Blurring, a growing trend amongst international travelers

Monday 14, October 2013


Blurring, a growing trend amongst international travelers


Pullman, Accor’s upscale hotel brand, and research institute IPSOS, are together unveiling the results of a survey of over 2,200 seasoned international travelers. This research highlights the increased intermingling or “blurring” of their private and professional lives.


The survey’s key findings reveal that:


Work is no longer 9-5 as ‘Blurring’ causes 24/7 working ethos: 61% of travellers bring professional devices on holiday, 48% check their emails before leaving for working in the morning, 18% check their emails during a private meal and 27% even check their emails in bed at night. 

“Blurring” is perceived differently from one country to another: 83% of the Brazilian and 92% of the Chinese travelers surveyed believe these devices help their career development.  However, only 60% of British travelers share this opinion and 82% of Brits feel obligated to work outside of normal office hours


Xavier Louyot, SVP Global Marketing Pullman comments: “Our knowledge of seasoned international travelers has led us to observe various trends over the years. The concept of a 9-5 job is quickly becoming a thing of the past. The need to remain connected to both business and leisure lifestyles has led to a dependence on technology. What’s interesting is how the different world travellers perceive this. Is technology freeing or restraining and can we find the balance?”


He adds: “Our hotel offer has evolved to anticipate these changes and meet the expectations of this new generation of curious, cosmopolitan, hyper-connected travelers who travel both for business and leisure.  The results of this survey confirm our vision of upscale international hospitality which is based on the “work-hard, play-hard” and reflects  our customer’s lifestyle and professional personal balance.”  


Out of Office: “Blurring” or the advent of a new work ethic?

“Blurring”, or the gradual intermingling of professional and personal activities, is a global trend that is described and acknowledged in the countries where the survey was conducted – from UK to China, including the United States, Germany and France.


This new behavior transforms the organization of private and work lives.  High-income frequent travelers are connected and can be reached at all times. As a result, they are blurring the frontiers between work and personal life. 


86% of Brits take a work mobile on holiday and 40% Brits go so far as to take their work laptop away, whilst 80% of Brazilians travel on leisure with their work laptop. 43% of international travelers always take their mobile professional devices with them on holiday or on weekend trips.


9 out of 10 Brits admit to working, checking or sending business emails in the evening, 73% extend work into their holidays and 40% of Brits check their emails in bed before going to sleep.


When asked why business blurs into leisure, 62% of Brits simply say their role requires a high level of involvement, whilst 28% want to show commitment and 14% justify it by say everyone at work does it.


82% of Brits feel obligated to work out of hours; with only 60% feeling this will facilitate professional development. As a result 72% of Brits feel work devices impact on their personal life. 51% feel guilty for not spending as much time as they would like with loved ones because work comes home with them, and 27% are rebuked by loved ones for not switching off. As a result, 13% of those questioned find themselves hiding their out of office hours from loved ones.


Conversely, some believe “blurring” has a positive impact on their private life: owning a mobile professional device enables them to stay in touch with their families (89% “agree” and 43% “agree wholeheartedly”).


33% of the survey panel spends at least 30 minutes a day browsing the Internet for personal reasons (reading the news, booking holidays, consulting bank accounts, and checking their Facebook page). They also signal the emergence of work activities within the private sphere and its knock-on effect: the emergence of personal activities at work, which they consider legitimate and part of a tacit moral agreement with their employer.  They consider it normal to handle private activities during their working hours quite simply because they also work when they are at home.


Seasoned travelers welcome this new way of organizing their private and professional lives: 79% view it positively. However, one in two travelers sometimes feel remorse when not devoting this time to loved ones.


Hyper-equipped, free and efficient travelers

All across the globe, responders are categorical: 85% say that having a mobile device has changed the way they organize their professional and private lives, generally with a positive impact.


Though seasoned travelers easily recognize the negative effects of increased blurring between their private and professional lives, 82% of them also believe that having a mobile professional device allows them to work more freely and improves the way they manage their various responsibilities.


Professional devices allow them to work more efficiently (83% agree) and more productively (82% agree). “Blurring” is even considered a career accelerator by 32% of the survey population. 61% say they take at least one professional device on holiday or on weekend trips (and 43% say they always take them).


Very different attitudes in rapid growth and developed economies

The Chinese and the Brazilians are “blurring” champions and the most connected travelers. 79% and 71% respectively have at least one mobile professional device (compared with 60% in the other countries).


Attitudes towards and the integration of professional devices in people’s private lives vary according to nationality.


American travelers are the most undecided.  Though more than half of them consider that having a mobile professional device makes working easier, the same portion believes that it has a negative impact on their private life.  


French and German travelers are the ones that blur their professional and private lives the least. They also have the most negative opinion regarding mobile professional devices. In addition, they are the least likely to handle private activities during their working hours.  In short, they are the most critical of blurring the boundaries between work and private lives.


45% of the French and 44% of the Chinese consider it legitimate to use professional devices for private activities because their work also has an impact on their private life! On average, one-third of the survey sample spends at least 30 minutes a day handling private issues during working hours! Half of them consider that this time represents a pause in their working day.


Lastly, the Australians and British, like the French and Germans, are reluctant, but less assertively so, to allow their private and professional lives to overlap. 


Xavier Louyot, SVP Global Marketing Pullman concludes: “This survey corroborates and sheds further light on a trend we have observed in several areas. Universes that were, in theory, disconnected, are increasingly intermingled.  In this case, the boundaries between professional and private worlds are increasingly blurred. However, we have a myriad other examples in daily life: the blurring of news and entertainment, of fiction and reality, or even of luxury goods and mass-market products.   This survey highlights the extent to which, all over the world, connected objects accompany and accelerate this move towards the dissolution of all boundaries.”



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