While it’s no longer the buzzword it once was, the bleisure travel trend isn’t going anywhere in 2020.
Now considered a key strategy to achieve balance in the lives of frequent business travellers, adding leisure days to top and tail a corporate trip has been shown to significantly reduce the negative effect of travelling for business.
While the busy schedule, jet lag and time spent in the air are well known down sides of frequent travel, especially when travelling overseas, the real impact often comes from leaving partners and children behind and missing out on celebrations and events with family and friends.
Studies have shown that travellers whose employers support bleisure activities, offering days in lieu for time spent travelling, weekend travel or just to say thank you for putting in the hard yards, are generally happier at work, happier at home – and more likely to stay put.
Unsurprisingly, employees who are occasionally able to bring a family member for a few days before or after their work commitments often have a much more positive view of business travel – a benefit we should not underestimate in terms of its impact on long-term morale and productivity.
In 2020 we predict more than 50% of business trips will incorporate a bleisure element – a percentage that is destined for growth as a new breed of employees enter the workforce – those who have grown up prioritising work/life balance.
Whilst the benefits of bleisure travel appear evident, there is the potential for muddy waters, especially for those managing bookings, monitoring expenses and writing travel policies. It’s important to consider issues such as duty of care, and how it applies during your employee’s bleisure time, as well as any approvals process for bleisure days – and the risk of the chosen destination and activities.
Mitigating risk and keeping employees safe should always be at the forefront of any decisions. Whatever policy approach you take – who pays for meals, transport, accommodation and how is spending accounted for – it’s imperative you communicate it clearly to your employees – before they book or undertake a bleisure trip.