Maui News

Work From Hawai‘i Week-Long Residencies Offered to New Yorkers

April 30, 2018, 7:51 AM HST
* Updated April 30, 7:59 AM
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National data reveals more Americans are choosing to work remotely to accommodate demanding careers.  A new survey commissioned by Hawaiʻi Tourism United States polled over 1,000 Americans for a closer look at office habits, and found most millennials (ages 22-37) admit they tend to work while on vacation.

Photo Credit: Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (PRNewsfoto/Hawaii Tourism United States)

The new insights summarize an “always-on” mentality, where American employees seem to take work wherever they go to foster better outcomes, problem-solving abilities, enhance creativity – and ultimately come back to their office environments and home cities feeling better equipped to do their jobs.

Inspired by this “workforce on the move” Hawaiʻi Tourism United States will launch a pilot residency program in the islands in September.  Interested candidates are encouraged to apply at: Work-From-Hawaii.com from April 30 to June 4, 2018.

The pilot program features six curated week-long residencies on Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Maui, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi and Hawaiʻi Island for professionals who live and work in New York City. Those selected will be offered a unique work and living space, dedicated island ambassadors and hands-on itineraries to delve deep into Hawaiʻi’s cuisine, culture, and adventure.

Jay Talwar, CMOHawaiʻi Tourism United States said, “‘Work From Hawaiʻi’ celebrates the career-minded traveler – especially New Yorkers, who do everything in service of their hustle. People visit our islands for many reasons but lately we have seen an explosion of guests looking for more than beaches and resorts. We’re intrigued by those who connect with our culture and traditions in a way that invigorates their hobbies and career aspirations. It’s beautiful how they take Hawaiʻi back home with them – refreshed and more inspired. The residencies are designed to embrace this determination and respect for the islands and stimulate personal and professional growth that will last long after you’ve left.”

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The team hopes the idea could potentially be adopted in other cities as well.

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The week-long residencies are outlined as follows:

LOCATION SCOUT (Kauaʻi) A residency designed for creators who don’t sit still.
Built for photographers, cinematographers, and content creators alike, the Location Scout offers a first-hand look at Kauaʻi’s Insta-worthy landscapes. You’ll travel around the island by car or catamaran, giving you an ever-changing backdrop to document in your own unique style. You’ll study traditional lei making with ambassador Madeline Guyett, fuel up on local delicacies at Little Fish Coffee, and explore new vantage points on an ATV ride with Kipu Ranch Adventures. Whether you’re a professional photographer or an expert with an iPhone, this residency will take your content to new heights.

DESIGN LOFT (Oʻahu): The ultimate creative studio in Honolulu’s arts district.
Based in the hip Surfjack Hotel, the Design Loft is best for graphic designers, typographers, stylists, and other creatives. This itinerary is designed to broaden your design sensibility as you work on indigenous printmaking with fashion designer Manaola Yap, tour the street scene with artists from POW! WOW! Hawaiʻi, and indulge in modern local cuisine at Chef Ed Kenney’s Mud Hen Water. Whether your creative pursuits are at your 9-5 or your side hustle, you’ll find inspiration and increase your productivity throughout your entire stay.

Diners enjoying the grinds at “Tin Roof”

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THE TECH LAB (Maui): A view so stunning you won’t believe it has WiFi.
Experience the intersection of nature and technology in this residency, designed for programmers, crypto-miners, app-builders, and game-developers alike. Consider this hi-tech workspace with a stunning view your home base for the week, while your itinerary includes a meal at internationally renowned Chef Sheldon Simeon’s TINROOF, a hike on the summit of Haleakalā Crater, and a wayfaring lesson with legendary waterman Archie Kalepa, where you’ll learn how to navigate using the stars. Whether you’re adding the finishing touches to your app or exploring the latest technological advancements, this adventure is perfect for you.

Image: Sons of Hālawa Documentary

WRITING DESK (Molokaʻi): The remote workspace of every novelist’s dreams.
Writer’s block doesn’t stand a chance. Perfect for journalists, novelists, or other aspiring wordsmiths, this is the writing retreat you’ve always dreamed of. You’ll have a scenic desk indoors, but when you need to unplug, escape to a desk without WiFi just a quick walk away. Get your caffeine high with a cup of joe at world-famous Kanemitsu Bakery, known for its hot bread. You’ll also discover traditional Hawaiian storytelling as you hike in Hālawa Valley to a remote waterfall with Molokaʻi native Greg Solatorio. This residency comes with just the right mix of solitude and inspiration, so maybe you can finally finish that “rough draft.”

Puʻu Pehe, or Sweetheart Rock, at sunset on Lānaʻi. Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Lānaʻi.

CORNER OFFICE (Lānaʻi): A breathtaking dream desk, complete with private jet commute.
Entrepreneurs and other aspiring leaders, rejoice. This residency offers the headspace to think through your biggest ideas. You’ll arrive by private jet from Oʻahu and head to your scenic workspace and suite located at the Four Seasons Resort Lānaʻi. Lean into your business prowess with the traditional strategy game konane or delve into your business dealings at your state-of-the- art executive desk. By end of day it’s time to unwind with a cocktail-making class and a good night’s sleep. Early morning meditation starts your day before meeting with local executive, Kurt Matsumoto to learn about sustainable development. Take in the beauty for a deeper understanding of the island at the sacred, cultural site, Keahiakawelo.

SOUND SPACE (Island of Hawaiʻi): Produce your masterpiece from an idyllic recording studio. It’s every musician or podcaster’s dream: a secluded island recording studio far from the city noise that hums with the sounds of nature. Your surroundings will set just the right tone for your one-on-one time with cultural ambassador, Micah Kamohoalii, a kumu hula (hula teacher) and expert in the Hawaiian art of kapa making. He’ll teach you how to tap into the sounds of the island before you head to a session at Kukuau studio to lay down your tracks. Whether you’re a professional musician, an audio producer, or singer on the rise, this residency gives you the keys to create your own masterpiece.

The six co-living/workspaces described above and suggested itineraries will also be made available for public bookings beginning October 2018.

Recent survey data behind the first-of-its-kind tourism program indicates Americans no longer see “working from vacation” as an oxymoron as the “travel to work” trend grows.

  • Can’t stop the hustle: More than half of all (60%) polled admit having worked during a vacation; while (83%) of millennial respondents feel more productive when they work away from a traditional office setting. Almost all employed millennials agree they would benefit, both in productivity (83%) and creativity (91%), from the growing trend of combining work with play.
  • Craving an enriching work environment: More than half (61%) of workers across the country feel they are most inspired when working in a secluded, mountain-side environment followed by an indoor, high-tech environment with outdoor activities (59%).
  • More than the WiFi password: Americans revealed their top three “must-haves” to enjoy working on vacation are the ability to stay connected (45%), finding time for adventure (44%) and working outside in warm weather (41%).
  • The best souvenir: Over half of Americans believe the most important thing to bring back from your time away is a refreshed attitude (64%), followed by a feeling of accomplishment (53%), and increased drive or ambition (44%).
  • Hawaiʻi Tourism United States, managed by the Hawaiʻi Visitors and Convention Bureau, is contracted by the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority for marketing management services in the continental US.
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