‘Bleisure travel’, or the combination of business and leisure while on a work assignment, is one of the more well-documented corporate travel trends of the past year. But it’s a notion that is dividing the industry.
On one hand are businesses who believe in the value of prioritising the comfort and morale of their travelling staff. On the other hand, there are those who believe in business and leisure as entirely separate entities, and who baulk at the idea of travellers relaxing while on the company watch.
Below we outline some of the pros and cons of encouraging bleisure travel as part of your corporate travel program.
The Pros Of Bleisure Travel For Businesses
1. POSITIVE EMPLOYEES ARE PRODUCTIVE EMPLOYEES
Staff travel can be a mental and physical burden on employees. Movements like bleisure travel are born from the idea that the happier the corporate traveller, the more productive they are overseas, and the better return on investment the business enjoys from its corporate travel program.
According to the Skift Bleisure Travel Report, 78% of staff travellers reported that their work assignments became more effective when incorporating leisure days into their itinerary.
2. BLEISURE TRAVEL DEMONSTRATES YOUR COMMITMENT TO EMPLOYEES
Including formal bleisure policies into your corporate travel program sends the message to employees that their comfort is not an afterthought during staff travel. Encouraging a positive workplace culture is essential to any business in any industry, and bleisure travel is an attractive asset in your corporate travel program.
3. BLEISURE TRAVEL IS AN INCENTIVE FOR COMPLIANT TRAVELLERS
Staff travel can be a burden on the bottom line when businesses suffer from overspending employees. In fact, employee overspending can make up as much as one third of a business’ travel and expense budget.
Incentives and rewards schemes are a sound strategy for CFOs and Travel Managers looking to reduce employee overspending. Staff travellers who comply with corporate travel policies can be financially rewarded or offered other benefits like bleisure travel.
The Cons Of Bleisure Travel For Businesses
1. BLEISURE TRAVEL POLICIES MUST BE DOCUMENTED
The Skift Bleisure Travel Report found that in 2014, just 14% of businesses who allowed staff travellers to take leisure days on work assignments had documented this mandate in their corporate travel policies.
Without documenting bleisure travel policies, businesses leave room for noncompliance and overblown expenses.
2. BLEISURE TRAVEL DEMANDS EFFECTIVE EXPENSE MANAGEMENT
Businesses that struggle to manage their staff travel expenses, even without the added complication of bleisure travel, will find it difficult to enforce bleisure policies.
Using a corporate travel management platform with effective expense management tools is essential for businesses to avoid noncompliance. For example, the Travelport Locomote platform integrates with industry leaders in expense management, Expensify, so businesses can gain comprehensive and real-time visibility into staff travel expenses.
3. BLEISURE TRAVEL COSTS MONEY
Businesses with a tight staff travel budget may struggle to find room for bleisure policies in their corporate travel program. Travel Managers will need to roll out services that ensure the ongoing affordability of corporate travel, so their business can continue to enjoy the positive return on investment of business travel. A corporate travel management platform like Locomote, which allows employees and employers to seamlessly manage their expenses is essential in reducing these costs and streamlining the end-to-end travel experience.