people swapping their planned one-week holiday for a month-long workcation. And we couldn’t be more excited about the possibilities that this idea presents.  

 

Why do a workcation? 

As many of us are no longer required to be physically in our workplaces, we have developed new and better ways of working. The barriers to working in a set location have been broken down, and many people have now realised that they can be based anywhere while still successfully doing their jobs – which is where workcations come in! A workcation is a great way to experience a new destination at a slower pace. And the chance to break up your working day with a spot of site-seeing is really quite appealing...  

 

Why embark on a work-from-home swap? 

 

Enjoy a leisurely pace of travel 

A home swap gives you plenty of time to get your work done, whilst also having the chance to explore a new area without the time and cost pressures that come with expensive pay-per-night hotels and holiday rentals. By extending the length of your trip, you won’t have to rush your way through the local sights, instead taking your time to truly immerse yourself in the local lifestyle.   

“Hotels are lovely, but if you’ve paid for breakfast, you have to get up at a certain time, and you always have someone coming into your room and cleaning. If you’ve got a home to yourself, you can do as you please and get up when you want to. You’ve also got the kitchen where you can cook if you want to, so it’s a lot more relaxing. Also, you get a much better feel for the area.”  
 

– Sandy, who enjoyed her first home swap this year during the pandemic 

Read Sandy’s story  

 

Home swapping means you can take your time to get to know a destination whilst working during your trip 

 

Explore lesser-known destinations 

Travelling to ‘lesser-known’ areas for a staycation has been flagged as one of the top travel trends for 2021, and for good reason. Faced with the overwhelming desire to avoid crowds and enjoy a more authentic experience, many travellers are keenly hunting out destinations that aren’t overrun with tourists. Luckily for our community, many homes on Love Home Swap are main homes, meaning that they are located where the ‘real’ locals live. Step away from the tourist traps, and you can soak up parts of a destination that may go unseen on a brisk weekend away.  
 
“I personally love it, as there is a lot of business travel in my job, and I find checking into hotels a pretty soulless experience. I prefer the environment and the ease of swaps. I feel like I know something about my host through texting, because you begin to understand why people love their homes!”  

 
– James, who recently swapped his home in Bristol for a working from home staycation to Pembrokeshire.  

Read James’ story 

 

Clear your mind

Sometimes, all it takes is some new scenery to change your perspective and get your creative juices flowing. Whether it’s a new route on your morning jog or sitting at a different desk, an alternative routine and view can make the world of difference to your productivity and your overall mood.

Immerse yourself in someone else’s home (and world) - and reap the emotional benefits  

Find the perfect workcation home swap for you 

 

Try out new things  

Part of the appeal of home swapping is that not only do you swap homes, you’re also swapping lifestyles too. It’s an opportunity to swap your usual jog around your local park for a dip in the sea. Likewise, put down the menu to your most-loved takeaway, and book a table in a local pub in a new, unexplored place.  

“In between video calls, I could walk down to the beach and listen to the surf. The owner even let my small dog Peggy come down during the week, and then my wife joined us at the weekend. The WiFi worked, and I could go for a walk on the beach after being on a conference call, plus I went surfing a couple of times. There’s also a pub 50 yards away where I could have a drink at the end of the day, so it was a pretty good working-from-home week! 

Read James’ story 
 

James enjoying a post-conference call surf in Pembrokeshire, Wales

 

How to prepare for a working from home swap

As a host
 

Clean your home thoroughly

First things first, during this time it’s important to take extra steps to keep both you and your guests safe. To help you make sure you don’t miss anything, we’ve created our own cleaning guidelines, including a downloadable cleaning checklist.

As well as providing extra care when it comes to cleaning your home in preparation for guests, you should also leave some additional cleaning supplies to make your guests feel at home. This includes surface cleaner and antibacterial wipes, and leave antibacterial gel by the entrance to your home.  

 

Check your WiFi 

In order to work from home, you need a decent WiFi connection, so confirm the speed and provider of your WiFi with your guest before agreeing to swap. 

 

Clear some space 

As usual when it comes to home swapping, it’s important to create some space for your guests’ things to make their stay as comfortable as possible. If your guest is working from home, clear away important papers in your home office, or provide them with some extra space on your kitchen table.  

 

Share your tips 

Think about what you have done during the pandemic to keep busy in your local area – then share that knowledge with your guests! They’ll need to rest their eyes after a day in front of the computer, so provide a list of your favourite things to do. Whether that’s a local walking route, a great café for a takeaway coffee, or a local beauty spot, your guests will appreciate the gesture. 

 

As a guest 
 

Pack all the equipment you’ll need  

After six months of working from home, many of us have set up a permanent office space somewhere in our home. Now that you’re looking to be stationed elsewhere, make sure you include all of your work equipment as part of your regular packing list. Laptop charger? Check. Notepad? Check. Headphones? Check.  

 

Double-check travel rules  

Whether it’s a 6-mile drive or a 6-hour flight, it’s important to check the local travel guidance and restrictions for the area you’re travelling to. We’ve also highlighted some things to consider when home swapping right now, so make sure you check these out before you go.  

 

Confirm house rules 

Whether written or verbal, there are always a few ground rules to confirm when it comes to home swapping. And given the current climate, it’s particularly important to confirm any ‘dos and don’ts’ when staying in another member’s home.  

 

Interested in home swapping?  

We’d love to have you on board. You can get started here with Love Home Swap’s two-week free trial. If you still have some questions (or you just fancy a chat about your travel plans) our friendly Customer Services team would love to hear from you.  

 

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