Work trips are becoming increasingly more common for businesses in the UK with many sending their employees away for meetings, conferences and training events. But how much work actually gets done on one of these trips?
Researchers who carried out a detailed study found while many employees will claim the trips are ‘all work and no play’, the opposite is often true.
It also emerged almost nine out of ten workers who get the opportunity to travel with their jobs enjoy doing so, and six in ten use the opportunity to expand their horizons and visit new places. The study also found those who travel with their jobs typically depart eight times a year.
Nigel Scott, business development director at Bristol Airport, who commissioned the survey, said: “This research reflects the changes we’ve noticed on stay lengths for passengers travelling on business which supports the Bleisure concept of travel.
“Previously passengers would arrange business travel involving for one or two nights away. But, increasingly we are seeing passengers selecting three or more nights stays, in some cases, this allows passengers the opportunity of relaxing and enjoying time in and around the destination they are visiting.”
It also emerged six in ten treat foreign business trips more like a leisure break than a job, with more than half inviting family, friends or both along to make their excursion more enjoyable.
Seizing the opportunity, British business travellers will enjoy drinks, nice meals out or even go sightseeing, visiting tourist activities such as water parks to make the most of their professional jaunt.
54 per cent will extend their time away by taking personal annual leave to reap the benefits of being sent abroad by their employer, while nearly half will take the opportunity to visit friends or relatives in their international destination.
One quarter confessed using an excuse to colleagues including that they have been stuck in meetings while abroad to get some free time to themselves, and 54 per cent have even used a business trip to visit a new, exotic location.
The research, of 2,000 employees who have travelled internationally for work purposes, conducted via OnePoll.com, also found 83 per cent wished they could travel abroad for work more often. Six in ten are in favour of sending staff away on international trips, with an equal number saying they believe it helps build character.
More than two-thirds agreed it gives employees a chance to get to grips with other cultures and allows them to build business relationships on a more personal level.
Yet of those against the decision to fly employees around the world, 65 per cent said it’s too costly and one in four reckon staff can do the same job from their desk at home.
Top 20 things to do on a business trip abroad to make it more fun:
1. Relaxed over drinks
2. Expensive meals
4. Sampled local delicacies
6. Ordered room service
7. Visited local bars/clubs
8. Tried a new experience like sailing, surfing, bungy jumping etc.
9. Met new people
10. Visited somewhere for a day out like a theme or water park
11. Met up with friends
12. Used the hotel pool
13. Went to the beach
14. Met up with family
15. Watched films
16. Visited a spa
17. Hired a car and driven to new sights
18. Visited a vineyard/brewery
19. Cycling adventure
20. Music gig