Over the years, my father has proudly reminded me of the time he was given the opportunity to travel to four countries in a single week for business. He also mentioned that, while the trip sounded rather cool, it would’ve been a lot better if my mom, brother and I had accompanied him. While corporate trips used to give you the chance to travel to (sometimes) exotic places, you were there strictly for business. “Don’t mix business with pleasure” has long been a well known phrase. The current trend, however, is to blend the two aspects of one’s life together. More and more businesspeople are tacking on vacation days to their business trips to better incorporate their family into their work routine.
What used to be a serious ordeal is now more accommodating of a person’s life as an individual. Hotels have caught on to the trend, and now offer city tours, special jazz dinners and spa treatments for the family and children accompanying a businessperson. In fact, the demand for leisure during a work trip has increased so much so that hotels ask corporate visitors in advance about any arrangements that need to be made for families or partners traveling with them. While families have been tagging along on such corporate adventures for quite some time now, it is in recent times that the industry has started catering directly to their needs.
Over the years, work has increasingly started to take greater control of a person’s life. Roughly one in five adults in the United States have a 60 plus hour workweek. The diminishing work-life balance affects an individual adversely, both physically and mentally. The changing norms, however, give us hope for stability and equality in the time a person spends at work and at home. Earlier, it was frowned upon if people tried to integrate their family into their work life, but now, considering the rising working hours, people seek to multitask and find time for their personal lives while at work. It’s reassuring that businesses are more sensitive to their employees’ personal needs and obligations. For instance, the National Council of University Research leased out a moon bounce for its annual meeting in August. Young children who usually get bored during these tedious conferences were able to enjoy themselves, while their dads or moms could focus on work, assured that their child was safe and having fun.
Seeing the hotel industry shift to entertain changing demands is fascinating. No longer will a parent have to worry about their newborn baby back home when going on a business trip — the baby will be nestled in the comfortable crib provided by the hotel they are lodged in for their business trip. There is no doubt that work is an extremely important factor in one’s life, and it is good that the long working hours no longer seem as terrible with one’s family by their side.