February 29, 2024

Guidelines needed on trips combining business with leisure

One in six business travellers have combined a work trip with a holiday or leisure activities, according to a survey out today.

The poll of 500 business travellers by Opinium, commissioned by World Travel Protection, found 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, undertaken in May, also revealed that 17% say their wellbeing and productivity improves if a work trip has downtime to relax while 12% say they will only go on business trips when they can have leisure time.

For those able to combine leisure with a business trip, 16% have been joined by family or friends and 14% have used the opportunity to stay with local friends or family.

To limit exposure to risk, 14% of organisations specify that employees should not partake in activities considered high-risk, for example diving or rafting, in their free time.

However, 11% of 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.

“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.”