Bleisure

29 : 04 : 2015 Business : Leisure : Work

Identified by LS:N Global in 2009, Bleisure – business + leisure – refers to the increasingly blurred lines in consumers’ lives between work and play.

Bleisure overview

Boundary Desk by Felix de Pass Boundary Desk by Felix de Pass

Digital technology, the rise of start-ups and the ability to work remotely are changing the world of work. As employment becomes increasingly project-based and freelance, the idea of the traditional working week – and even the working day – is being disrupted. Instead of a clear separation between hours in the office and leisure time, many consumers now skip freely between work and play, at all times of the day and night.

As a result, cafés, clubs and hotels are creating spaces and amenities for Bleisurites, who want to settle down in a group with their laptops as well as stop at the bar for a glass of wine.

Click through the sections on this page to see how the Bleisure trend has been manifest since 2009.

2009

March: One Alfred Place opens

One Alfred Place, a private members’ club, opens as a London hub for Bleisurites. It combines the atmosphere of a modern after-hours members’ club with the facilities of a hired office space.

Key Development: This is an early example of a Bleisure hub, where a burgeoning freelance fraternity can engage in productive modes of thought.

One Alfred Place, London One Alfred Place, London
One Alfred Place, London One Alfred Place, London
Levi's Twenty Five Hours Hotel Levi's Twenty Five Hours Hotel

March: Levi’s opens 25hour hotel

Iconic jeans brand Levi’s teams up with hotelier Ardi Goldman to open a Bleisure hotel in Frankfurt. Rooms are available in S, M, L and XL versions. With a fully equipped music jam room and a rooftop lounge, the 25hour Hotel – ‘tailored by Levi’s’ – embodies the brand’s casual and creative spirit.

Key Development: This opening is a purposeful play by Levis to engage the Bleisurite and signifies that the merging of work and play is hitting the creative mainstream.

Distrito Capital Hotel, Mexico City Distrito Capital Hotel, Mexico City

July: More than half of Bleisurite Britons work while on holiday

Bleisure takes Britain by storm, as research reveals that 55% of British travellers work while on holiday, with many taking calls and sending emails by the pool and on the beach. The survey, released by Hotels.com, demonstrates the need for leisure and hospitality destinations to cater for these always-on consumers who stay in touch with the office wherever they are.

Key Development: The scale of the Bleisure lifestyle is shown in this study and provides a call to action for hospitality brands to cater not to the business or leisure traveller, but the borderless, frictionless Bleisurite.

2010

Quinze and Milan and Eastak, Salone del Mobile 2010, Milan Quinze and Milan and Eastak, Salone del Mobile 2010, Milan

April: Eastpak and Quinze & Milan design utility seats

Iconic rucksack brand Eastpak teams up with furniture design label Quinze & Milan to present upholstered lounge seats at Milan Design Week 2010.

The Built to Resist line combines abstract furniture shapes with the classic characteristics of Eastpak’s zips, handles and fabrics, in colours such as red, black and white. This reference to luggage and travel wear shows the influence of the Bleisure trend on design.

Key Development: Here we see how the merging of work and play is key not just in interiors and hospitality, but in the design of homewares and furniture.

Frost Quantas Frost Quantas

July: Qantas brings Next Generation Check-in to airports

Australian airline Qantas rolls out its Next Generation Check-in experience aimed at on-the-go consumers and their Bleisurite lifestyles.

Instead of waiting in line, travellers on domestic flights can simply touch a Quantas-issued smart card at Quantas kiosks throughout the airport.

The smart chip-enabled cards act as boarding passes at check-in, bag-drop and boarding.

Key Development: The design of the Quantas check-in terminals illustrates the mentality of the time-poor, always-on millennial business traveller.

The Quintessentially One The Quintessentially One

August: The Quintessentially One sets sail

The Quintessentially One luxury yacht is unveiled. Offering apartments for sale as well as a hotel, the yacht accommodates the Bleisurite lifestyle by providing a business centre and library alongside water sports and other leisure activities.

Key Development: The launch of the Quintessentially One shows that the Bleisure lifestyle is a highly aspirational way to live, rather than something borne of necessity.

