Since launching in 2008, apartment rental platform Airbnb has observed four travel trends that are changing the way we work and manage our time, both at home and overseas.

1. Remote-first businesses

According to remote work expert Jason Lenstorf, Airbnb is the perfect resource for location-independent workers looking for somewhere inspiring to base themselves. This travel trend sees a shift away from bricks and mortar offices to remote working for employees.

Travel trends from Airbnb

Now you can book “business travel ready” apartments on Airbnb

With an increasing number of freelancers in the jobs market, and new advances in communication technology, Airbnb predicts a shift towards “remote first” companies over the coming years.

According to a recent study by Upwork, one in three Americans freelanced last year, and 60 per cent of freelancers say that this is a choice, not a necessity.

The latest “telecommuting” statistics, by Global Workplace Analytics, found that 86 per cent of telecommuters say they are more productive when working remotely – whether at home or abroad.

2. Digital nomadism

Digital nomadism takes the remote travel trend to another level. The term “digital nomad” is often used to describe backpackers who scrape a modest income together while travelling, but a growing number of people are learning how to combine a successful career with the freedom to travel on their own schedule.

Upwork’s study reveals that freelancers give freedom and flexibility as the main reasons for their decision to work independently. In fact, two-thirds agree that freelancing offers them the ability to live and work anywhere.

Globetrender specialises in writing about travel trends, and digital nomadism has become a popular topic in recent months.

3. Living like a local

An increasing number of companies across the globe are introducing travel policies that allow employees to use ride-sharing (44 per cent) or home-sharing (28 per cent) services when they travel for work. This is according to research conducted this year for the GBTA’s Business Traveller Sentiment Index Global Report.

Travel trends Airbnb guide book

Airbnb now offers guides to the local area

The Airbnb for Business portal is now used by thousands of companies for their employee travel, including Vox Media and Sixt. The free dashboard, which launched in July last year, allows companies to co-ordinate the booking process more easily and streamline payments.

Certify, a leading online travel and expense management software solution, has demonstrated that business travellers are starting to choose Airbnb over hotels at an increasing rate. As well as being able to live like a local, they are able to save an average of 30 per cent on hotels.

4. Bizcations

“Bizcations” (also known as “bleisure”) are the combining of business with vacation or leisure time. As travel trends go, this one is booming.

Airbnb recently shared data that reveals more and more business travellers are using the home-sharing platform to plan and book their own bizcation, tagging on a few days’ holiday to a work trip.

The average length of a business person’s stay on Airbnb is twice as long as stays in hotels, at 6.8 days per trip, indicating a rise in business travellers staying the weekend to mix business with pleasure.

The top ten Airbnb destinations for British business travellers are:

  1. London
  2. Paris
  3. San Francisco
  4. Dublin
  5. New York
  6. Edinburgh
  7. Amsterdam
  8. Berlin
  9. Bristol
  10. Barcelona

Research by the University of California’s Professor Gregory Hickok has shown that holidays help employees to re-focus their minds and return to work with renewed vigour.

Further evidence in support of the value of a bizcation comes with the recent joint study by economists from the University of Warwick and from the Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit in Germany.

Their research found that happiness led to a 12 per cent spike in productivity, while unhappy workers proved 10 per cent less productive.

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