Mixing business and pleasure has traditionally been seen as a no-no, but more people are taking bleisure holidays. Picture: Supplied.

Mixing business and pleasure has traditionally been seen as a no-no, leading to all sorts of complications. Yet the new normal of an increasingly blurred private and professional life has changed how we think, especially among millennials who’ve grown up in a digital world where work and well being are one and the same.

It’s little surprise then that bleisure (business and leisure) travel is booming and mixing a little fun in with a formal trip is gaining ground among frequent travelling SMEs, managers and business owners.

Claire Butterfield from business accommodation booking site, WorkTripper, shares how blending business and pleasure can boost the best of both worlds:

Beat the biz blues: With everyone online, at all times, it’s gets busy. The pace has picked up and work regularly extends beyond the 9 - 5 of the previous generation’s era. But always-on isn’t always good and we need to take a time-out to avoid burn out. If time is tight and a long getaway is a distant dream, tacking on a few days to a business trip to explore another city or soak up some sunshine is a quick fix that can have a positive, long-term impact.

Work can feed your wanderlust: If you love to visit new places and meet new faces, but don’t have the time or budget, adding on a few down-time days to your next work trip can satisfy your desire to explore. If you work for yourself, you’ll save a pretty penny on airfares as the flight is a business expense. If you work in a business, pay your own way once work is over and either head out of the urban jungle to visit historic landmarks, unwind in delightful dorpies or let your hair down in another city’s hip and happening nightlife.  Either way, work smart by booking business-ready accommodation that gives you what you want, such as Wi-Fi when staying for work, or a round of golf when you’re not. 

The perks of being pleasure-friendly: As a business owner, allowing staff to add a few days of fun to their work trip will catapult you into being Boss of the Year, especially among the younger members of your team. Just remember to create a company policy that outlines how staff can mix professional travel with pleasure. Here are a few top tips:

-          Make bleisure part of your travel policy and announce it to your team

-          Be clear on what is and isn’t pleasure - and who pays for what 

-          Outline any activities that are off-limits, whether for leisure or not

-          If travelling outside of RSA, get them a SIM so that they don’t run up a huge phone bill when using data.

Earn points with the family: As work continues to creep into our family time with evenings and weekends being used more and more to manage an over-flowing inbox, take some of it back by inviting the family along next time you travel for work. Quick tip: Mix and match accommodation amenities to suit everyone’s needs, especially if you stay in the same place for both work and play. A swimming pool, braai area and Wi-Fi should hit the spot!

Take a power break: If you’re an SME owner, consultant or entrepreneur, or one of the worker-bees, you’ll know that taking time off is a rarity. Things are never really ever done. Instead of having to pack in a few all-nighters to get ahead of your work for a week or two, take a day off on either side of the weekend next time you take a business trip. Even though you’re only off for two days, having four consecutive days away will feel like a mini-holiday. If you just have to check-in with the office, make sure you work smart by choosing accommodation that has plenty of plug points to charge your devices and has Wi-Fi so you are contactable if you need to be. Chances are your staff are more resilient than you may think and can hold the fort for a few days. So switch off both the technology and your mind - you’ll be a better boss for it when you return!

For more information, contact www.worktripper.co.za