American business travelers1 multi-task more than their global peers, which can trigger a domino effect of creative suppression, according to a first-of-its-kind global survey produced by Marriott Hotels.
Yet, the solution could be just a few deep breaths away –travelers reported that a brief recharge boosted productivity and their best work occurs during disconnected moments.
The survey2 from Marriott Hotels, the hotel brand that aims to create inspiring spaces to help guests reach their full potential, was fielded with 7,500 business travelers3 across nine global markets, including the United States, United Kingdom, Mexico, China, Germany, Australia, Colombia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Key survey findings include:
To-do lists – thought to streamline focus – might actually be counterproductive.
Survey results showed 71% of global respondents said trying to complete everything on their to-do lists actually distracts them from focusing on what is really important, suggesting to-do lists might be holding travelers back instead of propelling them towards success. This proves especially true amongst U.S. respondents, with 77% agreeing with this statement.
Americans are multitasking more than any other country – but across the globe, inspiration and creativity are fleeting.
Nearly 70% of global respondents estimated they spend at least one hour a day multitasking. U.S. respondents were found to be most prone to multitasking; this statistic rose to 80% for them, only 1% said they do not multitask, and 44% said they spend three or more hours per day multitasking. Conversely, Mexican and Chinese respondents were the least prone to multitasking, with just 57% and 56% of them respectively estimating that they do so for at least one hour a day.
While multitasking trends are evidently varied among the countries surveyed, its implications appear to be consistent among travelers everywhere. 83% of global respondents believe that not having time to clear their minds negatively impacts their creativity and 81% believe it negatively impacts their ability to be inspired.
The “lightbulb” moment travelers everywhere crave can be recovered with just 15 minutes of clearing the mind.
By giving into distractions and choosing to multitask, travelers worldwide are taking away time that is otherwise necessary to relax, unwind and open the mind. Travelers are recognizing this problem; over half of global respondents (51%) said that if they had an additional 15 minutes in their day, they would devote it to clearing their minds – significantly higher than those who said they would use it to check/send emails (32%), or even spend time with friends and family (46%).
What’s more, 40% of the global travelers surveyed think the amount of time they need to relax and get into the right mindset to be creative is 15-30 minutes, showing that even just a short moment of pause can have a positive impact on both personal and professional performance.
When travelers do give themselves the headspace to think – the benefits are obvious.
The survey clearly showed the benefits of getting into this clear mind state.
· 80% of global respondents agreed inspiration often comes from a moment of pause
· 62% said taking time to relax and clear the mind resulted in finding clarity on a problem
· 50% of respondents said a clear mind allows them to set new goals
· 84% of respondents believe they are most productive when they take a moment of pause during the day to relax and recharge
Despite these obvious benefits though, 70% of global travelers surveyed say on most days they find it difficult to relax and clear their minds, and 74% say their daily routine leaves them very little time to relax and reflect.
“Marriott Hotels knows our guests are motivated, busy individuals, and that they produce their best work when they can open their minds to inspiration,” said Julius Robinson, Senior Vice President, Classic Premium Brands, Marriott International. “Our survey results reinforce this insight by highlighting the importance of disconnecting from our daily distractions and to-do lists – even for just a short period of time – in order to reach that ideal frame of mind and create space to think. At Marriott Hotels we have created an environment where they feel free to do that through engaging spaces, amenities on-property, and inspiring partners like TED and Manchester United.”
A Pivotal Point in the Transformation Journey
The survey findings come six years after Marriott Hotels began its worldwide property transformation and when the brand has reached a pivotal point in North America, with 60% of the region’s properties reimagined for tomorrow’s modern traveler – including most recently, the 1,500-room San Francisco Marriott Marquis. Features of the new design for the brand include locally-inspired accents, open closets and a flexible work surface that allows guests to freely move and use technology however they desire. Part of this transformation also includes a first-of-its-kind partnership with TED – bringing TED events to Marriott Hotel properties around the world, as well as specially-curated in-room content for guests to enjoy from the comfort of their room. The brand’s newest advertising campaign, “Let Your Mind Travel,” celebrates this milestone in the transformation journey, as well as the brand’s ethos around creating inspiring spaces that help foster innovative thinking and allow guests to reach their full creative potential. First introduced in September, the campaign is running via out of home, connected television, and across social and digital platforms.
*Additional background on the study: 7,588 respondents ages 25-54 from the United States, Australia, China, Colombia, Germany, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and United Kingdom, all of whom have taken three or more trips for business requiring an overnight hotel stay in the past year as well as one or more leisure trips requiring an overnight hotel stay in the past year. Respondents were 53% male, 47% female.
 Those who chose ‘U.S.’ to the question ‘What country / region do you currently reside in’?
 Source: 2019 Marriott International global survey of business travelers fielded through Propeller Insights September 24 – October 20, 2019
 Have taken three or more trips for business requiring an overnight hotel stay in the past year as well as one or more leisure trips requiring an overnight hotel stay in the past year.