Mixing business with pleasure? The new perk coming for your organization

Findings show policies on 'bleisure' trips are limited despite 'growing appetite'

Mixing business with pleasure? The new perk coming for your organization

Despite the demand for so-called bleisure travel among employees, a new report has found that only few employers have come up with policies regarding the work arrangement. Forbes described bleisure travel as a pandemic-fuelled trend that mixes business and leisure trips.

But a new survey commissioned by the World Travel Protection revealed that only 23% of US and 17% of Canadian organisations have a policy on this trend.

This comes despite 38% of US and 34% of Canadian respondents said they want to have the flexibility of working from anywhere. In fact, 32% of US and 25% of Canadians said they recently combined a work trip with a few days or more of personal time, reporting that it benefited their well-being and productivity.

Frank Harrison, Regional Security Director Americas, World Travel Protection, said the findings indicate a "growing appetite for bleisure travel and the opportunity to work remotely from a new location."

"Employers should educate employees on what is covered during business trips and how that extends – if it extends – into the leisure portion," Harrison said in a media release.

Establishing a 'bleisure policy'

Not a lot of employers are allowing their staff to work anywhere, according to the report. Australian software firm Atlassian has a policy called "Team Anywhere" that enables staff to choose where and how they want to work.

Employees of streaming giant Spotify also enjoy the same perks, where they get to choose where they work best, whether in the office or at home.

Having a work-from-anywhere policy can also boost talent attraction, after Atlanta-based consultancy OneDigital reported an uptick in job applicants after implementing the scheme.

However, Harrison advised organisations to approach employees' growing desire to work from anywhere with a "risk-management lens." According to the director, organisations are now dealing with heightened threats to employee health, data and cybersecurity, as well as business continuity and reputation.

"Business travellers today have a much higher need for education and guidance, including knowing how to communicate in an emergency when in a different location," Harrison said.

Guidance should also include medical protocols, crisis management plans, and a compliance guide on business versus personal expense.

"Failure to do so may expose them to significant incident causation and loss, impacting personnel, reputation, and liability," Harrison said.