Do You Need a Policy on Workcations, Bleisure Travel, and Hush Trips? : 4Hoteliers

If you have got staff who work remotely or journey for enterprise, they’ve probably thought-about taking their laptop computer to the seashore or perhaps even overseas.
Perhaps they’ve already finished so with out telling you. Thus, now’s the time to weigh the professionals and cons of permitting staff to mix work and play and think about creating a clear coverage on what sort of journey is permissible on firm time.
Understanding the New Travel Trends
Anyone who has just lately booked a airplane ticket or lodge room is aware of that the demand for and value of journey skyrocketed after many COVID-19 restrictions had been lifted. Combine this with the rise in distant work and you have got the right motivation for workers to merge their enterprise and leisure journeys – which is usually known as “bleisure” journey.
Perhaps your staff are tacking on a few trip days on the finish of a work convention in Orlando. Maybe they’re working remotely for a week from Puerto Rico and studying to surf of their off time. But what in the event that they’re secretly sampling the “digital nomad” life in Portugal whilst you suppose they’re working from dwelling in Denver? You ought to acknowledge these common journey developments and perceive that a few of your staff could also be trying to mix enterprise and leisure journey – or would possibly even be doing so already with out telling you. Although these phrases would possibly imply various things to totally different folks, listed below are their normal definitions:
Bleisure journey. The portmanteau could also be new, however the idea has been round for a very long time. This time period is used when an worker takes a scheduled enterprise journey – maybe to go to a vendor or shopper or attend a assembly or convention – and both brings pals and household alongside for the experience or extends the journey for some private day without work. Generally, the employer covers the airfare, in addition to the lodging for the workdays, and the worker covers any added prices. How common is bleisure journey? According to at least one survey, 89% of respondents deliberate so as to add trip days to a enterprise journey in 2022.
Workcation. This buzzword – which mixes “work” and “trip” – has been popping up extra and extra now that many staff shifted to distant or hybrid work. Rather than including some paid day without work (PTO) to a enterprise journey, staff who take a workcation proceed doing their distant jobs from a super location that they discover of their free time. A current ballot revealed that 74% of U.S. distant employees mentioned they’d think about taking a workcation.
Hush journey. Here’s the place the waters get a bit murky. A “hush journey” is rather like a workcation – besides the worker doesn’t inform their employer that they’re touring in any respect. The employee could be attempting out the digital nomad life for a week or two overseas or escaping a chilly winter at dwelling for some sunshine – however usually it’s non permanent and an worker who takes a hush journey isn’t essentially touring overseas full time. Forbes journey author Becky Pokora expects hush journeys to be a sizzling pattern for 2023.
Weighing the Pros and Cons
Now that you understand extra about these developments and their recognition, it’s possible you’ll be motivated to replace your office journey insurance policies. You ought to begin by contemplating your message and how such journey choices might or might not match into your organization tradition.
Offering a versatile coverage that permits staff to mix work and trip might show to be a superb recruiting device and a solution to present your staff that you just worth work-life steadiness. It may even have a constructive impression on your retention efforts. Employees could also be extra motivated to stick with a firm that extends this belief and offers them accountability to handle their work and free time. Additionally, such insurance policies can ease the burden on staff who need to go to household that lives distant.
On the flipside, if staff are attempting to work from a trip vacation spot, it’s possible you’ll fear about their wifi connection, the performance of their workstation, and their potential to pay attention once they would possibly simply need to discover their environment or have a margarita by the pool. Even if they’re attending a convention or enterprise assembly, it’s possible you’ll be involved about their degree of dedication if pals and household are tagging alongside. These potential efficiency issues are along with the authorized dangers mentioned under.
Your Checklist for Identifying the Legal Risks
You’ll want to consider extra than simply efficiency administration in case you enable staff to combine enterprise and leisure journey. You’ll additionally must work by means of a host of potential compliance points. For instance, have you ever thought-about the next?
Health and security. Whether an worker is working out of your major worksite, a dwelling workplace, or some other place solely, you continue to have a responsibility to make sure a secure and wholesome work setting. Do you have got a plan to deal with potential accidents and diseases? Will you restrict the place employers can journey based mostly on well being and security info?
Wage and hour points. Will you enable each exempt and nonexempt employees to mix work and trip? Blurring the strains between work and play is extra difficult for nonexempt staff – and you’ll must rigorously overview the relevant wage and hour legal guidelines and set clear parameters for such staff.
Payroll and tax compliance. You’ll have to contemplate the tax implications when staff work from one other state or a overseas nation. While a temporary enterprise journey with a few trip days tacked on the tip may not increase any purple flags, longer workcations or hush journeys would possibly create some points that you just’ll have to handle in your coverage.
Data safety. Will your staff be working from airports and prepare stations? Will they entry public wifi? Will they be sharing lodging with fellow vacationers? You’ll need to guarantee your staff know methods to defend their company-issued gear and your confidential info from theft, cyber-attacks, and viruses.
Liability insurance coverage. Does what you are promoting legal responsibility insurance coverage cowl overseas journey? You’ll must overview your protection and guarantee your journey coverage aligns with it.
Written insurance policies. To guarantee consistency, you’ll need to develop a written journey coverage and clearly talk it with staff. You may additionally need staff to signal an settlement earlier than their journey begins.
Additional Questions to Address in Your Policy
What sort of journey will you enable? Perhaps you’re comfy with bleisure journey and will enable staff so as to add trip days on an present journey however you’re not comfy with a workcation that blurs the strains between work and play. Maybe you absolutely help such journey and need to encourage or sponsor a workcation. Be clear in your coverage.
Will you enable overseas journey or solely home?
Will you restrict the time zones for journey?
Will you determine clear working hours to separate firm time and leisure time?
Will there be penalties for taking a hush journey? How will you reply in case you uncover an worker is working from someplace aside from their designated location?
Who will cowl the price of journey? For instance, will you cowl all bills for a bleisure journey or ask staff to trace and pay for bills incurred on their leisure time? Will staff be required to pay the distinction in airfare if their prolonged return date ends in a greater fare?
Have you set clear efficiency expectations? How will you measure productiveness? What actions will you’re taking if staff aren’t assembly their objectives?
Have you outlined eligibility necessities? For instance, are exempt and nonexempt staff eligible to journey? Must sure efficiency objectives be reached previous to eligibility?
Are your insurance policies truthful and utilized constantly? Be clear about your causes for denying a journey request and guarantee you aren’t unintentionally discriminating in opposition to staff based mostly on a protected attribute, equivalent to gender, race, incapacity, or age.
Do you have got a course of for addressing emergencies, diseases, and accidents?
Will you restrict the period of time staff can spend per journey or annually on bleisure journey or workcations?
Workcations, bleisure journey, and hush journeys are gaining recognition as staff modify to new office norms and distant work preparations. Whether or not you enable, help, or encourage such journey, it’s a good thought to set clear expectations for workers and work by means of the potential points with skilled authorized counsel.
We will proceed to watch developments on this space and present updates as warranted, so be sure you are subscribed to Fisher Phillips’ Insight System to get probably the most up-to-date info. For additional info, contact the authors of this Insight or your Fisher Phillips legal professional.

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