Monday Paris, Wednesday Oslo and Friday Madrid: Marina travels a lot in her job as a project manager for an international company. Nowadays, she is no longer an exception. With the international expansion of companies, employee travel and business trips are increasing. In addition to the constant location changes, the demands and responsibilities of employees are also growing.
These travel-heavy work days can quickly lead to employees becoming overworked and leading an unhealthy lifestyle. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly important for companies to introduce preventative measures. One trend currently referred to as “bleisure travel” could offer a solution. But what exactly is it?
Combining work with pleasure: Bleisure travel
Bleisure travel is a combination of “business” and “leisure”. The basic idea is to combine business trips with personal and athletic interests. These range from leisure and sports activities to extending weekends at business travel locations.
But why combine work with pleasure? Many people probably recognize Marina’s situation: You come back from a business trip, have spent a lot of time on the road, have barely had any time to pursue your own interests and, once you’re home, you would rather spend time with your family than go to the gym. Luckily, Marina’s company has recently started cooperating with Europe’s largest, most diverse and flexible sports club. This means she now has access to a wide range of sports and wellness offers at home and on business trips with a variety of partners across Europe.
2 reasons for a good work-life balance
- The steady growth in business travel
In 2019, more business trips were taken than ever before, and this trend is expected to continue in 2020. The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) predicts that global business travel spending will be around $1.5 trillion*¹ in 2020. In addition, 90% of employees agree that business travel is necessary to drive corporate growth and avoid stagnation. 80% of travel managers say that it is more efficient to meet in person than to communicate by phone or video conference.
- The health-conscious generation
Living a healthy and balanced life is becoming increasingly important. It is therefore all the more important for employers to adapt their working environment to the requirements of their employees. Marina, for example, is placing increasing emphasis on conscious nutrition and likes to try out trend sports such as yoga and Pilates. Reducing stress, raising endorphin levels, achieving self-imposed goals or having fun with colleagues are important to her general wellbeing, and she shouldn’t have to disrupt her routine just because she’s on a business trip.
While earlier generations often chose cheaper and simpler accommodations during business trips, millennials are striving for a better work-life balance. According to a study by the Boston Consulting Group, for example, millennials pay more for flight upgrades on than Generation Xers or baby boomers. Despite frequent business travel, today’s generation doesn’t want to miss out on enjoyable experiences.
For Marina, corporate sports are a great way to achieve this. They ensure an optimal work-life balance and are the ideal complement to an everyday working life. It is not about competition, but rather maintaining physical and mental health, preventing illness and promoting collegial cooperation. Marina is more motivated, stress-resistant, in a better mood and generally more satisfied throughout her working day thanks to her regular sports routine.
3 advantages of bleisure travel measures for your company
- Recruitment: Get a leg up on the competition
Companies are becoming more and more creative in the fight for talent. There is a reason that corporate benefits play a major role in job descriptions and job interviews. Companies that contribute to bleisure travel can score points on the job market to attract new talent for their own company.
- Relaxed, healthy and more motivated: Health-promoting measures
Eating healthy, getting enough exercise, getting enough sleep and paying attention to nutrition are not only important for employees, but are also advantageous for the company. Employees who feel more energetic are more successful in achieving business goals when traveling. Enabling a good work-life balance on business trips with company sports is not only a great benefit for the company in terms of motivating staff, but also in terms of fostering a positive group dynamic.
- A team building tool for frequent location change
Marina confirms that sports promote team cohesion between her and the local staff. Due to constant travel, she is not able to spend much time with the teams across individual countries. With company sports, she succeeds in establishing a good connection with the colleagues on site. After long meetings, they go to the gym together to take a cardio class or do a workout in the park. Their passion for community sports unites them, deepening their bond, even across culture and language.
2 steps to reaching the goal: Now it’s up to you!
Due to frequent travel, employees lack one thing above all: time. Achieving a healthy work-life balance is a challenge. With measures that enable your employees to use their time more effectively at all locations, you will quickly benefit.
- Implement or update travel policies
It is important to communicate your travel policies transparently to your employees. For example, how long are employees allowed to extend their trip and what are the relevant safety regulations?
- Separate business and private costs
Despite the blurring of the boundaries between work and private life, cost guidelines should be clearly communicated and separated so as not to provoke tense discussions after the fact. For example, who covers the costs if the family comes along? Who covers the cost if the flight is more expensive or changed to a different date?
From one European metropolis to the next: thanks to her employer, Marina now has the opportunity to live out her work-life balance across Europe. Can you say the same about your company?
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