Millennial business owners find it difficult to unplug from work

Millennial business owners find it difficult to unplug from work

The millennial generation, especially small business owners, are constantly connected – often blending personal time off with business due to the easy availability of mobile connectivity and videoconferencing. Fifty-nine percent of workers use mobile devices after normal business hours, and an even higher percentage of millennial workers do so, and the global productivity hit caused

The millennial generation, especially small business owners, are constantly connected – often blending personal time off with business due to the easy availability of mobile connectivity and videoconferencing. Fifty-nine percent of workers use mobile devices after normal business hours, and an even higher percentage of millennial workers do so, and the global productivity hit caused by the resulting employee burnout amounts to $300 billion annually.

That fact is at odds with an increased expectation of work-life balance, which is desired but often difficult to achieve. According to a recent Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card survey, while many millennial business owners understand and actively seek the privilege of completely unplugging from work, only 25 percent are able to do so.

Those business owners may have the advantage of videoconferencing to replace the need for frequent business travel, but at the same time, business travel remains part of the business world, and the concept of the “road warrior” is nowhere near obsolete. It takes a toll, especially for those business owners who must travel on a weekly basis.

Those millennial business owners are less likely to take personal time or vacations – but instead are starting to combine business with pleasure. According to the Chase survey, 85 percent of millennial small business owners take personal time on a business trip, often adding an extra day or two for personal time. The trend, sometimes referred to as “bleisure” for the combination of business and leisure, not limited to business owners, and employers are also urging millennial workers to extend business trips to enjoy personal time. This generation is known for seeking non-monetary, work-life balance benefits in their jobs, and so these extended stays become a valued perk which results in higher job satisfaction. And because the travel expenses for bleisure trips are usually carried by the company, the employee has less of a need to go into debt, or use credit cards to fund vacation trips.

While millennials combine business with pleasure far more than their Baby Boomer predecessors, they are also leveraging more state-of-the-art communications and collaboration technology, which minimizes the need for those trips in the first place. The digital meetings that often replace face-to-face comes with their own set of work-life challenges though. Those younger workers find working at home advantageous, but at the same time, they find they work better in teams. Some companies are offering a solution to combine this flexibility with a more team-based approach, with the creation of “huddle rooms,” or small rooms at headquarters which allows colleagues to meet, face-to-face, virtually, or a combination of the two.

The very definition of “job” is rapidly changing, and the older model – which kept business and pleasure separate, relied on travel and face-to-face meetings, and lacked remote options in favor of an in-the-office, 8-to-5 sentiment – is giving way to this new reality that blends business and pleasure, office and home.

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