Because it’s one of the most extensive and disruptive shifts in lifestyle trends and, therefore, holds the most potential for impact on business today. The separation of how, when and where people live, work, and play is blurring. In many cases it is disappearing altogether, as people fuse the three aspects of life. Companies need to understand this and dig deep to create products, services, spaces, and experiences that meet this new reality. Who knew the changes that COVID-19 would accelerate.
“Home” has a much broader definition these days. For many, it’s more than one place including city condos, cottages and camps, time-shares, RVs, or boats. And while houses were traditionally inhabited by parents and children, today’s homes house empty nesters, soloists, or inter-generational, extended, or blended families. And don’t forget pets – important family members, too! Families have changed, and so must our living environments. Increasingly, homes are being shared via services such as AirBnB, which is yet another reason to rethink what products and services are available today.
The profile and priorities of today’s workforce have drastically transformed. Workplaces are now filled with people ranging in age from 20- to 70-something, each with unique perspectives on how to work and communicate successfully. Thanks to technology, people can work from virtually anywhere, anytime. Millions of home-based businesses start up each year. And the notion of retirement certainly has a new face. People work longer but do differently. Bottom line, work looks different. Our products and services must, too.
Leisure is now often driven by the desire to disconnect, and its value is measured by time—life’s new currency. Rejuvenation is an hour-long massage. Relaxation is slow food in a restaurant instead of takeout at home. Vacation is a day of pleasure tagged onto a business trip or an adventure trip spent white water rafting down the Colorado River or hiking Machu Picchu. People play in different ways, but what they share in common is placing an increasing importance on it. We must create experiences that encourage leisure and make it possible.