“Work hard. Play hard” has been the adage of professionals for ages, yet the playing always follows working, if you’re lucky. Sometimes, that playing may mean one nightcap before waking up at the crack of dawn the next day to make a five-hour flight to a three-hour meeting.
Business travel is a wearisome necessity for many professionals who are supporting families and eager to advance their careers. Fortunately, millennials are reinforcing the fact that business and pleasure blend beautifully and effectively.
‘Bleisure’ Makes Millennials Feel Happier About What They Do
New research suggests that millennials aren’t falling in line with the old adage, and a new line of thought has emerged. Business and pleasure are meant to be together. Why can’t you have your cake and eat it, too?
Apparently, business is pleasure — especially when there’s cake — as 81% of millennials associate business travel with happiness and job satisfaction, according to last year’s MMGY Global survey on American travelers. Millennials are also taking the most trips out of all age groups — 7.7 annually.
Increasing technology and staying at preferred hotels with updated tech means that millennials can stay in touch with co-workers, friends and family with the tap of a finger. More hotels and airlines are offering services focused on the traveler’s pleasure. According to the same survey, 73% of millennials rate leisure time on business travel as important, more so than to boomers at 46% or gen Xers at 56%. As the biggest generation in business, millennials are making waves in how a business trip is typically defined.
Technology-Bemused Millennials Don’t Skip Out On Meetings
As the first generation to grow up fully emerged in all technology has to offer, it may seem that millennials are used to taking the easy way out. Aren’t millennials likely to order their cake as in-room service while favoring a video conference over a face-to-face meeting?
Not necessarily. Millennials rely on apps and optimized web services to book a deal, and online check-ins pinpoint the business traveler in a rush for the observing eyes of the company, client and loved ones. However, millennials prefer meeting face-to-face when it comes to business, per the 2015 GBTA Business Traveler Sentiment Index. Check-ins in-person take the cake over online check-ins.
Penny-Pinchers At Home, Big Spenders While On Business
Millennials prefer to spend money on experiences than things, prior reports have indicated. Millennials are saving more money than older generations, though they typically have a large amount of college debt. When at home, millennials know how to stretch a dollar and see how fair their pennies take them.
When it comes to business, an Expedia survey discovered 37% of millennial business travelers spend larger amounts on room service when their company foots the bill, as versus older business travelers — only 21% of professionals between 45 and 65 are so eager to splurge while traveling for business.
Millennials want to earn their loyalty points while on business trips, choosing a favorite airline or hotel, while also earning loyalty points with the boss for doing a great job. Isn’t it better to smile at the client you’ve traveled five hours for, as a result of a good night’s sleep and healthy food, rather than snapping? A good set of earplugs and an abundant amount of leg space on the airplane doesn’t hurt, either.
That doesn’t mean millennials are running up the company’s bill like high rollers in a casino. Millennials are more flexible and careful with their time, sometimes conducting work in the evening and taking in the sights during the traditional 9-to-5 workday. Some millennials extend trips for business to include pleasure, spending money on experience.
Millennials are also taking longer to have families and get married, and with not as many responsibilities as prior generations, they can pursue business travel as a lifestyle experience. Between 2007 and 2012, birthrates declined by 15% for twenty-something women, according to the Urban Institute, which also states that millennial women are conceiving at the slowest pace of any past generation in the U.S.
The Future Of Business Travel
In the past, “bleisure” referred to extending a business trip for pleasure, where 60% of business travelers added on roughly two vacation days to a cost-effective time away. So, the concept isn’t new to older generations. The definition has simply changed, and millennials have injected freedom and fun into the daily doldrums of business doings.
The B in business doesn’t have to mean “boring,” and millennials are changing the way professionals travel for work. Blending business and pleasure, millennials have evolved the “bleisure” movement into something more flexible, fun and happy.
Having your cake and eating, too, while on a business trip doesn’t mean that millennials are skipping out on client meetings or running up high room service bills — they’re taking in the full experience in a way that benefits all. If the company, the employee and the clients are happy, what’s not to love about bleisure?