Business Travel Trends For 2017

In a four-part series written by Jenny Southan in BusinessTraveller.com, some of the key business travel trends for the year ahead are discussed.

Digital Wallets

In 2015, Worldpay predicted that credit and debit card payments would drop from two thirds of all transactions to half by 2019. Taking their place are mobile transactions – according to the firm’s research, US$647 billion of global consumer payments to businesses will be made via e-wallets in 2019, compared with US$412 billion from debit cards and US$577 billion by credit cards.

Kickstarting the move from plastic to digital was Paypal, which launched in the early noughties – by 2015 it was valued at more than US$50 billion. Since then, mobile wallets from Apple Pay (2014) and Google Android Pay (2015) have both entered the market. In China there is Alipay and in Russia, Yandex. In autumn 2016, JP Morgan Chase created Chase Pay, and in 2017 Samsung Pay will finally be launching in the UK (it was supposed to arrive in 2016).

Apple Pay receives a million new users a week and, by July 2016, accounted for three quarters of contactless payments in the US. These mobile wallets mean you can pay for your lunch in an airport or your Tube fare on London Underground simply by touching your smartphone or smartwatch on an NFC sensor. Cash and cards are becoming anachronisms; the future promises more secure and convenient transactions supported by biometrics.

In November, Qatar Airways announced it was integrating Apple Pay for the purchasing of flights through its mobile app – all you need to do is scan your fingerprint (Touch ID) or enter your passcode, doing away with long-winded credit card numbers and expiry dates. You can also use your digital wallet to store boarding passes and loyalty cards. JetBlue and Emirates were the first airlines to partner with Apple Pay; other travel companies that have now come on board include Airbnb, British Airways, Delta, Easyjet Expedia, Marriott and Uber.

Chat Bots

2017 is the year that chat bots take off. Powered by artificial intelligence, cyber helpers are popping up on websites across the travel industry – from Radisson Edwardian Blu’s concierge “Edward” to Lufthansa’s “Mildred”, who will help you find the cheapest flight. Most customers ask the same kinds of questions when they want to manage a trip, book a hotel stay or make a complaint, so why make a human sit all day giving the same replies?

Chat bots interact in written form via instant messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger. They are rather like Apple’s virtual assistant Siri, which is voice activated, but are programmed to deal with specific tasks in the style of a human conversation. KLM’s will tell you when it’s time to check in, ping you a boarding pass and change your seat if you ask nicely.

Can bots be trusted? The tech isn’t perfect yet. Marriott’s first chat bot, which launched in March 2016, was killed after it started private messaging people through Facebook and asking if they wanted to book a hotel. It has since been disciplined and given a job in the Marriott Rewards department. Natural language processing (NLP) is just the beginning of a new form of relationship between man and machine. To add that extra level of reality, chat bots can even send emojis, and for global communication, instant translation is being built in. Other companies employing chat bots include Aeromexico, Booking.com, British Airways, Expedia, Hyatt Hotels, Icelandair and Skyscanner.

Geopolitical Uncertainty

We are talking about Brexit and Trump. We are talking about a “post-truth” world in which we are living in an echo chamber of fake news and algorithms that feed us what we already believe (watch Adam Curtis’s documentary Hypernormalisation if you haven’t already). The people wanted “change” and now they have it. Of course, hardly a year goes by without geopolitical uncertainty of some kind rocking our fragile planet, but 2017 looks to be particularly unpredictable.

With Donald Trump now “President of the Divided States of America”, as Time magazine described him, Britain edging closer to leaving the European Union, and the rise of the Far Right in Europe, we have been plunged into a deeply uncomfortable situation that no one knows the outcome of. China has branded Trump a “Diplomatic rookie”, Putin says he is “a clever man”, while Nigel Farage just grins. Upon entering the Oval Office in January, surrounded by a hand-picked team of ultra-wealthy cronies, Trump will be privy to the US’s nuclear weapons codes. Fossil fuels, The Wall, a possible renege on deals with Iran and Cuba, the sinking of the Asia-Pacific trade pact, the upscaling of Guantanamo and the end of Obama Care are all on the menu.

The Atlantic wrote: “The picture that emerges is of a commander-in-chief untethered from the orthodoxies of the post-World War II, US-constructed liberal international order, suggesting the potential for one of the most disruptive presidencies in modern history.” Exchange rates and markets have undoubtedly taken a hit, but when it comes to travel, most people want (and need) to try and carry on as normal. Some travellers are taking a stand against Trump, however – with occupancy rates sliding, new entrants to the Trump hotel empire are being rebranded “Scion”.

