Millennials are well known for their sense of adventure and exploration, so they have become crafty at creating “bleisure” trips, or combining business travel with leisure travel.
According to a Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card Survey, 78% of millennials intentionally carved out personal time on a business trip. Further, 60% of millennials said that vacation time benefits their business by helping them think big picture, as opposed to 49% of boomers.
While this is not a new way of conducting business, it is more prevalent with millennials than older generations. One of the reasons for this is because millennials have delayed marriage and having children, allowing them to have fewer commitments to rush home to after business travel.
“Millennials are most likely to ask about combining leisure with business travel, work-life balance or bringing family on trips,” said Evan Konwiser, Vice President Digital Traveler at American Express Global Business Travel, a business travel company. “Companies are, therefore, developing progressive travel policies that encourage both personal and professional growth for business travelers. According to recent statistics, 57% of companies have a policy in place for employees aged 20-30 to extend business trips with vacation time.”
The ability to explore new places ranks high among millennials, as well as with other generations. According to research by Booking.com for Business, 30% of business travelers would accept a lower paying job if it meant they could travel more for work.
If this is such a high demand job perk, companies must be prepared to offer flexibility and freedom to create work-life balance while on the road. For many travelers, work travel can be exhausting, but with just a few adjustments, employees may start asking for travel assignments to hit the refresh button with a couple extra days of personal time tacked on at the end or beginning.
What Companies Need To Know About Bleisure
The Profile of the American Bleisure Traveler reported that employees who’ve taken bleisure trips report that adding leisure days to business travel adds value to their work assignments and benefits them as an employee, while giving them the opportunity to gain cultural experience and knowledge.
Bleisure trips create the added value and loyalty that many companies would like to see from more millennials. In fact, companies that want to retain millennials could be intentional about suggesting a millennial employee add personal time to their work trip, rather than waiting for the employee to ask for permission.
“Our [Mezi] survey found that 74 percent of frequent business travelers wish their corporate travel policy included a budget for extracurriculars and personal entertainment ,” said Swapnil Shinde, Co-Founder and CEO of Mezi, an artificial intelligence powered personal travel assistant. “Encouraging employees to take time for themselves, whether it’s a workout class or grabbing dinner at a cool local spot, and supporting those activities with a small personal entertainment budget makes a big difference.”
If you own or operate a company, have you clearly established guidelines for business travel and personal time? Do you encourage your employees to responsibly balance their work commitments and personal time?