The New Daily: Bleisure travel works wonders as a perk - Michelle Gibbings

Thanks to Kate Jones, Senior Reporter and The New Daily for inviting Michelle to provide her comments about bleisure.

Blurring of work-life boundaries has its downsides, but bleisure is definitely not one of them.

Blending business and leisure is a work perk more people are taking advantage of when they travel on the company purse.

It may have been around for decades, but bleisure is finding renewed popularity in the age of hybrid working.

This could be by adding a few days of personal leave to a conference trip on the Gold Coast or taking time to catch up with friends while meeting business connections in Canberra.

Whatever it is, wherever it is, business travellers are finding ways to make the most of their remote working assignments.

Technology, particularly the ease of online meetings, has also enabled more travellers to embrace bleisure.

While benefits for employees are obvious, employers also get to enjoy some advantages, said Amantha Imber, organisational psychologist.

“For employees, it’s great for work-life balance because you get to integrate your personal and professional time,” she said.

“It’s great because it allows employees to explore a new destination or location they might not necessarily have been able to afford or have the time to travel to.

“Because so many of us work from home the change of scenery can be really energising. It’s good for productivity because being in a new environment is great for new ideas and re-energising people.”

Working remotely in a relaxed environment, or even a challenging one, can also bond work colleagues, Ms Imber said.

Organisations allowing staff to build holidays off the back of business trips are a step ahead in the recruitment stakes.

Offering employees the chance to take downtime in a new location is also a great way to reward them, workplace expert and author Michelle Gibbings said.

“Workplace research consistently shows that employees want to work for organisations with flexible work practices, and the ability to combine business and leisure trips is one such practice,” she said.

However, employers need to set firm boundaries to ensure bleisure travel is fair for all.

“The critical factor is always consistency,” Ms Gibbings said.

“If you build HR practices to encourage this and promote it as a workplace benefit, then you need to be consistent in its application.

“Once the practice is established, it can be hard to remove.

“Organisations will want to delineate when the employee is on a business trip and when the holiday starts to ensure issues around workplace safety and insurance are covered.”

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