Traveling for work is a necessity for many corporate jobs. According to one survey, 60% of business travelers are away from home 10 or more days per year. As many as 20% are away for 60 or more days per year. This has a significant impact on the morale and well-being of valuable team players.
Additionally, lines between work and leisure during business trips are blurring. For example, it’s common for colleagues to get together during the evening hours of a business trip. This is a great opportunity for team building between co-workers, even though it isn’t technically work time. Employees also spend time outside of traditional work hours during business trips networking with clients. This is great for strengthening relationships with key accounts.
While traveling for business is fun for some employees, it can lead to burn out for others. As a result, many corporate travelers are combining business trips with leisure time. This has created a new trend and buzzword — “bleisure.”
Recent studies indicate that two-thirds of travelers found it important to extend their business trips by adding leisure activities. As of 2016, most companies did not have a formal bleisure policy but many are jumping on the trend to incentivize employees and save money on corporate travel. Additionally, many corporate travel agencies are starting to incorporate leisure options to accommodate the growing interest.
Here are some of the benefits companies gain by adding bleisure time to their corporate travel programs.
Bleisure is Good for Employees
Some employees consider business travel an inconvenience and so to make the best of the situation, they add leisure days to their trips and use the time to explore destinations before returning home. They use this time for sightseeing, dining at local restaurants, and learning about the local culture.
Younger employees place an especially high value on enjoying leisure experiences while traveling for work. Adding leisure days to business travel adds value to their work assignments and expands their cultural knowledge.
For other employees, leisure time during a business trip helps them reduce stress and recover from jet lag. This, in turn, helps them be more productive for their company and effective with clients while away from the office.
Bleisure is a Good Employee Incentive
Some employees enjoy being sent to prime locations like New York or San Francisco for work assignments. Adding on some bleisure time in destinations like these could be a strong incentive to retain key team members or recruit new ones.
Bleisure time could be made available to a highly valuable or high performing employee as extra days in a business trip. When your employees know that they can look forward to some free time during a business trip they will be more likely to keep their focus on achieving your priorities. This is also the case if your corporate travel policy permits them to bring a family member on their bleisure trip.
Bleisure is Good for Business
Extending the duration of a business trip can also help your company save money. For example, your employee can avoid booking travel during peak times and find reduced fares by adding some bleisure days to their itinerary and staying in town for the whole week. This will reduce the amount of money your company must spend on airfare. If you’re working with a corporate travel agency, you can also leverage negotiated rates at hotels to extend the business trip at the same property.
Whether you’re considering adding bleisure to your corporate travel program for employee well-being or as an incentive to keep them on the team, it’s important to develop a formal policy on bleisure. Clear guidelines will help employees use this incentive appropriately and help companies maximize opportunities for savings and employee retention.
Teplis Travel helps companies get the most out of their corporate travel program through advanced mobile technology and the lowest fares in the market. Contact us or call (800) 669-6547 today to find out how we can do the same for your company.