It seems paradoxical to be part of an advanced, globalised economy, benefiting from ever-expanding air, communication and trade links, while at the same time, racism, xenophobia and nationalism are becoming dominant forces of opposition. The on-going war in Syria, the oft-unreported refugee crisis and silent threat of terrorism endures. Our interconnected planet has great fractures to contend with, between countries and between people.

The Global Business Travel Forecast 2017 by American Express Global Business Travel predicts subdued growth and only moderate price increases across air, hotel and ground transport, indicating a higher level of uncertainty. The continued slowdown of the Chinese economy, terrorism and depressed oil prices are also contributing factors.

According to PwC, despite the volatile state of the pound, maintaining spending on holidays in 2017 is a priority for British consumers. Equally, a poll on businesstraveller.com showed that 42 per cent of readers expected to travel more this year than in 2016 (38 per cent said it would be about the same, while 20 per cent said less).

The European Hotelier Pulse-Check survey from Choice Hotels, the 104 hoteliers questioned said they were not overly concerned about the UK leaving the EU, with 65 per cent claiming that it will likely have no impact on their business, and only 19 per cent believing it might have a negative impact.

In October, Ian Stewart, chief economist at Deloitte, said: “In contrast to the business community, UK consumers have put Brexit fears to one side. [However] London’s consumers are less upbeat than the rest of the UK. The Brexit vote may be weighing on a region in which 60 per cent of the population voted to Remain and where reliance on financial services, migration and capital flows are especially strong.”

Team Travel

Based on data from an annual survey by MeetingsNet and the Incentive Research Foundation, the IBTM Trends Watch Report 2016 predicts that 2017 will see a “continuing rally in demand for incentive travel”, with budgets expanding and incentive programmes growing for groups of employees. In 2008, per-person spending on incentive travel was US$3,659 but the global financial crisis saw this reduced to US$2,397 by 2014. There was a turnaround in 2015, with figures moving in an upward direction. Last year (2016), it was back up to US$3,165.

Meetings are also on the rise, although European firms are being careful about how much is being spent. They are also shortening travel time and combining multiple meetings into one event. Belgium, France and Germany are the most popular destinations for international association meetings, while the US (first place), South Korea (second place) and Singapore (third place) are the most popular globally.

Caring Capitalism

Over the last year we have seen the arrival of travel start-ups with a conscience, and this trend is one that will gain momentum in 2017, as travellers take a greater interest in the wider impact their spending will have. Concept airline POP (People over Profit) hit the headlines in 2016 with its crowdfunding campaign to kickstart flights between the UK and Indian cities of Amritsar and Ahmedabad this year. If successful, profits from the carrier will be distributed between various charities.

The nonprofit Green Rooms hotel opened in London’s Wood Green in June, with artists, designers and actors given priority when it comes to booking its stylish yet affordable (from £45 a night) rooms. The UK’s first arts-led social enterprise hotel will also have an artist-in-residence programme and incubator for emerging restaurateurs. It was set up by Nick Hartwright, who also runs the Mill Co Project in East London, a social enterprise that provides affordable co-working space for the creative community.

A former floating prison from the Netherlands took up a new mooring in Royal Victoria Docks, near London City airport, in September 2016. All profits from the luxurious new Good Hotel will be reinvested in training schemes for unemployed locals. Using this business model as a template, founder Marten Dresden intends to open eight new properties by 2020, and create a new standard for social enterprise.

Ethical luggage brand Saint Luke donates US$20 from the sale of every bag to providing safe drinking water to people in Nepal, while Mazi Mas is a “roaming restaurant” and caterer in London that gives jobs to female migrants and refugees.

Over in New York, 11 Howard is another example of “conscious hospitality”. A hotel and “community hub”, it supports emerging business and charitable organisations – for example, a percentage of revenue from every reservation going to the Global Poverty Project. It has also partnered with Conscious Commerce to make sure all the goods stocked in the hotel are ethical, while Thrive Market provides healthy snacks for the minibars.

