Not Eager to Go on a Business Trip? How about Bleisure Travel?

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flickr.com/LauraHoffmann

What comes to your mind, when you think about business travel or business trips? If you are a novice in this, I assume you would feel excitement. Business travel may sound like a great opportunity to get out of your daily routine, visit new places, meet with new colleagues and do some sightseeing, all of which at the employer’s expense J. Now, if you are a frequent business traveller already, I would argue that you might rather think about all the downsides of it: airport waiting lines, fast food, long working days and boring evenings in the hotel rooms, which start looking the same irrespective of your whereabouts…

Although the picture I have just depicted may seem a bit too dramatic, the downsides of business travel are inevitable. Yet, as business trips continue to be a common practice in big multinational companies, solutions seem to be emerging. One is called ‘bleisure’, or “bizcation”, or “workcation”, all of which imply the combination of business trips with some personal vacation or leisure time. As noted in Skyscanners’ blog article, according to several field surveys, bleisure is a growing trend among business travellers, and especially millennials. Employees’ motivation is quite obvious I guess, but what’s in it for companies?

A recent Forbes article suggests companies to encourage bleisure trips more, as it brings benefits not only to employees, but also to employers. The main reason to incorporate bleisure into companies’ travel policy is simple: a happy employee is a better employee; a happy employee stays in the company. Hence, we are speaking about motivation, engagement and retention here. Apart from the aforementioned though, extending the duration of a trip can actually help companies to save some money, by avoiding peak time fares and receiving discounted prices for longer stays in hotels.

Seems like a win-win situation? Quite possibly, but only if well managed. I believe we all know how even an ordinary vacation might get messed up because of all the unfinished work stress, right? Well, bleisure may be no different. In order to avoid extra stress and burnout with this seemingly beneficial initiative, I would argue that both company and employee should put some thought and planning into this. If the company provides an opportunity for extended stays for leisure, it is also the employer’s duty to respectively manage subordinates’ workload while on a trip. In this sense, ‘doing as much as physically possible’ while visiting a foreign subsidiary is not a good plan. Moreover, a company could arrange for housing opportunities, which make access to the city centre or main attractions (based on employees’ interests) easier. From the employee’s standpoint, you need to plan ahead (e.g. make theatre reservations; plan for places to visit), as well as stick to keeping this strict work-leisure balance… at least for this short period of time 🙂

26 thoughts on “Not Eager to Go on a Business Trip? How about Bleisure Travel?

  1. I believe this is one good solution to improve employee motivation. The choice of location, time and who have to be determined precisely. Basically, all employees need a vacation, and the combination between leisure and work on a business trip can be very unpleasant.

  2. I once introduced an accounting program in a company that had twenty-eight branches, I went to half of them and spent two weeks training. Thanks to this – I learned my country. If there were no such commandos, I would probably never been there.

  3. I believe this is one good solution to improve employee motivation. The choice of location, time and who have to be determined precisely. Basically, all employees need a vacation, and the combination between leisure and work on a business trip can be very unpleasant.

  4. I always believe that vacation could be everyone’s refreshment. Doing the work everyday with all the pressures and hectic times, makes the employees need to refresh their mind. And I couldn’t agree more with your statement “a happy employee is a better employee”.

  5. Haha.. Workcation! yeah it happens sometimes. But to be very frank, we could make it another way actually. For me, “workcation” is just a problem for people who cannot (or do not want to) manage their time well.

  6. I guess it would all depend on which industry/type of company are we talking about. I am afraid consulting companies or other huge corporations could look at it suspiciously. But if we take for example companies like Google, Pinterest, Facebook or even some successful SME’s this seems more probable!

  7. In some way it is already in place when you have the possibility to link with travel work with a weekend, and definetely it could be a nice emotional perk to some people.

    It could be a good trend but from my perspective, applicable for some industries less risk averted as tech and marketing. Some other and big industries (banking, retail, etc) it could take more time and legal advise support to support this kind of new initiatives.

  8. Did not realise what I did was A Thing!
    Years ago a former boss gave me some great advice: Get the job done, but take some time out to explore the places you go to. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to see a lot of Asia and the US while travelling for work. A good idea if you can’t add days is to schedule meetings / work so that a weekend falls in the middle of what you are doing.

  9. Great post. I agree that defining the balance between work and leisure is important. I think, for me, this would be difficult. I go on vacation so I don’t have to think about work at all. I always have difficulty switching off.

  10. It really seems like a win-win situation from all the aspects and quite possibly, but only if when everything is well managed as they need to be. Advance planning is a must.

  11. Great ,It could be a good trend but from my perspective, applicable for some industries less risk averted as tech and marketing. Some other and big industries (banking, retail, etc) it could take more time and legal advise support to support this kind of new initiatives.

  12. I personally try to book trips, if possible, to include Monday or Friday as that way I can usually spend the weekend at the destination on my own time. I get a weekend getaway for the price of few hotel nights.

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