Investing and Global Finance News

“At Your Bleisure:” Combining Business and Leisure Travel

As we adjust to post-pandemic work and life, the blend of business and leisure travel—dubbed “bleisure“—has grown, extending its allure beyond the realm of digital nomads to a broader spectrum of professionals. Spurred by the flexibility that remote work enables, employees are able to work a bit of vacation into business trips. Allied Market Research’s projection that the bleisure market will burgeon from $315.3 billion in 2022 to $731.4 billion by 2032 attests to its burgeoning popularity. However, this blend poses intricate challenges concerning corporate duty of care, delineating the boundaries of employer responsibility in ensuring employee safety during the leisure phase of business travel.

The bleisure trend, underscored by Melinda Buchmann’s journey from Florida to Banff, Alberta, for a company meeting, exemplifies the evolving dynamics of professional travel. Melinda, serving as a client relations supervisor at RevShoppe, and her husband, Josh, affiliated with DoorDash, seized the opportunity to blend work responsibilities with leisure pursuits, encapsulating the essence of bleisure travel.

Companies are now formulating policies to navigate the delicate balance between facilitating this new travel paradigm and mitigating legal and financial risks. The emphasis on employee well-being and corporate liability sparks a complex discourse on the extent of support owed to employees during their leisure time. Patricia McLaren of RevShoppe and Kathy Bedell of BCD Travel underscore the nuanced considerations necessitated by bleisure travel, from insurance waivers to the demarcation of business and leisure segments.

Employees, like Eliot Lees from ICF, often navigate these waters independently, blending work and leisure without formal approvals. Yet, the absence of a clear policy framework can precipitate unexpected predicaments, especially in scenarios requiring medical assistance or emergency evacuations.

Security considerations further compound the complexity of bleisure travel, with companies like DoorDash and Uber striving to extend support mechanisms to encompass both work-related and personal travel. The narrative of the Buchmanns, planning a trip to Barcelona for the McDonald’s Worldwide Convention, embodies the proactive approach some employees and employers are adopting to navigate the intricacies of bleisure travel.

This evolving travel trend necessitates a delicate equilibrium between corporate oversight and employee autonomy, challenging traditional notions of work travel and prompting a reevaluation of policies to accommodate the growing inclination towards bleisure experiences.

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