Bleisure travel, the blending of business and leisure trips, has become a popular trend among employees. While it can be a great way for your staff to unwind and recharge during work-related travel, it also presents compliance challenges.
Whether you are a small business owner booking travel or a key decision-maker within a larger corporation, in this guide we’ll explore how you can ensure your employees stay compliant with your company’s travel policy when embarking on bleisure trips. From navigating pre-travel processes to checking business travel insurance coverage, here are our top 10 tips to keep your staff safe and compliant when travelling.
1. Clear Travel Policy Communication
The foundation of compliance begins with a well-communicated travel policy. Make sure your business travel policy is comprehensive and clearly articulated. Ensure that your staff understands the policy’s nuances, especially as they pertain to bleisure travel. The document should address areas such as allowable expenses, reimbursement procedures, and compliance expectations. Even for small businesses, having a robust travel policy in place is crucial for bleisure travel success.
2. Pre-Travel Approval Process
Implement a pre-travel approval process specifically designed for bleisure trips. Ask employees to submit their travel itineraries in advance, clearly indicating the business and leisure segments. This allows you to review and approve their plans, ensuring that business obligations are not compromised and that leisure activities adhere to your policy.
3. Review Business Travel Insurance
Business travel insurance is a linchpin of bleisure travel compliance. It’s essential to review your company’s insurance policy to make sure it adequately covers bleisure travel scenarios. Pay particular attention to aspects such as coverage during leisure activities and liability concerns that may arise when employees mix business and leisure. Consider offering supplementary insurance for leisure activities that fall outside the policy’s scope.
4. Emphasise Compliance Benefits
Educate your employees about the benefits of compliance. Make it clear that adhering to the travel policy, even during bleisure trips, safeguards their interests. Compliance ensures they are covered in case of emergencies, reduces liability risks, and simplifies expense reporting and reimbursement procedures.
5. Documentation and Reporting
Stress the importance of thorough documentation and reporting. Encourage employees to maintain detailed travel logs that clearly delineate business-related activities from leisure ones. This documentation serves as valuable evidence of compliance and streamlines the reimbursement process.
6. Regular Compliance Audits
Implement periodic compliance audits to ensure that employees are adhering to the travel policy during bleisure trips. These audits can be random or scheduled, and can include expense report reviews and discussions with travellers about their experiences. Audits not only help identify areas of non-compliance, but also demonstrate your commitment to enforcing the policy.
7. Incentivise Compliance
Consider introducing incentives for compliance. Recognise and reward employees who consistently adhere to the travel policy during bleisure trips. This can be in the form of bonuses, extra annual leave days, or other perks. Incentives provide a positive reinforcement mechanism that encourages compliance.
8. Foster Open Communication
Promote a culture of open communication between employees and the travel management team. Encourage staff to discuss their bleisure travel plans and seek guidance when unsure about compliance matters. By fostering a transparent environment, you can address concerns and potential issues proactively.
9. Leverage Travel Management Software
Invest in travel management software that can facilitate compliance monitoring. These tools can help track expenses, generate reports, and provide insights into employee travel patterns. They streamline the process of ensuring that business objectives are met during bleisure trips. With the right technology, you can keep all your travel policy records in one secure, easy-to-access place.
10. Conduct Training and Workshops
Regularly conduct training and workshops on travel policy compliance. Equip your employees with the knowledge and resources they need to understand and adhere to the policy, especially in the context of bleisure travel. These sessions can clarify policy nuances and address any questions or concerns.
Finding the right balance
Bleisure travel can be a win-win for both your employees and your business. However, maintaining compliance is essential to mitigate risks and uphold company policies. By effectively communicating your travel policy, implementing approval processes, reviewing business travel insurance, and incentivising compliance, you can strike a balance between employee satisfaction and policy adherence. Regular audits, open communication, and the use of travel management software further enhance your ability to ensure compliance during bleisure trips. Ultimately, a well-managed bleisure travel program can boost employee morale and productivity while safeguarding your company’s interests.Want to discuss your business travel compliance with an expert? Contact us today and one of our friendly team members will be happy to help.