Vacation Deprivation

Expedia’s annual Vacation Deprivation study showed that one in five British people didn’t take their full holiday allowance in 2016. (The global average saw 20 out of 25 days taken.) The survey quizzed more than 9,400 people from 28 countries, including Denmark, Australia, Canada and the US. The UK was ranked 12th in terms of work-life balance, while Germany came top, with employees spending 33 per cent of their time on holiday, while South Korea came out worst, with people dedicating 92 per cent of their time to the office.

Overall, 50 per cent of people feel “vacation deprived”. Frequent flyers are, of course, more often combining holiday with work trips abroad, but the problem is you never truly relax.

Co-Living

This is the trend you will dismiss as ridiculous, much like you did when you first heard about renting people’s apartments through Airbnb. Now, of course, sharing economy revenues are expect to exceed US$20 billion a year by 2020 (according to Juniper Research). The idea is a cross between co-working spaces and house rentals –with flatmates.

For the longer-stay business traveller or expat, a co-living set up can give them the opportunity to be in a stimulating environment alongside like-minded people. Working is central to the experience but so is sharing an evening meal or hosting a party. They are rather like modern communes for professionals or “adult dorms” – but in many cases you can check in for just a week, and for much less money than a hotel.

PureHouse (purehouse.org), for example, provides “extended-stay housing in communal living spaces with incubator spaces that support entrepreneurs, digital nomads, artists and designers”. It defines itself as “an intentional way of living for those committed to transforming their lives”. So far it has a co-housing in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, but is looking to expand.

OpenDoor (opendoor.io) has properties including the 16-room Farmhouse in Berkeley, California, with vegetable gardens, chickens and music nights; and Oakland’s Euclid Manor, which opened in February 2016 and can have up to 16 residents. It says: “The real estate industry is out of touch with deeper needs, values and aspirations of modern urban dwellers.  We are reimagining home for the collaborative age – building a network of spaces for living with connection, creativity and purpose.”

San Francisco’s Coliving Club (coliving.club) enables you to “live in a startup house” alongside other IT developers. So far it has six locations in the city but will also be setting up in LA and New York. Free perks at every hub include coffee, events and laundry. The houses are well-equipped, smart and stylish, with neat bedrooms and generous hangout areas.

In London, the Collective (thecollective.co.uk) has launched the largest co-living site of its kind in UK capital, accommodating more than 500 people. Its Old Oak Common flagship in NW10 has rooms, studios and flats from £220 per week (although tenancy is a minimum of nine months) that provide access to lounges, a gym, cinema, spa, restaurant, themed dining rooms, kitchens, a secret garden and roof terrace, library, games room, offices and hot desks.

There are no bills or deposits, there are 24/7 community managers and apartments are cleaned twice a month. There are yoga classes, barbecues and talks – it’s a bit like a university campus. The Collective also has serviced houses in five other locations including Hyde Park and King’s Cross.

Become a member of Roam (roam.co) and you can stay in its co-living centres in Bali, Miami, Madrid and London (its Sloane Square site opened at the end of last year). Tokyo and San Francisco are coming soon. Defining itself as “an experimental co-coliving and co-working community testing the boundaries between work, travel and life adventure”, Roam sells one-week leases for US$500 or US$1,800 a month.

All bedrooms come with en suite bathrooms, and interior furnishings by Tuft and Needle, and Parachute. Roam claims that team members who are allowed to work remotely for a period of time report an increased sense of job satisfaction, morale and are generally three times more creative when approaching projects. The experience can also foster valuable relationships between colleagues or new acquaintances.

Co-living is, of course, very much connected to the remote working trend – Sabbatical (sabbatical.io) launched its first location in Puerto Rico in summer 2016. Offering week-by-week leases (US$950 for non-members or US$500 for members), you can get a furnished room, super-fast internet, conference rooms and shared amenities in an exotic destination. In 2017 it will open in Mexico City and Kotor in Montenegro.

Since May 2016, Commonspace (commonspace.io) delivers “a new way of living, working and making human connections” at its address on East Jefferson Street in Syracuse, NYC. Rent starts from US$850 a month (with a one-year lease, although you can rent for one month-only but it will cost more). Features include a bike sharing programme, a dedicated Slack channel and three en suite apartment types with kitchenettes.

For younger travellers on a budget, there are trendy bunk beds to rent at PodShare (podshare.co) across Los Angeles. Describing itself as a “social network with a physical address”, it has hotspots in Hollywood, Los Feliz and the DTLA Arts District, with pods from US$40 a night and coworking spaces for US$15 a day. “The future is access not ownership” it says, and is ideally suited to travellers, “transitioners”, who don’t have friends in the city to crash with, and “temps”, who might be working as a production assistant or at a film festival for the summer. Every base has showers, lockers, laundry, wifi and community kitchens.

