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Workcation. Or How To Improve The New Normal Of The Virtual Office

Workcation: Noun – half work, half vacation.

At the risk of vastly understating things, the world looks a whole lot different today than it did when we rang in the new year on January 1st, 2020. So many things are different, I won’t even try to list them all. Odds are that many of those differences will return to the way things were once the pandemic subsides. However some things won’t. One such item, the work from home virtual office, I believe, is here to stay.

However, we’ve come to a realization about your home virtual office. My gosh, you’re sick of looking at the same 4 walls all the time. You can’t do this forever. You need to get away from the house!

As such, I believe the new norm of the virtual office is ripe for some evolutionary improvement – that evolution is the “workcation”. And workcations at the Wolf Cove Inn, a bed and breakfast in Maine, are really special.

Work cation on the sun porch

Workcation – The Evolution Of The Virtual Office

Working from home has its benefits. No commute. Comforts of home. More time with your spouse/significant other (or cat.) Someone’s there to let the dogs out. And more. But boy oh boy, those walls are closing in. You just need to get out of there. This is where the workcation comes in.

Who said working remotely in your virtual office must happen at home? Well, it wasn’t me. Think about it. All this technology and ubiquitous high-speed wireless service, well you can work anywhere. Yes, you can work at home. But every once in a while, why not put in for a change of scenery?

That’s right. Put your full day of work in, but with scenery. And service. And things to do right at your doorstep when you declare the day done at 5 (or 4 or 3!) Better yet, at the end of the week at your workcation destination, you don’t even have to travel to your weekend getaway. You’re already there. And if only one of you is working, your partner can have a great old time while you work. (I think that’s a benefit, right?)

That, my friends, is a workcation.

Lakeside workcation in the dining room

Workcation At Wolf Cove Inn

The Wolf Cove Inn has everything you need for the ultimate workcation.

  • High speed internet? Check! Our Inn has 200mb/sec business class internet service.
  • Free WIFI? Check! Yes, it’s free. And it’s a commercial mesh network that provides great coverage around the Inn, inside and out.
  • Room to work? Check! Our lakeside sun porch, the lake facing Adirondack chairs, the love seats in the dining/living room and the dining room itself are all great spots to work. However, if you need privacy, our guest rooms, and especially the Eagle’s Nest Cabin, can comfortably act as your office too. Furthermore, 9 of the 11 rooms sport lake views, so even working in your room offers a treat.
  • Things to do at the end of the day? Check! A month or so ago, I wrote a Maine honeymooner’s guide that lays things out quite nicely for you.

And maybe you’re not just looking to get away for a time. Maybe you’re considering ditching the whole city/suburban scene and thinking about a remote, virtual office in Maine. What better way to check it out than with a Maine workcation.

To help you make your decision about a change of scenery, we put together a number of packages to fit all your needs when working away from home. Be sure to check out our packages and specials for your latest work cation savings.

And now for a bit of history on how we got here.

Wolf Cove Inn on Tripp Lake

The Coming Of The Virtual Office

The virtual office has been in the works for a long time. I would suggest that it’s been in the works for a good 40 years. Over that span, a series of events and the availability of new technologies led us to today’s world.

Technology Enables The Virtual Office

Advances in technology paved the way for the virtual office. Were it not for the innovations of technology companies large and small, we’d not be having this conversation. I believe three elements of technology enabled the virtual office:

  1. The Visible – Development Of High Performance Mobile Computing Devices: Portable computers (laptops) began to penetrate the corporate mainstream in the early 90s. These devices began the untethering of the device from the physical, on-site corporate network. Then the world really changed in 2007 with the release of the first iPhone by Apple. With that integration of computing and telephony, not only did this untether workers from the corporate network, but it also untethered workers from any physical network.
  2. The Invisible – Build Out Of High Speed Wireless Data Networks: Remember dial-up networks back in the early 90s? SLOOOOOW. Even so, I remember the excitement of my first dialup experience in 1990, going to a Compuserve Bulletin Board. Now? 10s to 100s to 1000s of megabit/second speeds available everywhere from the office to your local Starbucks, even to your favorite bed and breakfast. That dramatic increase in bandwidth enabled a wide array of mobile, remote productivity and collaboration applications.
  3. The Guts That Make It Work – Standardization Of Data Communication Protocols Enabling Videoconferencing and Application/Screen Sharing: A vast array of standardized data communication protocols exist across the entire communication infrastructure allowing applications such a videoconferencing (FaceTime, Skype, Zoom to name a few), and screen sharing/collaboration (GoTo Meeting, WebEx to name a few) to work. Believe it or not, Sue and I were involved in the development of lots of this technology as early as the mid-90s when we were developing videoconferencing systems for conference rooms and offices while working at a company called PictureTel (coolest place I ever worked!)

Major Events Push The Virtual Office To The Mainstream

It’s one thing to have the technology to enable the virtual office. It’s an entirely different thing for society and the business world to embrace the technology and evolve the way we work. Often times it takes major events to cause the later to happen. Two such events proved pivotal:

  1. The Attacks of 9/11/2001: As you may recall, the airline industry came to a complete standstill for a period of time following the attacks. It then became much more of a hassle to travel. It took a long time for business travel, then leisure travel, to come back. In the meantime, work must go on. Corporations began to disaster proof their businesses. Technology companies began cranking out product categories that enabled remote collaboration in order to satisfy the corporate need for that disaster proofing. “Business continuity” was the buzz phrase back in the day. Even with that, life returned to normal and the corporate campus continued to exist.
  2. The Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020: With lockdowns across major portions of the globe, we figured out how to get work done from living, dining and/or bedrooms at home. Personally, I’ve been overdosing on webinars, Zoom calls and other remote conferencing interactions. Yep, people miss the face to face interaction with colleagues. However, there are more than a few reports of how much more efficient people can be working remotely. This is here to stay.
Fire Pit at sunset at Wolf Cove Inn

Moving Forward – It’s Time For A Workcation

So there you have it. The virtual office is here. However it needs to evolve for the sanity of all you folks staring at those screens and four walls all day. Therefore, it behooves you to come on up to Maine and restore some equilibrium with a lakeside workcation at the Wolf Cove Inn.

I hope to see you soon. We’ll take good care of you. The loons of the lake are calling you!

Cheers,

Roy

Wolf Cove Inn – featured in Conde Nast, The Boston Globe, Redbook and on MSN.

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