As the lockdowns broke, we saw a shift towards remote working as a permanent fixture, and with it, an opportunity to leave the towns and cities we had previously been tied to.
1 month+ rentals are the perfect solution for homeworking travellers taking life on the road
Having never expected to be seemingly prisoners of our own homes, the lockdowns of 2020 probably taught us more about ourselves than we expected: what we love, what we miss when it’s taken off the table, and above all, how we can study and work outside of traditional schedules.
As the lockdowns broke, we saw a shift towards remote working as a permanent fixture, and with it, an opportunity to leave the towns and cities we had previously been tied to. Heading for pastures new, in either funkier and more fun city locations or greener, cleaner, country escapes with the wide-open spaces where we’ve become accustomed to spending our leisure time.
New, flexible schedules for workers and students meant they could carry out their roles wherever they chose, and with that, a host of new options delivered a new type of traveller and vacationer.
Here’s what we learnt about them at UpperKey.
Travellers and workers alike are spreading their wings, making up for the COVID seclusion
After long periods devoid of leisure travel or the facility to get away from it all, we found that all kinds of travellers were actively looking to make up for that lost time stuck at home.
Some were looking at taking extra, extended duration trips, while others looked to relocate for a few months at a time for an authentic home-from-home experience. Given that their working worlds permitted this opportune escape option, it seems more than expected were looking into working away from home in the ‘new now’.
Such markets weren’t solely limited to those with the youth, energy, and perceived footloose, fancy-free lifestyles to allow such getaways.
We saw almost as many families taking extended stays, as schools were disrupted and remote working allowed an opportunity for the whole family to take a working vacation. Whether taking the entire family or escaping on one’s own and taking work with them wherever they might land, it has earned a new era moniker, becoming known throughout the modern world as ‘the workation’.
Experiencing the peace of green spaces and the great outdoors
During the lockdown months, with sports centres, attractions, and every kind of leisure facility closed, the lack of opportunities pushed us to find consolation in easier-available natural resources.
And, it appears to have stuck. There have been growing trends in hiking, enjoying nature and relaxation in the fresh air. There were constant mentions on social media where suppliers feared running out of bicycles, with a massive uptake in one of the few ways we could still exercise.
It’s all led to families, fun seekers, and the leisure hungry seeking out more rural, off-the-beaten-track experiences in which to spend their downtime.
Domestic travel has played a significant role in drawing the new wave of workationers to extended-lease stays. Additionally, as opportunities for international travel move slowly back to something like a new normal, we’re likely to see even more working travellers going global, grabbing apartments and houses for several months at a time.
So, who are the new extended-let travellers and workationers?
It’s no surprise that leading the charge into this new realm are Gen Z and Millennial generations. Many have the opportunity, belief, expectation, and the energy to city-hop while working, as well as the freedom to do it without the baggage family life brings.
However, they’re not the only ones. We’ve seen substantial shifts to extended-lease stays in several demographics.
1. Those considering relocation
For those who’ve had a taste of a workation, and have the opportunity to flee to pastures new for good, a longer-term let is an ideal opportunity to test-drive however many locations they like.
Leasing an apartment for a month or two in three or four different towns or cities provides a true-to-life opportunity of what their schedule and lifestyle would look like in a brand-new environment.
2. Temporary work projects in alternative locations
Consultants, construction operators and workers, travel critics/reviewers, engineers, technicians—there has always been a demand for longer-term leases in plenty of careers, and they still own a corner of the market. Whereas once, it was acceptable to be holed up in a budget hotel until the work was done, workers demand more from their work trips. If a life on the road is on the cards, they expect a quality of life to match the one at home.
3. The rise and rise of the digital nomad
Even before the pandemic, the research showed that the ‘digital nomad’ was on the rise.
In 2018, research by MBO Partners estimated that 4.8 million US citizens happily accepted the label. With so many careers available in the digital domain, it’s easy to see how the phenomenon started.
Programmers, writers, marketers, copywriters, web developers—these are only a small selection of the roles to give you an idea of what’s on offer as an any-location opportunity. For these workers, their home-from-home can be anything from a tent to an executive apartment or hotel suite.
4. Expats and repatriation
Many expats journeyed home to be closer to their families throughout the pandemic, unsure what was possibly coming next. However, on the flip side of that particular coin, others took advantage of readily available extended lets and downtimes from work, taking extended breaks in alternative locations to see if moving overseas could be the life for them.
Both options showed a need for a quality residence without the commitment to a long-term lease—their extended lease fits the bill down to the last detail.
5. Extended vacation rentals for working families
2020 was the year of the staycation. With most countries limited to domestic travel, and the risks involved with ever-changing classifications and troublesome quarantine penalties, the staycation became the holiday getaway of choice throughout 2020.
The numbers in this market soared, and the length of stay extended too. So with many working parents being able to live the same life wherever they were—as long as there was access to a little peace and quiet with reliable and high-speed Internet connections—why wouldn’t they take their jobs with them?
Trusting the latest tech to keep things safe
As the influence of health safety, social distancing, and public hygiene catapulted into the mainstream of our recent regimes, businesses and organizations had to ensure it was part of their new everyday practices.
From sanitizing surfaces to installing hi-tech air-conditioning, we’ve seen differences at every turn. Travellers—with no exception—need to feel safer than ever when making a base in a new location, during their journey, and on arrival.
iRenting leads the charge in PropTech safety
This is where technology plays an exceptional part. PropTech (property technology) has delivered entirely new platforms to limit human contact in real estate and service industries—known as iRenting—reducing paperwork, speeding up processes, and making the system far more secure.
Contactless tours and online viewings replace the physical inspections showing each property is precisely what a tenant is looking for.
Digital keys and self-check-ins using key store facilities (like KeyNest, for example) translates into fewer faces and fingers involved in handovers and less chance of spreading viruses.
Each apartment should now have its own digital guidebook. Again, no more germ-laden, overly-handled paper manuals where viruses can lurk. Instead, your apartment guide is available on all of your devices.
Cleaning, turnovers, and maintenance are also digitally managed, creating a streamlined service for everyone involved.
Self-service, online booking and last minute reservations – and not just for accommodation
The innovation of technology shown throughout the pandemic will continue to provide solutions to perceived new problems.
More self-service opportunities will sway traveller confidence.
The use of screens to protect vendors and customers has helped significantly, but consumers still feel safer carrying out transactions over their mobiles wherever they can. Is this feasible? Of course, it is. We’re living in the greatest generation of change, and if such changes deliver a safer way to live, then it’s only a case of the tech catching up with demand.
For the staycationer or workationer, UpperKey delivers safe stays with simple lease terms, fully furnished, and in highly sought-after locations. With that, tenants aren’t tied to long-term leases, so they can pack up and leave at short notice.
How does iRenting work? UpperKey acts as the property owner’s tenant, sub-letting their apartments to high-quality renters. They handle everything from handovers, upkeep and maintenance to cleaning, laundry, and customer management. Their system is leading the digital disruption of the hospitality industry, with more and more of its processes managed online using super-fast and ever-efficient digital solutions.
UpperKey is a leading iRental organization and a trailblazer in the PropTech industry. As the very first iRenting organization in London, they operate a global enterprise, making it their mission to streamline the property rental industry.
Tenants are assured the quickest, most efficient ways to book and access apartments in major cities across Europe and now the US. And for clients, all they have to do is sit back and enjoy work-free payments on their investments.