It’s a common sight. In a coffee shop, there’s a man or woman sitting with a laptop, sipping a large latte, possibly working there for hours. The current digital lifestyle is reshaping the office space and taking employees far from their cubicles. Similarly, the line separating business and leisure travel has blurred. The question “business or pleasure?” does not have a clear answer anymore. Mixing work and recreation is the new trend and bleisure is the buzzword among travelers.
Travel is no longer strictly for work or leisure, but instead a combination of the two. Business trips are extended with a few days of holidays, and holidays might include meetings and other business activities.
Last year, the folks at Bridgestreet Global Hospitality, a company offering serviced apartments, published the Bleisure Report, and this is the study everybody is talking about. In this study, 79% of respondents agree that adding leisure days to business travel adds value to work assignments. By mixing work and vacation, the requirement of traveling for work can be more appealing and improve employee happiness and engagement without added business costs.
Work and play
Traveling for bleisure can shape the working day on the road. Imagine arriving in Paris a day or two early to visit the Louvre. Not only you’ll enjoy the cultural experience, but you will also feel rested and focused when it’s time to meet your client next day.
When there’s more free time, bleisure trippers can also bring along family members for a better work/life balance. Attend the conference with your peers in the morning, go sightseeing and dinner with your partner in the evenings.
How bleisure benefits companies
Bleisure is a win situation for all parties. Travelers enjoy time off and more relaxed schedules, while for hoteliers and travel suppliers, this new breed of travelers offers a clear opportunity to increase revenues thanks to the extended stays.
Companies and travel managers that develop travel policies to address bleisure can also find some tangible benefits. For example, when employers allow flexibility, bleisure travelers can book flights at less popular times and save on flying costs. More businesses will need to let workers take this kind of trips to promote healthy work/life balance. This is key to attract talent, as well.