Over in Europe, Zoku (livezoku.com) in Amsterdam is pitched at “mobile professionals” who need a “home/office hybrid”. Cleverly designed Lofts have flexible interiors – for example, a set of steps leading to a mezzanine bed will slide into the wall to make space for a living area and access to built-in drawers. There are pull-up rings for getting fit, a place to cook food and a table to eat a meal while working on a presentation. There are also social spaces for networking, a 24-hour shop, meeting rooms, an on-site café (stay more than a month and you get a 20 per cent discount on food), and a rooftop garden with greenhouse for growing herbs and vegetables.

Debuted in 2016, co-working giant WeWork (now valued at more than US$16 billion) is now beta testing stylish co-living spaces on Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, as well as Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia. By 2018 it is predicted that its new WeLive (welive.com) brand will be generating over US$600 million a year, with revenue from people staying from one night to one month at a time. Private studios start from US$200 a night and come with fold-out Murphy beds, sheets, flatscreen TVs, AirPlay speaker systems, wardrobes, fridge/freezers, glassware, cutlery, plates, pots and pans.

WeLive says it is built upon “the fundamental belief that we are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with”. It says: “From mailrooms and laundry rooms that double as bars and event spaces to communal kitchens, roof decks, and hot tubs, WeLive challenges traditional apartment living through physical spaces that foster meaningful relationships. Life is better when we are part of something greater than ourselves.”

Membership will cover fully furnished accommodation, fresh linens, housekeeping, in-room tech, monthly cable and high-speed wifi, access to common areas such as a chef’s kitchen, arcade and yoga studio, as well as “all the coffee, tea and beer you can drink”. It does not, however, provide roommate-matching services.

Proving co-living has mainstream potential, serviced apartment company the Ascott is launching a dedicate brand called Lyf (pronounced “life”). It will be aimed at people in their 20s and 30s, an age bracket that is expected to account for more than half the workforce by 2020, and which is predicted to spend US$200 billion annually on travel. By 2020, it intends to have 10,000 Lyf co-living units in a range of layouts – studios, twins and business suites with video-conferencing and hammocks. Communal spaces will offer Foosball tables, giant ball pits and cooking classes.

Lee Chee Koon, Ascott’s chief executive officer, said: “Millennials already form a quarter of Ascott’s customers and this segment is poised to grow exponentially. Lyf is a unique accommodation tailored for this demographic, including technopreneurs, start-ups and individuals from music, media and fashion. Lyf will provide global jetsetters and trendsetters with the opportunity to ‘Live Your Freedom’ in a dynamic environment and network with like-minded creatives.”

Lee added: “Lyf marks another milestone in Ascott’s innovation journey to design products and experiences for the future of travel. We are on the lookout for sites in key gateway cities for Lyf and we are open to both investment and management contracts to meet the growing demand for such co-living spaces – including Australia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the UK.”

Designer Room Service

Packing a tuxedo or having to buy a new dress for a last-minute trip can be stressful, as can cramming in clothes for unpredictable climates when you need to travel light. Some hotels are trying to address this pain point by offering designer fashion delivered to your room, so you can pick and choose the clothes you need on arrival. The W London Leicester Square introduced its “Walk Out Wardrobe” concept in partnership with online rental site GirlMeetsDress.com in summer 2015. Guests staying in suites can either order specific items in advance or call down to have a rail of outfits brought to their room free of charge (other travellers pay from £29 for hire).

Meanwhile, the five-star Berkeley hotel has collaborated with online fashion resale site Vestiare Collective, which has curated a selection of vintage accessories to borrow or buy. The bespoke Fashion Trunk is stocked with everything from Hermes scarfs to Chanel clutches and is free for those staying in Chelsea, Berkeley and Terrace suites. Guests staying in the last type of suite, which was recently revamped, will also find Burberry macs in their closet. Over in Chicago, the new Virgin hotel will collect clothes you order from Gap from in-room iPads and leave them in your wardrobe.

