Certain trends are impacting the way both companies and employees see corporate travel. For example, one thing that’s completely shifted corporate travel is the use of expense report automation. With expense report automation, employees can manage their expenses on the go, it’s easier for finance teams, and the visibility provided by these technology solutions allows for more strategic planning, decision-making and cost reduction strategies.
Another trend making waves in corporate travel? Bleisure.
Bleisure is a buzzy term that refers to the combination of business and leisure travel. Bleisure is something that is picking up steam in terms of popularity and mainstream acceptance largely because of a push by Millennial employees. In less than two years, more than half the workforce will be made up of Millennials. This demographic appreciates the idea of combining leisure travel with their work trips, and they even see the opportunity to travel for work as a perk.
Corporations are increasingly looking for ways to integrate bleisure-based concepts into their travel policies, and the following are some things to keep in mind in the process.
How Are Expenses Managed?
For a lot of companies that are willing to be forward-thinking and embrace the idea of employees taking bleisure trips, one of the biggest questions is who covers what expenses. It’s important to create a policy that leaves no room for misunderstanding.
The policy should state that the company will pay only for the things that are necessary during the business part of the trip. This can include transportation, hotels, and food that the employee is using during business hours.
As much as a bleisure policy should talk about what the company pays for, it should just as clearly lay out what employees are responsible for.
Another issue to consider is how employees will pay for things when they’re on a bleisure trip. For example, will they use a personal card and then submit a report for reimbursement, or will they use a corporate card for the business expenses and their personal card for everything else?
Something else a company has to consider and incorporate into a modern travel policy involves additional guests. If someone is traveling for work, but they’re also going to be combining it with fun, they may naturally want to bring someone else along such as their spouse or significant other.
However, the parameters as to how this will work need to be very clearly set up as well. For example, if an employee brings a guest, what if they charge room service to the hotel room the business is paying for?
Finally, other things to think about when creating a bleisure-based corporate travel policy include determining how insurance and risk management are handled, as well as what exactly is meant by leisure. If an employee is sightseeing after business hours have ended, is this leisure, or would the term leisure only apply to extending the duration of a trip? Are there going to be issues of vacation days to take into account? Are there certain things or activities that are absolutely off-limits to employees when they’re traveling for work in any capacity?