Can We Mix Teleworking And Vacations?
If the prospect of going back to school/work is getting you down, you might be tempted to try the concept of "tracances." This trendy new formula involves working remotely from a vacation spot. But be careful: this enticing form of telecommuting is not possible for all employees and is not without risks... Explanation.
What are the tracances?
The term "tracations" is a portmanteau word formed from "work and vacations". Even though these two concepts are initially contradictory, it is now possible to reconcile them thanks to the rise of telecommuting in companies.
The concept of "tracations" (or "workation" in English) consists of telecommuting from a holiday location, for example, to be able to accompany one's spouse and/or children who are on vacation.
Despite the ambiguity of the word, the person who chooses this formula is indeed working. They simply carry out their work through telecommuting from a location that is not their home.
It should be noted immediately that not all companies allow this, as even in this case, the company's responsibility is engaged regarding the safety of the employee. According to Article L.1222-9 of the Labor Code, "any accident occurring at the place where telecommuting is carried out during the exercise of the telecommuter's professional activity is presumed to be a work-related accident."
Who can go on vacation?
You will have understood that taking holidays is not possible for all employees or even for all teleworkers!
When a company grants teleworking days to its employees, it defines the authorized duration of teleworking but also the places from which employees can telework.
It is not always allowed to practice teleworking far from home for insurance, data security and network reasons, or to be able to join colleagues at the office within a reasonable time if needed.
These are generally executives, self-employed workers, and higher-income individuals who take advantage of the flexibility offered by teleworking to extend their weekends to the sea or mountains, or to work from their second home, for example.
According to statistics dating from 2022, 70% of teleworkers are executives. "Tracations" are therefore generally reserved for them... This formula particularly appeals to young executives, who are fond of new, more flexible working methods. According to an IWG study published in June 2023, 54% of 18-24 year olds and 45% of 25-34 year olds planned to extend their stay at a vacation spot thanks to this form of nomadic work.
How to ask for vacation?
Since teleworking during vacations is considered as working time, you must of course obtain the agreement of your employer before teleworking in a holiday location.
Find out in advance about the teleworking conditions in your company and any restrictions regarding the locations from which you can telework.
Some companies allow their employees to telework from any location, but limit the duration of telework (for example, 3 days per week).
Others allow their employees to telework immediately after their paid leave, provided they do not go too far (maximum 2 hours of time difference).
If your manager allows you to telework outside of your home, don't forget to inform your colleagues before leaving and bring with you all the equipment you may need.
What are the limits and risks of this practice?
Even if the prospect of teleworking from your vacation spot may seem appealing at first, this practice is controversial, including among employees.
"Tracances" (a combination of work and vacation) do not only have advantages, far from it! Their main disadvantage is the risk of blurring the boundaries between work time and rest time, private life and professional life. The danger for the employee is to never disconnect, even during their holidays, and/or to be constantly solicited by their employer.
Moreover, this strange hybrid concept does not exist in the Labor Code! This text only recognizes two situations: paid leave when one is on vacation and telework when one works remotely! According to French legislation, either an employee works or they are on leave, but there is no in-between.
Therefore, "tracances" are only possible if they correspond to a working period. However, allowing an employee to telework during their paid leave constitutes a breach by the employer because they have an obligation to ensure the employee's right to rest.
If the idea of teleworking in a vacation spot appeals to you, keep in mind that you must:
1- obtain prior approval from your employer
2- establish clear boundaries between your working hours and leisure time
3- respect the limits and conditions set by your company and not abuse the autonomy granted by your employer.