Millennials want to change business travel. The norm of having meetings from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., followed by other work obligations that flow deep into the night, for example, is being rejected by the generation born between 1984–1996. These young professionals expect more flexibility and free time to explore the city they’re visiting.
These insights were among the findings of a recent study by Hilton Hotels & Resorts, in a follow-up to one conducted last year that found that business travel is seen as a major perk by 74 percent of millennials. This year’s study went a step further and looked at what millennials seek when traveling on the company’s dime.
Of the many findings, one of the most significant was discovery that, despite their desire to work in social environments, 84 percent of respondents prefer to spend their evenings of free time alone, rather than with colleagues; 74 percent reported having a better overall experience when spending free time alone.
What millennials like doing during time alone varied, with most preferring to experience local restaurants (69 percent). Other favored solo activities included:
- Exploring the city/neighborhood (59 percent)
- Sleeping or relaxing (56 percent)
- Enjoying happy hour (38 percent)
- Working out (35 percent)
- Experiencing the lobby/hotel bar (32 percent)
“We’ve all had over-scheduled business trips, and the result is pure exhaustion. We applaud this next generation of travelers for highlighting a tension point many of us have dealt with for years,” said Vera Manoukian, senior vice president and global head for Hilton Hotels & Resorts.
In-person interactions still reign supreme, as 81 percent of those surveyed preferred to have face-to-face meetings. The workspace still plays a vital role in productivity, it found, but 63 percent of respondents said they would rather be in a busy, social environment when working alone.
A vast majority of respondents (92 percent) would rather work in a setting with windows and natural light. Colorful spaces and meeting rooms with advanced technology that goes beyond Wi-Fi were favored by most of those surveyed—80 and 82 percent, respectively.