6 etiquette rules to master if you plan to work remotely from a resort
Working from home has proved to be a challenge for even the most technologically savvy people.
If you turned your kitchen table or living room sofa into an office during the pandemic, you’ve probably heard someone say, “Hey, can you mute your line, please?” or “Can you all see my screen?” at least once.
And as the coronavirus pandemic continues, many people are in desperate need of a change of scenery. They want a break from the annoyances of home — cooking and cleaning up after yourself — and are in bad need of a little pampering. (Hello, spa treatments and room service!)
That’s why I participated in World of Hyatt’s Work From Hyatt program and moved my home office to the beautiful Andaz Mayakoba Resort on Mexico’s Riviera Maya for seven days.
Work From Hyatt was designed for the 42% of Americans said to be working remotely or attending “Zoom University” right now who are looking for ways to use their newfound flexibility to change up their routine. The program has packages at nearly 100 properties across the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. You can work from a beach retreat, such as the Andaz Mayakoba, a ski resort or a city hotel for an urban getaway.
Resort fees are waived when you book a Work From Hyatt package, and you’ll still receive all the normal benefits, including points earning, elite-night earning and elite-status benefits (if applicable). You can also use your World of Hyatt points to book a package. And, of course, Hyatt properties are all implementing enhanced safety and cleanliness procedures to give travelers added peace of mind during their workcation.
If you’re planning to upgrade your own work-from-home setup, here are a few tips to help you stay productive at work — and respectful of your colleagues back at home.
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Maintain your routine
Even if you’re working from a different time zone (like I did), it’s important to keep the same hours. For me, that meant shifting my alarm one hour ahead to wake up at 5 a.m. I kept my regular schedule, which included answering emails, writing stories and even eating lunch at the same time every day.
And remember, working remotely isn’t an excuse to show up late to meetings, or dressed inappropriately, says Diane Gottsman, a national etiquette expert of The Protocol School of Texas. You should always remember that you’re still at work, even if you’re out of the country.
“Don’t be in a bathing suit top or a sarong while you’re doing your business. If you’re on Zoom, you should still look the part of a professional,” Gottsman said.
Define your workspace
TPG’s points and miles editor, Ariana Arghandewal, has spent over two weeks working remotely in Turkey. So, she really had to draw a clear line between work and play.
“For me, work mode and vacation mode are two different things, so I can’t get work done sitting by the pool or beach,” she said. “It just makes me resentful that I’m working and not enjoying those things. So … [maintain] a workspace where you can focus.”
While working in Playa Del Carmen, I made sure to start my day with a strong cup of coffee and throw on some old-school Southern rap, the same as I’d do at home. I’d spend part of the day inside the room at one of my three desks, before starting the afternoon from my beautiful private plunge pool.
Remember to take PTO
Look, if you’re working remotely from a beautiful resort, you’ve wasted your time and money if you don’t actually get to enjoy it. So, remember to take some time for yourself!
On my last day at the Andaz Mayakoba Resort, I cleared my calendar and spent the entire day between the pool and beach. I shut off Slack, signed out of my email accounts and even ignored texts and FaceTime calls from friends.
Getting your work done is important, but as TPG’s executive editorial director Scott Mayerowitz points out, rewarding yourself is also essential.
“If you finish one section of your work, take a 10-minute swim,” he said. “If you are at a ski resort and want to get in a few morning runs, that’s great. Just make sure to schedule some early-morning or late-day time to make up for that lost time.”
Finding moments to decompress is important, especially during a pandemic when it seems like we have to be “on” all the time.
Make use of the hotel’s facilities
I spent most of my Work From Hyatt experience working from my ensuite desks or the couch. But one day, I decided to switch up my work environment, and I’m glad I did.
I spent part of a day working from a restaurant at the resort with bar tables, perfect for a makeshift standing workspace. I opted for a smoothie, rather than a coffee, and I felt refreshed instead of having the caffeine jitters.
Another great tip: use the business center (if it’s open). “It’s usually quiet, the Wi-Fi is good and you’ll have a real workstation,” Arghandewal said.
Just make sure you’re being mindful of other guests who aren’t working. If you’re working outside of your room, you may want to grab a table at the back of a restaurant to avoid disturbing other guests. You may also want to keep Zoom calls to a minimum. I noticed several guests taking calls at dinner, for example, which could be disruptive.
Put down the margarita
Even if you feel comfortable working from a hotel or a resort during the pandemic, your coworkers may not all feel the same way.
Your travel could be distracting — especially if you’re sipping a mojito during a Zoom meeting. Additionally, your colleagues may not have the desire or ability to travel during the pandemic, and Gottsman says it’s important to be respectful.
When I checked in at the Andaz Mayakoba Resort, I didn’t have much time to get settled before hopping on a Zoom call. I was parched, but I decided to save my welcome (fresh coconut water in — you guessed it — a coconut) for after the meeting and drank nondescript still water instead.
I also put up one of TPG’s custom Zoom backgrounds, as my room had direct beach access and no one likes a showoff.
“You have to remember your location,” Gottsman said. “So, you might be at a resort, but your coworker is in [his or her] kitchen ….”
And you might not mind the background noise (or scenery), Gottsman explained, but if your coworkers can’t hear you or they’re distracted, she said it’s “counterproductive.”
Everything isn’t for social media
Another thing to be mindful of: your social media presence.
It may be tempting to post photos of your feet in the sand or swimming with dolphins or your coconut beverages, but think twice. You may see it as “doing it for the gram,” but your colleagues may see it as gloating. As much as possible, I saved the best photos of brunch or my private guacamole class for my group chats.
“Feel free to post your fun adventures when you’re not on company time,” Gottsman said. “But when you are working your regular workday you should stay off social media with your fun-filled excursions.”
Working from a resort was a restful and relaxing experience — and I’m sad I didn’t think to do it before the pandemic. I was productive, but could still end my days at the beach.
As long as you can still get your work done (on time!), are mindful of your surroundings and remain respectful of your colleagues, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have a relaxing and productive experience working from a hotel or resort.
Featured photo by Victoria Walker/The Points Guy
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