The bleisure trend – mixing professional obligations and personal getaways – has become a hot trend in 2022.
In fact, 89% of business travelers worldwide said they want to add private vacations to their business trips in the coming months, according to the State of the Hospitality Industry 2022 report. ‘American Hotel & Lodging Association.
According to Oz Desai, GM Corporate Traveller, we are seeing a similar trend in South Africa. “Companies have started to introduce more flexible work and travel policies. This means employees have more freedom to add a few bleisure days to their work trip or even schedule a workcation. Where companies used to “consider” bleisure travel, we see they are now encouraging it and proactively offering it as an employee benefit. Not only is this a significant change in terms of employee well-being, but it’s becoming increasingly important in terms of attracting – and retaining – the right talent,” he says.
The Blaisirs Guide:
Finding the right bleisure formula can take a bit of thought. After all, you will have to find the right balance between work and leisure.
Desai shares five important tips for planning the perfect bleisure getaway:
- Business first
While it’s easy to get carried away planning the “fun” part of your vacation, never forget the main purpose of your trip. Make sure you get the job done, prepare for your meetings, and maintain your professionalism.
- Find the right balance
Is it better to take a few days before your work obligations or mark a few days after your work obligations are done and dusted off?
The answer to this question will depend on the context. Although it is generally advisable to work first, then play, this is not always the case. If you’re traveling to meet a new client for a project that’s going to start right away, you might want to take a few days off and catch your breath before the hard work begins.
- Make sure you are covered
In a world where health and safety concerns are at the forefront, your business has a legal and moral duty to keep you safe.
But before you dust off your scuba gear, you should know that there are limits to corporate liability, especially when adding leisure days to your business trip. Your company’s travel policy should describe your obligations and the permitted activities included in any leisure trip. It should state which activities are prohibited for business travelers in as much detail as possible.
- Determine who will foot the bill
Make sure the company knows you’re planning to take a few days off and it’s clear to all parties who is paying for what. It’s best to be completely open and upfront about the expenses involved and the expectations of who foots the bill. This will include issues of travel insurance and S&T credits.
It is very likely that business travelers will want to stay in the same place for their leisure supplement, so the travel agent or travel manager may ask the accommodation establishment to provide an incentive for the stay extended – either a discount or additional services or meals.
- Get the timing right
If you can fit your business trip between a public holiday and a weekend, you can easily travel for three days in a foreign country without losing a single paid day off.
Corporate Traveler has prepared the best days for you:
monday 21st March – Human Rights Day.
It’s been a long weekend, with deals placed through Friday or starting on Tuesday.
Friday 15and April – Good Friday
Monday, 18and April – Family Day
Scheduling business on Thursday and Tuesday, there is a four-day leisure trip in between.
wednesday 27and April – Freedom Day
Sunday, 1st May – Labor Day
Monday, 2n/a May – Celebration
The Thursday and Friday holidays result in a six-day holiday.
thursday 16and June – Youth Day
A single day off gives you a four-day weekend.
tuesday 9and August – Women’s Day.
Take Monday off for a four-day weekend. Business can be scheduled on Friday or Wednesday.
“2022 will see the nomadic business revolution take off. After all, bleisure or workcation trips are the perfect way to satisfy employees’ needs to meet customers face-to-face but also to disconnect and see the world,” concludes Desai.