2011

March: Margaret Howell and Sam Hecht design ultimate Bleisure garment

Fashion designer Margaret Howell collaborates with industrial designer Sam Hecht to create a shirt for cycling and wearing in the workplace.

This is a strong example of how design reflects urbanites’ flexible lifestyles, a concept explored in the Bleisure report.

Key Development: This product shows the Bleisure desire for versatile products and apparel that fit with their lives in and away from the office.

Marriott Hotel website Marriott Hotel website

April: Boutique hotels reveal new hospitality story

Marriot International, Virgin Group and Wyndham Hotel Group all announce new hotel chains targeting Bleisurites.

‘Boutique design hotels are the new business hotels,’ says Ayesha Durgahee, then producer of CNN Business Traveller. ‘People are more mobile today than ever, and they want a homely and welcoming experience when they arrive. We call it ‘effervescence’. Business travellers are no longer content with a grey, drab room.’

Key Development: Catering to the peripatetic Bleisurite traveller is found to be a lucrative strategy, as millennials yearn for a more homely experience than hotels traditionally offer.

Nokia, Taiwan Taxi Nokia, Taiwan Taxi

October: Nokia introduces taxis by touch to Taiwan

Mobile phone manufacturer Nokia launches a taxi-hailing system in Taiwan that uses near-field-communication-enabled posters.

This friction-free way of hailing cabs fits in with a busy Bleisure lifestyle.

Key Development: This offering shows that the Bleisure mode of living has become global in scale.

2012

Louis Vuitton Maison store, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Louis Vuitton Maison store, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

January: Luxury Men’s Retail Market

Men continue to receive increased attention from luxury retailers, who create collections and spaces that appeal to both their business and leisure pursuits.

In Singapore, Louis Vuitton’s floating, offshore Maison store includes a dedicated room showcasing the newly launched Made For Travel men’s clothing range. The line, designed specifically for modern travel, reflects the ethos discussed in LS:N Global’s Bleisure trend.

Key Development: The always-on ethos of the Bleisure worker means that travel time is also time to catch up on emails, take conference calls, and scribble notes. Louis Vuitton asserts the aspiration connected to Bleisure.

Paypal Here, Fuseproject Paypal Here, Fuseproject

March: PayPal and Fuseproject create smart, seamless payment system

Design agency Fuseproject creates PayPal Here, a system for electronic payments company PayPal that enables small businesses to take credit and debit card payments easily offline.

Consumers seeking a friction-free life will appreciate the option to pay with a card instead of cash.

Key Development: Cashless payments are the preferred transaction method of the Bleisure worker.

Verbandkammer by Nilsson Pflugfelder, Belgium Verbandkammer by Nilsson Pflugfelder, Belgium

July: Charting the rise of multi-use spaces

Architects Nilsson Pflugfelder create a mobile modular structure that can be reconfigured to become a workspace, artist’s residence, archive or meeting area.

Key Development: Multifunctional spaces which maximise the efficiency of a small area fit appropriately with a Bleisure lifestyle.

2013

No Sweat! workspace by Darryl Agawin No Sweat! workspace by Darryl Agawin

May: Darryl Agawin creates flexible office system

Canadian designer Darryl Agawin creates the No Sweat! work furniture system, which can be transformed into exercise equipment. It enables workers to exercise without going to the gym.

Key Development: Super-productive Bleisure workers rely on multifunctional furniture that allow them to save time.

Powermat charging station at Starbucks Powermat charging station at Starbucks

July: Starbucks adds Bleisure power with Duracell

Coffee chain Starbucks launches the Powermat smartphone charging service, enabling consumers to charge their mobile phones easily at its retail locations.

This partnership between Duracell and Starbucks facilitates connected Bleisurite lifestyles by providing not just coffee, but a space in which to work and socialise.

Key Development: For the mobile-first Bleisurite, phone battery is akin to oxygen. Running out is not an option.

Ace Hotel, Shoreditch Ace Hotel, Shoreditch

September: Ace Hotel opens in London

The ultimate Bleisure hotel group comes to Shoreditch in the east of London. The area is buzzing with creatives and start-ups which makes it the perfect spot for Ace Hotel.

With a focus on localism and lifestyle, the hotel acts as a home from home for visitors. Within the building you will find a bar, a restaurant, a juice bar, a café, a gallery, a basement club and even a florist.

