Some work, some fun

Some work, some fun
With the flexible work culture in the city and the increasing globalisation of workplaces, many professionals are blending business and leisure trips. While this concept has existed for many years, the advent of the buzzword ‘bleisure’ is making it more popular. These trips are allowing employees to save money and turn their otherwise boring trips into rather pleasant ones.

Those who have gone on such trips say that it has helped them to work more efficiently. The leisure travel takes some of the stress out of the business and keeps them relaxed while away from home. Santhosh Mallya, a content management business advisor, recently went for a business transition programme to Mexico. He stayed in Guadalajara for a month and he converted it into a leisure trip whenever time permitted. He explains that it was a memorable experience for him as not only learnt about the culture but also met friendly locals.

“The people there are very friendly. I met some amazing people with a very good sense of humour and made some friends for life.  If it wasn’t for the business trip, I don’t think I would have picked Mexico for a leisure visit. And thanks to the project work that I was sent for, I had a good balance between work and free time,” he says.

Business trips, in many companies, are a major step forward in one’s career. When one is sent for an offshore assignment, they have proved to the management that they are capable of certain skills. With the combination of work timing and travel hacks, many travellers are able to enjoy bleisure trips. Alex Thomas, an interactive designer, was sent to the UK and the US for work. He made the most of this  opportunity and visited the places nearby. He shares, “When I was going to the US, I booked my tickets in such a way that I had a 20-hour layover in Singapore. The work stay was for a week, five working days, so I utilised the weekends as well and stayed back to explore.”

Even though the company takes care of the expenses for the business requirements, the professionals shell out from their pockets for the leisure activities. Alex says, “My company gave us an American Express card which we were allowed to use if we ran out of money. When we returned back to India, we paid it back. So we were never short of money.” However, not everyone enjoys the bleisure trips. Krishnan Vijayaraghavan, a user experience designer, likes to go for the assignments and come back home at the earliest. 

He says, “It’s very rare that I take the time out to explore the places I am visiting. By the time I am done with the day’s work, I just want to curl up in my bed and sleep. However, I do go out for shopping and make sure to collect souvenirs. Trying out the local dishes is also one of my favourite things to do. Bleisure trips are a great option for those who like to travel; it gives them a chance to feel like they are on a vacation even while working.”

Some multinational companies also allow the spouses to go along. Anpu Rohit tagged along with her husband for two months when he went to Germany. She says, “The company he works for requires him to go there once a year. If the assignment is for more than a couple of months, they provide accommodation for the family as well. But since my trip was only for two months, I spent from my own pocket.” During their stay there, Anpu and her husband Rohit Thomas visited Switzerland and Paris for the weekend.

“The work culture in Germany is such that you are not allowed to work on the weekends. Even if you want to work after 7 pm on a weekday, you have to take special permission there. So we had plenty of time on us to go around and visit places. It was a good choice to mix business with leisure because we never felt restricted in terms of time and expense,” says Anpu.

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