We’re explaining here why adopting a bleisure-friendly corporate travel policy makes good business sense. We’ll explain how bleisure can help your company:
- Attract talent
- Increase employee retention
- Forge stronger client relationships
- Improve employee efficiency
What is bleisure?
Bleisure is travel prompted by business and extended for leisure. An example of bleisure would be sending an employee from your company’s headquarters in Denver to a meeting in Tokyo for a one-day client visit on a Friday. Because of the length of the journey, your employee books a flight back on Sunday instead of Friday, pays for his hotel room for two additional days, and spends the weekend sightseeing and getting to know the local culture. He returns to Denver refreshed, rather than jet lagged.
You don’t have to extend a business trip to enjoy bleisure. Bleisure is also any business travel that maximizes pockets of free time for leisure. An example of this kind of bleisure on the aforementioned business trip to Tokyo could involve walking to the client meeting instead of taking a taxi to get a feel for Japanese life, or taking a jog through the city instead of working out in the hotel gym.
In both scenarios, the business traveler sees more than just the airport, hotel room, and conference room, and they benefit from the cultural takeaways of seeing a new place. In the next section we’ll explain how bleisure benefits the employer.
Bleisure Travel Benefits for Companies
Now that you understand what bleisure is, we’re giving you the scoop on why having a bleisure-friendly corporate travel policy makes great business sense.
1. Bleisure Helps Your Company Stand Out in The Recruiting Process
The job market is incredibly competitive. Offering employees the ability to take advantage of bleisure by having a bleisure travel policy helps you stand out in the recruiting process and it attracts top talent.
Competitive compensation is no longer the main reason people take jobs. Employees are looking for compensation packages made up of benefits and perks. In fact, 30% of professionals say they would accept a lower-paying job if it meant they could travel more for work.
Instating a bleisure-friendly corporate travel policy is a (virtually) cost-free way to make yourself stand out from the competition while recruiting the best talent in your field—including millennials, who value the authentic, unique experiences that bleisure travel can give them. With a bleisure-friendly corporate travel policy your company will attract employees who work hard and efficiently maintain a work-life balance.
2. Bleisure Increases Employee Retention
Recruiting your dream team is half the battle. When you employ new talent, you must keep them happy. When employees are disengaged at work, they become less productive and can burn out, which causes them to look for new employment opportunities.
Replacing an employee costs companies an estimated six to nine months of that employee’s salary. For an employee with an annual salary of $60,000, this could translate into $45,000 spent on productivity loss, recruiting, onboarding, and training!
Bleisure prevents turnover because it helps employees create a better work-life balance. Flexibility while traveling for business is a huge perk for employees. When your bleisure travel policy allows employees to book their own flights, thereby extending a business trip through the weekend, employees come back to work feeling refreshed from their mini vacation. This is better than them returning to work exhausted from having to spend two days in transit for a four-hour client meeting. Employees can also incorporate aspects of bleisure into business trips without adding days to the trip.
The importance of work-life balance while traveling for business must be instilled through your company’s culture, starting with the management team. Management needs to shut down their laptops when work is done for the day. This encourages employees to do the same so everyone can enjoy their business travel destination and reap the benefits of bleisure. When your company culture encourages work-life balance on the road you’ll see less burn out, and therefore less turnover, resulting in cost savings for your company. You’ll also see more productivity, because happy employees outperform their burned out colleagues.
3. Bleisure Leads to Stronger Client Relationships
When your employees travel for business with a bleisure mindset and make time to get to know their destination’s culture, they’re able to create stronger relationships with clients. Strong client relationships lead to longer business contracts.
When a bleisure-friendly corporate travel policy encourages employees to experience a business travel destination, they get to know the local culture in their free time. When business travelers immerse themselves in a destination, they’re able to use what they’ve learned about the place to connect with local clients and business partners. They can also use their free time to give back to the community by volunteering with local charities.
When an employee shows interest in her client’s homeland, she creates a genuine bond with the client rather than a relationship based solely on a business transaction. This bond will lead to a stronger, longer business relationship, which benefits your company.
4. Bleisure Makes Employees More Focused
Ninety-one percent of employees feel like they get more work done when they work outside of the office. This is no surprise, as offices are full of distractions like chatty colleagues and useless meetings.
By that logic, business travelers are even more efficient while working remotely. When business travelers are in an exciting new place, they’re more likely to get their work done efficiently so they can maximize their time in the destination better than they could if they were in the office with less time pressure and more distractions.
A bleisure-friendly company culture makes business travelers more efficient and productive while working away from the office. Sometimes a few hours spent learning about local art or hiking a historic trail after a business trip can remind employees why they’re working so hard!
Why Bleisure Travel Benefits Businesses
Forget any negative misconceptions you’ve heard about bleisure. The bottom line is that bleisure is good for business! Establish a bleisure-friendly travel policy and build a culture that embraces work-life balance on the road to empower employees. In the end, bleisure will help your company:
Stand out in the competitive recruiting process
Keep employees happy
Strengthen client relationships
- Increase productivity