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
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.
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
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.
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.
Quinze and Milan and Eastak, Salone del Mobile 2010, Milan
Iconic rucksack brand Eastpak teams up with furniture design label Quinze & Milan to present upholstered lounge seats at Milan Design Week 2010.
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.
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.
Marriot International, Virgin Group and Wyndham Hotel Group all announce new hotel chains targeting Bleisurites.
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.
continue to receive increased attention from luxury retailers, who
create collections and spaces that appeal to both their business and
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.
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.
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 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.
Millennials have become more flexible and changeable in their attitudes to work
since the inception of Bleisure.
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, 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
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
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.
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.
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 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, 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.
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.
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.