A new whitepaper from global risk, security and crisis management consultancy Drum Cussac has examined the challenges posed by the increasingly popular trend for ‘bleisure’ travel (i.e. travel combining business and leisure) and analysed how employers can stick to their duty of care responsibilities wherever their employees happen to travel.
More than 70 per cent of business travellers, according to Drum Cussac, now extend their work trips to include leisure time, so it is crucial that employers know how to handle this so that no employees fall through the gaps and get into trouble. Unfortunately, however, only one-third of organisations have a formal policy in place specifically laying out how to effectively cover bleisure travel, putting not just the employee at risk but also the employer. This is despite the fact that 90 per cent of companies officially state that they allow their workers to undertake bleisure travel.
Studies cited by Drum Cussac in the whitepaper suggest that more than a quarter of bleisure trips will involve an activity that increases a traveller’s risk exposure. Around 12 per cent of bleisure travellers, meanwhile, have required some form of organisational support while travelling – but only 37 per cent of employers review the risk rating of a leisure destination before approving a trip.
One of the major issues, Drum Cussac suggests, is that bleisure is a poorly defined concept for many organisations, so responsibilities and expectations are muddied. The whitepaper offers a few solutions for mitigating the potential risks of bleisure travel, including updating business travel policies, defining boundaries – while keeping in mind that there can never be a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to this issue – and exploiting technology, such as travel risk management solutions.