By Carmen Stinson on Oct 19, 2018
3 min read
Ever heard of the word “Bleisure”?
It’s a trend in which business and leisure travel delve into the mix, to have the employee enjoy both the experience of travel and the tasks at hand.
The present era has evolved to embrace employee’s feelings towards corporate travel, as keeping them happy while they are working is the key to companies development. Bleisure traveling is a tendency every organization should consider implementing to comply with the younger generations.
With corporate travelers spending more time interacting in the destination where they’ve been assigned, they’ll be more experienced about the local culture and language of native people, which can lead to better business relations and more opportunities.
In this article, there will be valuable tips on how to adequately manage bleisure travel and its policies to reach success when planning corporate travels while including a leisure portion of the trip.
Bleisure travel is not a paid vacation
Human Resources directors are leading the way when it comes to writing guidelines about this new phenomenon, in which business travelers get some leisure time during their business trip. That’s why when bleisure travel is included, business travelers get to offset some of their travel costs. So the mixture of both gets the employee to take a decisive advantage in their work and personal time.
Bleisure travel helps fight jet lag, those couple of extra days allows employees to adapt themselves to switching time schedules, and doesn’t burn them out when it comes to getting the work part of the travel done.
Proper coaching of the employee by HR before this particular time will help travelers in engaging efficiently with both work and the experience of having a taste of local culture, language, and entertainment possibilities.
Who pays for what?
The employee is getting paid to do their work, so employees pay for the leisure expenses during off-hours such as accommodations, meals, and transportation.
The complicated part of a bleisure travel policy relies on how the expenses are handled and reported: Will a company credit card be provided for all business expenses and will a personal credit card be used for the leisure component? It is up to HR and the employee to handle that in the most professional way possible.
Furthermore, technology helps companies keep expenses separated. Being able to log air ticket cost if departing after a meeting vs. a couple of days later; Submitting expense reports while excluding portions of a receipt (i.e., like movies or mini bar charges from your hotel bill). You can even track bleisure time attached to an itinerary for vacation reporting.
Companies must establish a clear policy when handling expenses, especially if the employee invites another person or group since they might be ordering room service and charging it to the company’s credit card. Per diems are helpful if appropriately set.
Who pays for travel insurance?
Another aspect of bleisure travel management is travel insurance. Which part is covered by the company? Employees are expected to adhere to corporate travel policy for their actions, as the company’s image legally and morally underpins them.
Usually, bleisure trips are handled by travel management companies. They offer packages for the business part, and explain and layout the leisure side of the trip to the employee to avoid any unnecessary expenses and setbacks.
The more your employees know about bleisure travel policy, the better. So Human Resources must do their best in communicating the needs and expectations of the company. This creates a positive experience towards the company policy and will make said policy much easier to implement.
Travel risk administration technology is a fundamental factor in mitigating dangers and keeping travelers safe. Assure employees have access to up-to-date risk alerts, emergency communications and people tracking systems.
A wide range of bleisure travelers is prone to invite relatives to join them on their leisure period of the trip. Whereas extending travel policy protections is a compelling statement for employees (and inclusive employers), this shouldn’t necessarily include companions.
Furthermore, some business travelers may unfairly assume their companions are covered by their organization’s protection – especially if family members are enrolled in other benefits packages within the employee’s policy, such as health plan. Try to be specific and transparent regarding the coverage enjoyed by those close to the worker. This prevents misunderstandings and provides travelers enough time to think and rearrange any additional coverage they might need.
To sum all up, the points to consider within a corporate travel program of this kind are: Firstly, and most importantly is the duty of care and risk solution provision. Secondly, the leisure days specifications and expense management, which can be hard to define but critical to clarify so all parties are in the known.
Hiring an Agency or travel expert to help you keep track and separate expenses can prove to be an excellent solution to implement a bleisure travel program within the company without having to compromise the business' goals.
Learn more about how to choose the right Corporate Travel Agency here.
By: Carmen Stinson
Director, Global Corporate Travel