4 Things to Know about the ‘Bleisure’ Trend3 min read
On average, Americans work 257 days a year. Studies have found that 52 percent of people didn’t take all of their paid vacation days in the past year, leaving an average of 7.2 days unused. In fact, studies have also found 23 percent of people didn’t take a vacation in the past 12 months and 34 percent of people never take vacations with their families.
Some people don’t take vacations from work because they’re saving their vacation days and paid time off for an emergency. Others feel like they have to work overtime before and after a vacation to make sure no work falls by the wayside – all of the extra work ahead of time and catching up after may make a vacation not seem worth the trouble.
And in comes the “bleisure” trend. Never heard of it before? Here’s what you need to know.
- What is it?
Bleisure is the combination of business and leisure –blending two words and two activities that normally have nothing to do with each other. It’s a travel trend that’s emerged with frequent business travelers in mind. Today’s workforce is characterized by people mixing work into their lives outside of the office, checking and responding to emails before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m. and taking work calls at odd hours. The reverse happens too – taking personal calls at the office, shopping online and more (don’t worry, we won’t tell your boss).
When a job requires you to travel to different cities, states and countries on behalf of your company, you’re not necessarily working 24/7. And that’s where bleisure comes into play – why not take advantage of your time in a different place to see the sights, visit friends and family and relax when you’re off the clock?
Bleisure, or enjoying personal time during a business trip, is a growing travel trend that isn’t just limited to catching a show or stopping by a tourist site after a long day of meetings. People are actually adding extra days to their business trips to take advantage of the traveling that they have to do anyway. And that’s not all – a survey of international business travels found that people even bring a family member or friend along with them.
- Here’s how it works
If your boss asks you to travel for a conference, convention or a meeting with a client, it’s not really a question. Your presence is needed outside of your office and you need to go. It works by simply requesting to add a day or two at the beginning or end of the business trip – that may require you using PTO, paying for the extra time in your accommodations, and making sure that whoever arranges your flights knows what dates you are flying.
The hospitality industry is very much aware of this trend. Hotels and accommodations know business travelers want to be able to enjoy some down time, inspiring them to offer “work and play” packages to their guests. Recently, many hotels have started offering a group meeting rate to guests for a few days before and after corporate meetings or conferences, allowing business travelers to tack a few extra days onto their trip to visit attractions or spend time with that friend or family member that tagged along.
- Why people do it
Instead of your time being limited to meeting rooms, your hotel room and the airport, making it a point to add personal time to your trip gives you something to look forward to, as well as time to rest and relax.
And, guess what, businesses are getting on board with this trend – they benefit from their employees’ increased cultural awareness of where they’re being sent while also potentially avoiding burnout from too much business travel with no downtime.
- It could help or hurt your work life balance
The bleisure trend is a little controversial. On one hand, it further blurs personal and professional lives. An extra day at the end of a business trip here and there may sway employees from taking a full-fledged vacation to the destination of their choice in order to unplug from work and office responsibilities, relax and recharge.
On the other hand, it gives business travelers the opportunity to enjoy a trip they needed to take for work anyway – taking personal time in a different destination they may not have had an opportunity to travel to on their own. Plus, if you’re out of PTO and vacation time, bleisure makes it possible for you to still get away if your work trip can extend into a weekend.
Photo from http://growingsocialmedia.com/bleisure-travel/.