Comprehensive Risk Management Should be the Cornerstone of Any Bleisure Trip
Posted by Mike Atherton on 11 July, 2019
Gone are the days of separating our professional and personal lives into neat, well-defined compartments. We no longer down tools the second the clock strikes five and forget about work for another evening.
Aside from the well-documented rise in agile working environments, one of the most obvious examples of this global shift in attitude relates to corporate travel.
Tacking a few extra days onto the end of a business trip in order to see the sights, explore the local area, or simply unwind is more common than ever, with employees across the globe discovering the benefits of the ‘bleisure trip’.
One study, commissioned by Collinson in 2016 revealed that as many as 72% of people who’d travelled for business added a couple days’ worth of leisure time to their trip.
And yet, while the concept of bleisure is proving equally beneficial to businesses and employees alike for a variety of reasons (many of which we discuss here), information published in Travel Daily Media highlighted an eye-opening statistic: that only a third of companies extend their corporate travel policies to cover these additional days.
It should go without saying, but this is a huge oversight.
Why Effective Risk Management is so Important
The way employees choose to spend their free time on any bleisure trip is very much their prerogative. Any bonus leisure activities, outings etc. will likely come straight out of their own pocket, after all.
The problem is, bleisure is still a relatively modern concept and the legal grey areas surrounding the employer’s duty of care during any business trip are vast. Even more so if the employee continues to field calls, respond to emails, or distribute additional work during their leisure hours.
Naturally, this raises significant questions:
- Who is legally responsible for any issues the employee may encounter?
- What measures were put in place to mitigate them in the first place?
- Had the employee been fully briefed beforehand?
Establishing a comprehensive risk management policy is, therefore, crucial from a legal standpoint for any organisation; no matter how big or small. Fortunately, with the help of companies like Mantic Point and Teplis Travel, finding the right level of coverage for your employees is astonishingly straightforward.
GPS tracking, automated live risk profiles, 24-hour travel alerts, automated compliance notifications – bespoke tools that help avert danger and avoid travel disruption ahead of time.
Similarly, it’s important to outline exactly what will be covered before the employee embarks upon their trip. For instance:
- How many leisure days they’re allowed to take?
- Will they be covered for any activities outside of their original itinerary or only those that fall within pre-specified guidelines?
- Who is responsible for travelling companions?
- Are there any active safety measures in place at their intended destination?
All of these are things that must be tailored to both the trip and the individual traveller.
Beyond basic safety concerns, however, well-thought-out risk management policies confer a number of tangential benefits to the company and its employees.
Fostering a Supportive Company Culture Through Bleisure
First and foremost, various studies suggest there is a tangible link between bleisure and the overall well-being of an employee.
One survey, conducted by the University of East London in 2018, revealed that as much as 78% of those polled felt their physical and mental well-being improved as a direct result of this additional leisure time, decreasing the likelihood of burnout and similar stress-related illnesses. An equally impressive 61%, meanwhile, felt their productivity received a substantial boost, too.
That may not be completely true, of course. The employees might’ve been simply trying to wrangle their way onto that upcoming trip to the Bahamas for a spot of sun, sand, and surf. Nevertheless, such opportunities certainly go a long way to cultivating a happy working environment.
This is particularly true if they know they’ll be well-looked after for the duration of their trip. That the employer genuinely cares about the welfare and safety of its employees; not just their ability to schmooze with potential clients or convert leads.
Enticing as international travel can be (as a way of breaking up the daily grind whilst also extending the business’ international reach), it is fraught with difficulties; especially in today’s geopolitical climate. The increase in risk alerts over the last five years, coupled with the fact that over half (56%) of corporate travellers are moderately to severely anxious about the global terror threat, makes it essential they feel they have the full support of their employer before undertaking any business trip.
The experts at Mantic Point possess extensive knowledge of the business travel market, supported by years of industry experience.
With a comprehensive range of bespoke services and tools, they’re perfectly placed to keep corporate travellers safe, happy, and well-informed for the duration of their trip.
- Monica Teplis, Chairman of Teplis Travel
With bleisure becoming ever more popular, there’s no good reason why a company shouldn’t offer comprehensive cover for any employee representing them abroad.
To learn more about the services we provide, head over to our products page. You’ll also find in-depth information on a wide range of relevant subjects, including corporate travel policy and bleisure, over on our blog.