In December 2016, the Intercontinental London Park Lane teamed up with Harvey Nichols to provide a fashion styling service, with pieces from the store delivered directly to them. Oscar Fernandez, head concierge at the property says: “Many of our guests travel a great deal and might be on a multi-destination trip with several planned events, as well as those that pop-up last minute. The Style Service can dress for the day of an event or we can arrange shipping to the next location. There are also times when guests just don’t have time to go shopping and this service means they will never leave without the latest pieces.”

Voice Activation

Part of a growing trend for the Internet of Things, voice recognition has been easing its way into our lives for a few years, with built-in virtual smartphone assistants such as Apple’s Siri. In 2016, Amazon launched a voice-activated home speaker, the Echo, which answers questions, reads audio books and plays music on command. Google is making great strides in this area too, promising instant translation in more than 80 languages through its Google Cloud Speech API, as well as improvements to its voice search and typing capabilities already in action.

Last year (2016), the world’s first voice-activated hotel rooms were unveiled at Starwood’s Aloft hotels in Boston and Santa Clara. A simple “Goodnight” will turn out the lights, while “Good morning” will switch them back on. The room temperature and speakers can also be controlled by Siri via an iPad provided.

This is the first stage in “Project Jetson”, with later developments seeing an entire voice-activated hotel that will use “triggers” to react to your personal preferences and routines. Instead of using a tablet provided by the hotel, there will be an app to download to your phone. Clarion Hotels in Amsterdam ran a similar trial in August 2016 using Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa. This one also allowed guests to book a taxi and set a wake-up alarm.

Hyper-personalisation

A survey of 2,000 people in summer 2016 by global travel technology company Sabre found that many UK consumers are now content to share their personal information in return for more bespoke service, with 25 per cent agreeing to share their location with travel companies, and 33 per cent their travel history.

A new feature in the December 2016 update of Uber’s app means trace data from your journeys is collected and stored, which enables it to learn from your routines and predict where you will want to go next. Google launched its free Trips app in September 2016, which is designed to trawl your Gmail account for flight and hotel bookings, store your reservations and propose itineraries.

Lennert De Jong, chief commercial officer for Citizen M Hotels, said: “In the hotel industry, there is a real opportunity to use information from guests to create valuable and seamless experiences for them when they return. For example, you set your room to 18 degrees when you stay at Citizen M; why would we, on your next check-in, give you a room that is 24 degrees?” He added: “Travellers are likely to experience more of this seamless personalisation from their hotels within the near future.”

Skyscanner’s director of hotels Nik Gupta agrees: “[By 2024], advances in digital technology will mean that travellers will have no need to encounter a single human being from the time that they enter their chosen hotel to the time that they check out of their room. The fight back against peer-to-peer travel will see hotels empower their guests with incredible levels of hyper-personalisation through their mobile devices to provide the unique experiences they want.”

Skyscanner also predicts that hotel software will link with guests’ social media profiles so that when they book a particular room, everything is set specifically for them. Some hotels are already looking up VIP guests online and anticipating what they might appreciate when they get there.

For example, Elle magazine’s beauty editor recently arrived at the W St Petersburg to find they had discovered her love of cats, shoes and the tag line of her own range of scented candles “Knit one, Burn one”, and cut the slogan out of knit-print paper and laid it on her bed. She posted a picture of it on Instagram. Some people said “So sweet” and “Now that’s service”, while others commented, “Creepy” and “That’s insane!”

Luxury hotels such as Four Seasons now store information on whether you prefer staying on a high floor or low floor, whether you have any dietary preferences, what newspaper you read, whether you like red wine or white wine better, sweet or savoury. Like all top hotels, staff will go out of their way to remember your name, as well as relevant facts about who you are and why you are in town so they can converse with you.

A spokersperson for the Four Seasons Toronto says: “Personalising the guest stay is a key component to creating a memorable experience. When any guest is booking their room, they are asked a series a questions including the purpose of their visit. This helps us determine minor, yet very significant details about them so that we may create small gestures of customised recognition. For example, if we know a guest is on a business trip but has a very late arrival, then we make sure his or her room is prepared for bedtime right away, and we have an opportunity to leave a tea amenity to aid in sleep or even an energy bar for the next morning.”

The Hilton HHonors app can be used to check in, access your room with a “digital key” instead of the plastic one they give you in reception, and even select your room, just like choosing a seat on a plane (this is an industry first for Hilton). A recent partnership with Google Maps means you can now see which locations face which streets. You can also message the front desk, make restaurant reservations or request champagne on arrival.

