While the term bleisure - a portmanteau of the words business and leisure - may seem like an oxymoron, it’s proving to be surprisingly popular with many employees. Bleisure travel allows work trips to be extended to include downtime in a destination or for family and friends to be invited to join the individual who’s travelling for work.
As the lines between work and life become more blurred as a result of advances in technology and increased working from home, travel is joining the trend. Research from Statista shows that 29% of business travellers are more interested in combining a work trip with leisure activities than they were prior to the pandemic.
Benefits of bleisure travel
Encouraging bleisure travel within your organization can have a number of benefits for both employees and management.
1. Improved employee retention
Facilitating bleisure travel can be a good way to improve staff retention in companies where business trips are common. Traditionally, travelling frequently for work can take its toll on individuals and even see talent leave an organization as they age and become drained by the lifestyle.
Incorporating leisure time into a long-distance business trip is seen as a way of maximizing the benefits of the time it takes to get to a destination. Instead of feeling harassed flying from one place to another, staff who can take a few days to recover before returning home or travelling onto the next work location are less likely to experience burnout.
2. Better work/life balance
Employees who are required to spend a lot of time away from home for work purposes can feel resentful as they miss out on experiences with their families. Flying loved ones out after a conference for a few days can help to strike the right balance between business and other responsibilities, while prioritizing shared experiences.
Travel planners should select hotels that work for both purposes, with fast Wi-Fi and co-working spaces, as well as family facilities. That way employees can seamlessly combine their work commitments with the leisure side of their trip to get the most out of what may be a relatively short amount of time.
3. Cultural ties
Company representatives who spend more time in a destination outside of a meeting room or conference center will have a better understanding of the culture they’re doing business in. Not only does this make them better at navigating customs, but it can strengthen relationships with clients in diverse regions.
Adding context to business dealings allows employees to interpret the market more effectively and feel confident in presenting new ideas or products to partners and clients. Helicoptering in for a meeting shows less dedication to a market than spending a few days or a week exploring the surrounding area.
4. Efficient use of resources
Using fewer vacation days and getting away at a lower cost are definite bonuses for staff, but they’re also beneficial for the environment. Cutting down on separate flights for work and leisure time makes the most of unavoidable carbon emissions.
With 65% of workers stating they’d be more likely to sign with a company that has robust environmental policies, it’s important organizations are open to new ways of cutting down on unnecessary journeys. Bleisure travel is a good way to do this without costing the business any more money.
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