Key Development: The Bleisurite lifestyle has morphed into The Convergence Economy, where spaces are designed for working, socialising, partying and learning.

2014

Givenchy Spring 2015 Givenchy Spring 2015

July: Bleisure themes spotted at Paris Collections: Men

Designers such as Givenchy and Juun J create hybrid garments that combine tailoring with performance materials. These pieces appeal to men looking for versatile clothes for work and play.

Key Development: Hybrid garments are the sanest choice for Bleisurites who move frictionlessly between scenarios in their busy lives.

Workday Software, California Workday Software, California

November: Software enables companies to pre-empt when workers are likely to leave

The software, called Workday analyses and compares public data with data generated by employees in the workplace. Workday Insight Applications help to identify employees who may be tempted to leave. In turn, the employer can take preventative action.

Key Development: As today’s Bleisure worker becomes more changeable, brands are going to greater lengths to secure and keep the best talent.

The End of Sitting by RAAAF and  Barbara Visser, Amsterdam. Image J Kempenaers The End of Sitting by RAAAF and Barbara Visser, Amsterdam. Image J Kempenaers

November: US Millennials’ show changing attitudes towards company loyalty

The study, commissioned by Elance-oDesk, a platform connecting companies and freelancers and management consulting firm Millennial Branding, reveals that Millennial workers are less loyal to the companies they work for than previous generations, with more than half (58%) expecting to stay in their job for fewer than three years.

Key Development: Millennials have become more flexible and changeable in their attitudes to work since the inception of Bleisure.

2015

Karel Kumar using Instagram, London Karel Kumar using Instagram, London

April: Millennials feel as though they give neither work nor leisure their full attention

In a survey of 3,400 full- and part-time professionals across six countries including France, Germany and the UK, a poll found that among the so-called Generation M, adults who are 18–34 and conduct up to 26% of their work on mobiles and tablets, almost two-thirds (61%) feel guilty about mixing work with their personal lives.

Key Development: Millennials are suffering from continuous partial attention as they keep one foot in the office and another in their personal lives.

ZOKU Loft Space designed by Concrete, Amsterdam. Photography by Ewout Huibers. ZOKU Loft Space designed by Concrete, Amsterdam. Photography by Ewout Huibers.

May: Zoku offers a place to combine work and play for the world’s discerning bleisurites

Zoku, an apartment hotel concept, comprises 133 Zoku Lofts that feature clever architecture to maximise space around a central living area. With co-working spaces, meeting rooms and a living kitchen, Zoku provides a space for groups to get together and put their learnings to paper.

Key Development: Discerning Millennials are seeking spaces that enable them to connect with industry professionals and members of the local community.

Joint Café & Workspace at the Asia Hotel, Bangkok Joint Café & Workspace at the Asia Hotel, Bangkok

May: A new service is offering freelancers the opportunity to satisfy their wanderlust while working

Jobbatical is a platform connecting employers in far-flung corners of the globe with travel-hungry Millennials who want to start saving for life’s big purchases.

The jobs board features short-term job offers for teams from 39 countries, including opportunities such as a computer vision and graphics designer for a posting in Bangalore and a Ruby on Rails expert in Vietnam. The service is tailored towards programmers and designers as domain expertise is in great demand in developing countries.

Key Development: This Millennial phenomenon is forcing employers to rethink their recruitment strategy, as an untapped global employee pool becomes available and with it new challenges.

Still from Film by Kathryn Ferguson and Ana Kinsella for Selfridges says Work It! campaign, London Still from Film by Kathryn Ferguson and Ana Kinsella for Selfridges says Work It! campaign, London

June: Modern Millennial workers are more eager to please and more image-conscious than ever before

According to New Norms @Work, a survey of more than 15,000 full-time professionals aged between 18 and 66 across 19 countries worldwide, almost half (48%) keep separate wardrobes for work and play, while a similar figure (46%) admit that they would judge a colleague based on their appearance, with younger generations being the most judgemental.

Key Development: Professionals are reshaping their brand’s identity by honing their professional identity online or making a bigger effort to stay on the right side of their boss.

