What employers need to know about ‘bleisure’

Bleisure is the biggest buzzword in the travel industry. Although it’s been around for a while now and combining business trips with leisure is not new, the trend is set to take off even more.

Bleisure is the biggest buzzword in the travel industry this year. Although it’s been around for a while now and combining business trips with leisure is not new, the trend is set to take off even more in the future. It may come as a surprise that many professionals enjoy business travel - particularly millennials who have fewer responsibilities as they often wait longer to start a family or buy a house. Bleisure travel usually consists of either adding a few extra days onto a trip for personal leisure or exploring the city during free time. The most popular activities include sightseeing, dining and local cultural activities such as museums. As your business travelers may be likely to want days for leisure added onto their trips in the future, we’ve gathered some tips on how to manage this new trend and how to make the most of it.

How popular is ‘bleisure’?

Travel Weekly’s 2016 Consumer Trends Report shows that bleisure travel has been rising steadily. The Bridge Report shows that 83% of people on business trips use their free time to explore the city they are in. The same study shows that 96.9% of travellers believe they ‘gain cultural experience and knowledge by adding leisure days to [their] business travel’ and 73% think it benefits them as an employee. However, just 14% of companies have a clear bleisure travel policy for their employees. Why not help foster a healthy work/life balance and attract talented millennial employees with a clear policy on bleisure travel? As it becomes more mainstream, having clear guidelines will help compliance and build trust. The benefits of having well-rested employees who have had the chance to make the most of their trip will show in productivity. Plus, it’s a great perk to offer, especially if the job involves a lot of heavy travel.

What employers need to know

The first step would be to outline a clear policy, then encourage millennial employees to take a day here or there for a break after a business trip. A Mezi survey found that 74% of business travelers would like to see their company include a small budget for personal entertainment while on business trips. It could be something as small as dinner at a local restaurant, a fitness class or a ticket for museum entry. Keeping track of your business travelers and ensuring they comply with travel policy is very important when the lines between work and free time begin to blur. While developing a bleisure policy, be sure to discuss any limits and restrictions with your travelers and make sure they are fully aware of them. Staying up to date with travelers and their expenses is also important on an extended trip - conichi can help you help your travelers to only expense things covered by the policy and not extras such as, for example, minibar items.The bleisure trend is set to keep growing as the previously clear boundaries between work and personal time shift. The millennial generation has a more global mindset than previous generations so travel is a top priority for them - according to a survey by Booking.com, 30% of employees would opt for a lower paying job that offered more travel. Make sure your company is up to date and ready to accommodate your travelers changing wants and needs!