Imagine being on a beach, spending your leisure time alone or with your family. You’re enjoying the spectacular ocean view and eating some good food. But you also brought your laptop, and you’re attending to some work emails. You’ve chosen to do some work despite being on holiday.
With companies shifting to a hybrid work model, more and more employees are finding new ways to take leisure time while working. Because the way we work is changing, employees are also adapting and changing how they take some time off. Regardless of whether the formal boundaries between work and rest are blurred, employees feel that working while being on holiday is okay. This combination of work and holiday is known as “bleisure” travel.
What is bleisure travel?
“Bleisure” is a portmanteau of “business” and “leisure.” Originally, bleisure travel referred to when businesspeople extended their work travels to sightseeing.
However, with the ongoing shift to remote work, the definition of bleisure travel has also changed. Work-from-home employees now take their work from anywhere else they choose.
Choosing to go on a bleisure trip
Many people are choosing to work while being on holiday, particularly young workers. A new survey by SiteMinder revealed that more than a third of travellers are working on their next trip. About 45 to 49 per cent of them are Gen Z workers.
About 65 per cent of travellers from Thailand and 47 per cent from China are interested in adopting bleisure travel. However, Australians are not quite interested in taking a bleisure trip.
Only about 24 per cent of 800 Australian travellers surveyed in the study said they would work on their next holiday, which is amongst the lowest in the entire survey. Of this number, 45 per cent were aged 18 to 25.
Regarding macroeconomic factors, the survey revealed that Australian travellers had the highest number of respondents who said inflation had “no impact” on their travel decisions.
Is it a good idea to work while on holiday?
There’s nothing wrong with choosing to work during a holiday, especially if no one is forcing you to do so. A study by Wrike has shown that 36 per cent of men and 26 per cent of women enjoy their holiday more and even feel less stressed when they can stay connected and check in at work.
But another study by Harvard Business Review, which assessed the intrinsic motivation of employees who worked during time off, revealed that, on average, people who worked during certain weekends felt less intrinsic motivation for work. This result is because workers separated their time into time for work and time for rest, but because engaging in work during holidays or time off causes conflict between expectations and reality. As a consequence, they find their work less meaningful and less engaging.
So what should we do?
Working while being on holiday shouldn’t be the norm, but the exception. Suppose you plan to log on to work while you’re away, set limits. Set the expectations that there is a possibility that you won’t be able to work at all. It means your co-workers should be there for backup in case this happens.
In the end, working while on holiday can help ease the stress of not being connected to your computer for work, but it can also blur the line between work and rest. Set boundaries so that you don’t feel burnt out.