You might have recently heard the term, “bleisure travel”. The word bleisure was coined to combine business travel with leisure travel. Bleisure travel is an emerging trend in business travel that extends the business visit and allows employees to spend time exploring or relaxing in the destination city. Bleisure commonly includes taking friends or family along for the business journey, and provides a memorable experience for employees who must travel for business.
When companies incorporate bleisure travel into company policy, employees will feel better about traveling for business. It can be very discouraging for employees who must travel to a business meeting to be left only with memories of the airport, the inside of their transport vehicle, the meeting venue, and their hotel room. Employees who are forced to head to the airport directly after a conference, often feel exhausted and underappreciated. Authorizing employees to take an extra day or two for pleasure allows them to feel rested and cared about. Employees can explore new foods and cultures, along with historical landmarks and monuments, beaches, nature, and many other exciting new things. The needs of the company are met while simultaneously creating memories for the employee. Bleisure travel is mutually beneficial to the employee and the business.
Bleisure travel allows the workforce of the company to be happier, which often results in employees being more productive and satisfied with the company. Adding bleisure travel to the company travel policy improves recruitment of new employees, as well as the ability to retain current employees. Offering this incentive also attracts the best talent to add to your company staff. Compromising between work and play can significantly boost the employee-employer relationship. Another advantage is that employees have an opportunity to take a mini vacation that they may not otherwise have the opportunity to do. Since airfare for business travel is typically covered by the company, the employee experiences reduced costs on their mini vacation. Offering employees some flexibility in the dates they chose to stay beyond the business meeting, can be cost effective, since travel is often booked during off-peak hours. Perhaps the most important advantage bleisure travel has to offer, is an improvement in the well-being and mental health of employees at very little to no cost to the company.
Bleisure travel should be mutually agreed on by the employer and the employee, to include travel dates and the number of extra days the employee is granted for pleasure. Employees feel a sense of empowerment when they are granted the ability to plan and organize elements of their bleisure travel experience. Plan travel dates near a weekend to avoid forcing employees to use precious vacation days while on their bleisure trip. Encourage employees to explore the city and other unique areas of their destination. If a group of employees are traveling together, encourage them to engage in an activity together, such as visiting entertainment venues, sporting events, or attending other events outside of business. This creates a great team building experience that allows employees time to bond and grow deeper, meaningful relationships. This creates a positive work environment and a more cohesive working team. Encourage solo travelers to take their children or spouse along for the ride at their own expense. Of course, employers cannot be expected to pay for all of the costs associated with bleisure travel, so a mutual agreement and understanding must be established prior to the trip. Establish clear policies for employees to follow, to include costs covered by the business, and specific costs to be covered by the employee.
Incorporating bleisure travel within your company, is beneficial in many ways. Your employees will have accomplished the needs of the company while experiencing a boost in morale. An employee in good spirts is often more productive and happier in their work environment. If you want to prevent your employees from feeling burned out from work, incorporate bleisure travel into your policy today. What are you waiting for?
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