A sixth of business travellers have combined a work trip with a holiday

Only one in six (16%) business travellers have combined a work trip with a holiday or leisure activities, known as ‘bleisure’.

This low number can perhaps be partly explained by the fact that only 14% say their organisation has a clear policy or guidelines on ‘bleisure’ making it confusing for employees to know what is and isn’t allowed.

The survey of 500 business travellers, conducted by Opinium* and commissioned by World Travel Protection, a global travel assistance organisation, reveals that almost one in five (17%) say their wellbeing and productivity improves if a work trip has downtime to relax. One in ten (12%) also say they will only go on business trips when they can have leisure time.

For those able to combine leisure with a business trip, one in six (16%) have been joined by family or friends, and some have used the opportunity to stay with local friends or family (14%). To limit exposure to risk, some organisations (14%) specify that employees should not partake in activities considered high-risk, e.g., diving or rafting in their free time.

However, one in ten (11%) business travellers say they are unable to holiday as part of a business trip, as this is forbidden by their organisation.

Kate Fitzpatrick, Regional Security Director, UK, World Travel Protection says: “This survey reveals that most organisations do not have a clear approach to ‘bleisure’, which is leaving many business travellers at sea with what is and isn’t allowed. A lot will obviously depend on an organisation’s risk profile and travel insurance policy, but there’s clearly a need for organisations to put in place unambiguous policies and guidelines to prioritise employees’ wellbeing, as well as their ability to do a good job while away from home.”

Kate continues: “It can be tempting for organisations to pack itineraries to the max, including evening team socials, but these can be wearing for travellers when they’re already acclimatising to a new time zone, different surroundings and potentially a new culture. Instead, building some leisure activities into a trip, away from the work environment, or merely allowing travelling teams time to do their own thing, whilst still ensuring their overall safety might reap dividends for their overall productivity and wellbeing.”