The Importance of ‘Bleisure’ for Work-life Balance
Travelling for work offers a unique opportunity to increase your cultural background and live new experiences. While most business trips typically involve some sort of work, meetings, or conferences, it’s just as important to maintain your physical and mental well-being through leisure activities — hence the term ‘bleisure’ (business-leisure).
This article looks at the importance of bleisure and why more businesses should consider including it as part of their business travel policies.
Happy employees that benefit your company
For some, business travel can be seen as a chore, with ‘I’d rather stay at home and phone in’, ‘I don’t want to miss the big match’, and ‘I don’t like travelling’ being just a few common responses. But by mixing work, culture, and relaxation during business trips, employees can take advantage of this time away from home, visiting new places and discovering new cultures while abroad for work.
In this way, the boundaries between work and leisure are broken. A crime? Not at all.
If a company chooses to include restorative initiatives in its travel policies, trips abroad can help to improve employees’ well-being, with positive consequences on workplace performance as well.
We’ve identified three reasons why bleisure can help to improve a traveller's work-life balance:
Often during business trips, the day begins and ends in a frantic way with little time for employees to catch their breath in between. Inviting the employee to take some time to visit a museum, take a walk, dine quietly or enjoy a moment of relaxation can only have a positive effect, both on the away work activities and once back home.
For the business traveller, coming back from a business trip and having nothing to say about their destination, apart from the hotel room and the means of transport used to move around, can be frustrating. Other colleagues who may be travelling to that destination — either for business or on a personal level — want to feel excited to go and perceive business travel as an opportunity not to be missed. This can also contribute to greater involvement for future business travel.
Allowing the employee to add a few days for themselves to the business trip will make them feel appreciated, listened to and motivated. They’ll also tend to be more faithful and will contribute to the spread of an image capable of attracting the best talent in the company.
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Extending the ‘business’ trip
It’s important that the business traveller feels able to take a few moments after a meeting — or at the end of the day — to devote to themselves.
Of course, this isn’t always possible. If a trip is shaping up to be especially busy, one solution is to invite employees to take a few extra days to dedicate exclusively to their own well-being.
Granting a small holiday before returning home can be a nice way to reward an employee who’s invested their time into planning the business trip. If your company policy allows it, they could even involve family members. As incentives go, a little time away can go a long way.
The importance of bleisure
For the frequent flyer, business trips aren’t always a source of excitement. But they don’t have to be all doom and gloom. Something as simple as encouraging your employees to take a little me-time when travelling for work can turn sour trepidation into sheer anticipation.
By promoting a healthy work-life balance around company travel, you’re ensuring your business travellers will be satisfied, happy, and increasingly inclined to fly abroad when your business needs them to. The way we see it, everyone wins.
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