Time and a place for the work, stay and play generation
This idea of combining business trips with leisure time is gaining momentum with businesses popping up to target the trend.
About four years ago research began pointing to business travellers wanting a more home-from-home experience, Airbnb was growing rapidly and there was talk about focusing on improving the experience for the business traveller.
Last week a study from the GBTA Foundation showed that just over 70% of millennial business travellers have extended a stay, almost half o those aged 35 to 54 and a quarter of those aged 55+.
Expedia has also produced research on the blurring of lines between business and leisure travel via its Expedia-Egencia Future of Travel report.
But, what if the work-play balance could achieved more effectively during the trip?
Step forward Emmanuel Guisset, founder of newly-launched Outsite, which so far has beachside locations in San Diego and Santa Cruz with Lake Tahoe and Hawaii to come.
It is one of a new breed of startups addressing this segment by combining work space and accommodation in condusive environments.
Guissset says the business is a mix of co-working and co-living and that he’s tapping into a growing trend of people “who can work from anywhere.”
He adds that it’s about the work-play balance and enables users to “stay, work and enjoy the outdoors.”
“The workation trend, mixing the two, is ramping up. “
So far, most Outsite users are technology professionals and entrepreneurs, business travellers who are in a destination for a week and a lot of Silicon Valley folk who spend three/four days at one of the locations.
A large percentage of business also comes from companies bringing teams on retreats.
The service works with potential users who apply via the website to make sure they are interested in being there to work.
Guisset’s hope for the startup is to expand it to every large urban centre across the US and Europe and Outsite is not the only startup to be treading this path.
Similar concepts include Surf Office, where Guisset worked for a spell and which, already offers some European destinations. Others include Coconat.
Outsite recently listed its locations on Airbnb to extend its reach but he says it also attracts a high percentage of repeat guests.
“We want the feeling that you don’t get from a hotel.”
This is interesting given further stats from the GBTA Foundation showing the main reasons business travellers look to extend a stay are the ability to have their own cooking facilities (45%), amenities (40%) and a more homely feel (36%).
Guisset is now looking at ways to scale the business and points to research on millennials showing that 40% of workers will work remotely by 2020.
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