WeWork co-working space, US WeWork co-working space, US

June: The work-life divide becomes even more blurred with residential co-working space WeLive

The latest venture from co-working platform WeWork offers membership including basic access to shared spaces all the way up to small offices.

A growing global population of freelancers and small businesses are opting in for co-living memberships as an extension of co-working. With community and convenience on its doorstep, WeWork has come to define the spirit of the age, offering its members computer games, screening rooms, plush common spaces and craft beer on tap to make the nine-to-five grind a little more bearable.

Key Development: Co-living spaces enable people to focus on their interests without having to worry about mundane tasks such as cleaning and paying bills.

Benjamin Kempton for SideStory Benjamin Kempton for SideStory

November: Hotels and travel operators are curating seductive line-ups of thought-leaders and innovators that appeal to entrepreneurial types

Luxury travellers are focusing on unique experiences that enable them to learn and grow, such as SideStory and Curiosity Retreats that seamlessly mix work and play.

Key Development: As Bleisure seeps into more of our lives, the line between creative hobbies and second and third careers continues to blur.

2016

Film by Kathryn Ferguson and Ana Kinsella for Selfridges says Work It! campaign, London Film by Kathryn Ferguson and Ana Kinsella for Selfridges says Work It! campaign, London

March: The modern workplace is now as much about leisure, wellness and hospitality as is it about observation, quantification and efficiency

Since we first observed the rise of Bleisure back in 2009, the boundaries between work and play have dissolved drastically. Employers have been fixated on Millennials for years, but members of this cohort are now in their late 20s or early 30s, and are not the young guns they once were. Take a hint from Generation Z and harness the best of digital technology, but also remember the importance of physical space, serendipity and human emotions.

Key Development: For clues on the future workplace, look towards members of Generation Z, who will soon enter employment and bring a host of strange habits and fresh expectations with them.

The Working Capitol designed by Foreign Policy, Singapore The Working Capitol designed by Foreign Policy, Singapore

May: A collaboration between three US agencies produces a new ratings system for workplace wellness

The Fitwel Rating, designed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), General Services Administration (GSA) and the Centre for Active Design (CfAD), offers an intuitive and practical way for employers to improve workplace health and create genuine change through a series of practical guidelines.

Key Development: Employers can assess the health of their workplace to help them create workplaces that inspire and improve wellbeing.

Bumble App, Global Bumble App, Global

July: Bumble has launched BumbleBizz, a new feature that enables users to search for business contacts nearby

Bumble, a location-based dating app that requires women to make the first move, has expanded to include professional as well as personal contacts.

BumbleBizz users will be able to fill out a new profile that includes details of their education, hobbies and professional experiences, but otherwise the mechanism is exactly the same as on Bumble. Users swipe left or right depending on whether it is a match and, as on Bumble, women will have 24 hours to make the first move.

Key development: As Millennials seek to make more informal social connections, the lines between professional and personal relationships are being blurred.

Summit at Sea Summit at Sea

July: Festivals are emerging that blur the lines between business and leisure

Described as a mix between TED and Burning Man festival, Summit at Sea invites a group of the brightest people in business and culture on a voyage across international waters to various locations around the globe. The first Summit at Sea took attendees to an uninhabited island in the Bahamas, where they heard from speakers including the National Geographic Society’s explorer-in-residence Wade Davis and renowned scientist M Sanjayan, and enjoyed fine dining experiences.

Key Development: With the rise of transformational festivals, consumers want to leave feeling like they have learned something.

Purificatum by Fabien Zeijler, Eindhoven Purificatum by Fabien Zeijler, Eindhoven

August: Media entrepreneur Arianna Huffington steps down from her role at The Huffington Post to launch a workplace wellness organisation

Arianna Huffington is tapping into this trend with her new venture Thrive Global. Having published The Sleep Revolution earlier this year, Huffington has long been an evangelist for issues surrounding workplace burnout, having suffered a high-profile burnout in 2008. The corporate world has traditionally presented sleep deprivation as a mark of success, but Huffington points to research that links it to diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Thrive Global aims to tackle this public health time bomb with training classes, seminars and e-courses based on research from the fields of neuroscience and psychology.

Key Development: Workplaces need to move away from a focus on facilities management and improve their hospitality and wellness offer to attract and retain the best workers.