The business world is only getting smaller, with more companies attempting to unlock greater profitability by exploring overseas markets. Whether the organisation's roots are firmly set in one city, state or even country, there are advantages to looking further afield to develop relationships.
Naturally, this has led to a culture of fast-paced corporate travel, with people in everything from C-level positions to entry-level roles jetting off to garner business across Australia, and around the world.
However, not all of those trips have doing deals at the heart of them. In fact, Research from BridgeStreet? Global Hospitality found that 83 per cent of business travellers use time on their trips to explore the city they are in, with a further 37 per cent also securing extra leave to take a personal break.
This concept of business and leisure – or 'bleisure' travel is steadily rising in popularity.
Bleisure as a concept first appeared in its current guise back in 2009.
What is bleisure?
A 'bleisure' trip or 'bizcation' is essentially one that blurs the line between personal and business travel. More people are choosing to use work trips as mini holidays due to the fact that the flights are already paid for, and they may be travelling to an exotic location that they are unlikely to visit of their own accord.
While it may seem a relatively odd phrase, the term 'bleisure' itself has been around for some time. Relocate Global contributor Fiona Murchie explained that the concept first appeared in its current guise back in 2009.
Since then, as an increased number of millennials have entered the workforce looking to get more from their roles, twinning leisure time with a company trip has become an increasingly popular trend.
To that end, the research collated by BridgeStreet Global Hospitality also suggested that 94 per cent of young travellers (aged 35 and under) are 'more than' or 'equally' likely to mix business travel with leisure at some point during the next five years.
An insurance loophole?
Where does this growing trend leave companies from an insurance perspective?
Well, the vast majority of organisations are unaware as to how this extra travel ties into their corporate health plans, as well as their obligations when it comes to wellbeing and the duty of care they have toward their employees who are travelling overseas.
Ultimately, Wex Travel Payments Insights found that it's best for organisations to have clear guidelines for what is and isn't allowed under their travel and health plans.
Moreover, as the rise of bleisure trips looks set to continue, the most progressive enterprises should consider what their travel policies and corporate health plans cover in the here and now, with a glancing eye cast over how they can potentially improve them in the future.
Customer experience leader for Corporate Travel Australia explained to the Australian Financial Review that the most proactive companies are seeking ways to reinforce what they can to do cover employees for all their travel, and even extend the boundaries of their business health plans if needs be.
— Financial Review (@FinancialReview) October 19, 2015
How can HICA help
Health insurance is a central pillar for many Australian families, and employers who can offer it to their workforces – or at least subsidise cover where possible – have an edge in attracting and retaining talent.
Allowing staff the safety net of coverage in the event of a mishap, even if they're travelling, can ensure that the health and wellbeing of the wider workforce is boosted in the right direction.
The right corporate health plan can be complex, with many organisations unsure of exactly what they should cover and which aspects are most applicable to their needs. HICA can offer a cost-free consultation to any company looking to create a corporate health plan, or even assess its current arrangement with an eye on improving it.
For more information, call 1300 44 22 01 today and talk things through with one of our experts.