Bleisure Travel: The New Key to Employee Engagement | for Business

Research suggests that 30% of employees would accept a lower paying position if it meant travelling more for work – proving that business travel is a highly valued perk of the job. It’s safe to assume that this trend is in part linked to the rise of the ‘bleisure’ trip, where travelling workers mix business assignments with time to explore new places and other cultures – essentially combining business and leisure travel into one trip.

Say goodbye to the work ‘jolly’

Far from employees simply taking any opportunity to get out of the office and away from the responsibilities of their job, modern business travel is a win-win for employers. By adding a leisure element to a business trip, workers are more likely to gain satisfaction from the experience – both professionally and personally.

Those who undertake bleisure trips will probably be happier as a result, which should result in a more productive mindset, higher job satisfaction and greater success in their role.

Retaining the millennial demographic

Millennials have been found most likely to take advantage of bleisure trips. Whether this is because they typically have less disposable income than older colleagues to spend on holidays or lack the responsibilities that come with having a family, it’s clear the bleisure trip is key to retaining this elusive demographic.

Millennials are stereotyped as flighty and less loyal than older generations; their heads can be turned more easily if exciting opportunities become available elsewhere, but if their current employer appears willing to invest in far-flung bleisure excursions, there’s a strong chance they’ll hang around for longer.

Hamstrung by outdated policies

Unfortunately, it seems that many businesses are yet to realise the full potential of bleisure. The top two reasons business travellers do not take advantage of bleisure trips are a lack of time or the fact that the company policy doesn’t allow it.

Outdated travel policies usually lack the flexibility and autonomy required for bleisure trips to be successful. To make bleisure work for both the employer and employee, businesses will need to create transparent policies that enable workers to make more of their business travel.

Is it time your business reviewed its policy to encourage bleisure travel?

Bleisure highlights

Before we go, we’ve decided to round up some fascinating statistics relating to bleisure:

Embracing Bleisure

  • 30 percent of employees would accept a lower paying job if it meant more travel
  • Just under half of business travellers (49%) have extended their business trip to a different city or country in the past twelve months

Mobile Millennials

  • While 48% of 18- to 34-year-olds said they had taken a bleisure trip, just 33% of travellers aged 35 to 54 and 23% of over 55 did
  • 78% of millennials intentionally worked personal time into their business trip. Furthermore, 60% of millennials said that vacation time benefits their business by giving them the opportunity to ‘think big picture’ (compared to 49% of boomers)

What’s your policy on bleisure?

  • 58% of employees said they didn’t have enough time for bleisure trips, while another 18% said their employer’s travel policy didn’t allow it
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