Hilton says the digital key is compatible with about 700 hotels so far but will continued to be rolled out across all its hotels and brands. “As of December 2016, the digital key allows you to pin your favourite room so that the next time you stay at the hotel you will have a little love heart on the floor,” says Geraldine Calpin, chief marketing officer at Hilton. Your smartphone will also function as a remote control – when you approach your door, it automatically opens.

Calpin also highlights Hilton’s personalised “dynamic emails”. She says: “Every time you open one the count-down timer will be on, so that if you open an email from us today and then again tomorrow the content might be different. It’s live. The offers will always be accurate and current.”

Starwood unveiled SPG Keyless for smartphones in 2014 – the technology has now been adopted by Marriott (with which it merged in late 2016), and is being tested by IHG and Hyatt. Alyssa Waxenberg, vice-president of mobile at Starwood Hotels and Resorts, said: “SPG Keyless is literally opening doors for SPG members. It is also transformative for Starwood’s hotel associates, allowing them to better-engage with guests. Rather than the first interaction being the swipe of a credit card, hotel associates can now focus on ways to better-personalise guests’ stays.”

When it comes to airlines, every aspect of personalisation comes at a fee, at least for the “economy class VIP”. Sabre’s 2016 survey found that, on average, British consumers are willing to spend £61 on added extras such as preferred seating, enhanced meals and fast-track security. Although a third of respondents said they wouldn’t be prepared to pay anything on air travel extras, 33 per cent said they would pay up to £50, while 18 per cent said they would spend up to £100, and 15 per cent over £101. Premium passengers, of course, are used to crew knowing who they are, and for booking systems to remember their preferences. Big data will continue to play a huge part in this.

Dr James Canton from leading think tank the Institute for Global Futures, says: “The future of travel is really exciting, as we’ll see predictive travel analytics anticipating what consumers want from their experience before booking. The hotel booking itself will be helped along by artificial intelligence software agents, using data mining and intuitive computing. The new travel design science will help create highly personalised in-stay experiences.”

Buy-On-Board

As we reported in our feature “Snack attack”, published in the Dec-Jan issue of Business Traveller, an increasing number of legacy airlines are starting to charge for onboard catering. Following the example of low-cost carriers such as Ryanair and Easyjet, many “full service” airlines have started unbundling fairs to generate profit through ancillary revenue by charging for the “freedom to choose” where you want to sit, how much luggage you want to take and whether you want extra legroom, for example.

US airlines have been offering buy-on-board menus on shorter flights for years – cookies, mini pretzels and soft drinks are free on American Airlines flights over 250 miles, but if you want something more substantial (or alcoholic) you have to pay for it. On United, flights over two hours allow for the purchase of snack boxes, while people on flights of more than 3.5 hours or longer can buy “hot scrambles” and salads from the Bistro on Board for about US$9.

In January 2017, British Airways is scrapping its short-haul meal service in favour of paid-for sandwiches, nuts and Percy Pig sweets (all under £5) from M&S on Euro Traveller and UK domestic flights in and out of London Heathrow (Gatwick and Stansted by this summer). A poll on businesstraveller.com showed that 55 per cent of readers felt not including food and drink in the ticket price was wrong but we can expect more airlines to take similar steps in the near future.

Positive Psychology

The business traveller is at greater risk than most of stress, fatigue, depression and burnout as they traverse the globe, often sacrificing relationships and their health. A 2016 booking.com survey of 4,555 frequent flyers in found that 93 per cent of them were wrung-out out by business travel. The top causes of anxiety were missing a flight, language barriers and the possibility of losing luggage. Over the last few years, mindfulness, meditation and digital detox have become buzz words among corporates trying to rebalance themselves.

In 2017, positive psychology will be a likely replacement. A relatively new sub-genre of academic study, it’s essentially the science of happiness. Why do the simple things in life make us happy? Why do relationships make us happier than a promotion or pay rise (as discovered by the London School of Economics in a survey published at the end of 2016)? Why do I feel empty when I am surrounded by luxury?

Gaining an understanding of our own mental health can help us make better life choices, and prioritise what is really important. Thinking positively can even improve your health and stave off illness – a study of 70,000 women in the American Journal of Epidemiology last year found that optimists were less likely to get fatal cancer, heart disease, lung conditions and stroke in retirement. Similar findings have been found for men.

Source: https://www.businesstraveller.com/, December 2016

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