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“Bleisure” travel: redefining work-life balance

It’s reported that a whopping 47% of companies have now adopted teleworking as of 2023. In 2022, more than half of the companies that organise business trips planned to include entertainment activities in their employees’ work schedules.

These figures reflect a trend that has already been part of corporate culture since the Covid period: “bleisure”.

The data presented here showcases a pattern that has become ingrained in corporate culture since the Covid era, otherwise known as “bleisure.”

“Bleisure” is a term coined by combining “business” and “leisure,” referring to the practice of combining work-related trips with leisure activities. And while it has revolutionised the way in which many businesses think, as well as benefit their employees, it’s also a great opportunity for owners of holiday rental businesses.

By understanding this phenomenon, owners can incorporate it into their seasonal rental strategy to enhance their offerings and attract a wider audience, especially in the off-season. In this post, we provide you with valuable insights into what bleisure is and you can capitalise on it…

What is bleisure ?

The definition of bleisure

Bleisure, a term created by blending “business” and “leisure,” originally described the trend of incorporating leisure activities into a business trip. However, the concept of bleisure has evolved in recent years to encompass remote working professionals seeking to work from holiday destinations.

On average, business travellers embark on four to five trips annually. And approximately 87% of them report engaging in bleisure at least once a year, with an average frequency of nearly three times. What’s more, one-third of these travellers express a desire to involve their family members in these experiences.

The furnished terrace of a chalet with a view of mountains
The sunny terrace at BellaCha, in La Clusaz, is the perfect place to work without distractions

The many benefits

Mixing business with pleasure

Firstly, bleisure enables business travellers to make the most of their stay to discover new destinations, broaden their cultural horizons and enjoy enriching experiences outside the workplace.

Secondly, it can help to reduce the stress and exhaustion associated with business travel, by offering a balance between work and leisure.

Strengthening team spirit

Bleisure can foster great team dynamics within a group, whatever its nature. When work colleagues go on a business trip and add a leisure component to their stay, it can create informal opportunities to connect and strengthen bonds beyond the professional framework.

Sharing experiences outside the workplace can encourage a sense of camaraderie and togetherness between team members. This will continue once they return to a more conventional working environment. All of this helps to strengthen professional relationships, good communication and mutual trust.

Is bleisure something new?

It is difficult to determine exactly when this practice emerged. However, it is generally believed that the term bleisure was popularised in the early 2010s.

An office / TV room in Chalet Bolay
At Chalet Bolay, in Morzine, remote workers could round off a day in the office with a kayaking trip

Before Covid: business travel was a privilege

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, bleisure was already on the rise. More and more professionals began to see business travel as an opportunity to discover new places and enjoy leisure activities while on the move. Companies also began to adapt their policies to allow employees to extend their stays and enjoy tourist destinations.

However, the pandemic has had a significant impact on bleisure. Travel restrictions, quarantine measures and event cancellations led to a drastic reduction in business travel. Many professionals had to work from home, and non-essential travel was strongly discouraged.

After Covid: laptop lifestyle and digital nomads

After the pandemic, as workers returned to the office, the bleisure movement came back with a vengeance. Now it includes a new category of holidaymaker: the isolated remote worker. For them, big group events are out of the question. This time, it’s more a case of going solo with your computer under your arm.

Companies have realised that remote working has a positive impact on their operating costs. Employees, for their part, have taken a liking to this new professional flexibility. Teams may feel more fulfilled when they can be autonomous in their tasks. In fact, this survey reports that 57.5% of French employees would like the option to work remotely.

Moreover, teleworking does not necessarily have a negative impact on productivity – quite the contrary, as INSEE has revealed in this study.

Overall, many companies and organisations are now encouraging bleisure. They are offering more flexible travel policies and recognising the benefits of a more fulfilling experience for their employees.

The seating area at Chalet Minnetonka with huge comfortable sofas and an open fire
Chalet Minnetonka, in La Clusaz has a dedicated work space with a high-speed internet connection

Bleisure holidaymakers – who are they and what do they want?

A sociological phenomenon

Thirty-somethings, ambassadors of a new lifestyle

Bleisure has become increasingly popular, thanks to changing attitudes and mentalities in the world of work. It’s also thanks to the rise of personal development.

If we look at the typical profile of bleisure teleworkers, we see that they are essentially the generation of Millennials, in their thirties in 2023. This population has two significant characteristics:

Aurélie Krau – Editor at

Bleisure is symptomatic of a profound change in our relationship with work, which we want to be more flexible, more mobile and more fun.

The new generation, reversing the balance of power

The youngest members of the workforce are taking this phenomenon even further. Born with social networks in hand, they often need nothing more than a computer to launch their projects. They have revolutionised the world of work by creating a whole new range of professions that are totally compatible with the concept of bleisure.

Digital freelancers, web entrepreneurs, content creators… They’re no longer just looking to balance their personal and professional lives: they want to merge the two. A stay in a chalet with a mountain view becomes an opportunity to create a monetisable video against a backdrop of breathtaking panoramas.

When they choose to take up more traditional roles, they put company culture and flexibility before salary and other traditional compensations. Companies are well aware of this and have started to adapt.

Bleisure has a bright future ahead – and it’s an opportunity to be seized by owners of holiday chalets.

A large living room decorated in neutral tones, with large windows
The rustic setting at Chalet des Hottes, in Morillon, is perfect for encouraging creativity

What do bleisure holidaymakers expect?

Corporate groups, digital nomads, young bloggers or freelance accountants all have different expectations when it comes to the working environment. However, it is possible to identify and meet their most obvious needs.

Here’s what it takes to effectively combine work and pleasure.

Workplace facilities

Bleisure holidaymakers are looking for accommodation with dedicated work areas where they can concentrate: a comfortable desk, a high-speed internet connection and solid soundproofing.

A wooden hot tub in front of the mountains, with a bottle of wine and a plate of snacks
Relax in the hot tub at Chalet Tolar, in Grand Bornand at the end of a working day

Flexible hours and location

Bleisure holidaymakers appreciate being able to work to their own schedule. They want to be able to balance their professional obligations with their leisure activities, with the freedom to choose when and where they work.

So, even if they’re staying in a chalet that’s perfect for remote working, it’s still a good idea to offer them other places in the area that are suited to their activity – a nice café or a coworking/networking space in the neighbourhood, for example.

Onsite practical and leisure facilities

Access to practical services

Bleisure guests want to make the most of their time on their working holiday. They’ll appreciate practical services that make their stay easier, such as concierge services, laundry facilities, delivery services and places to eat out nearby.

Table football in a workspace
Chalet Mevi, Crest-Voland Cohennoz offers uncluttered teleworking spaces, perfect for bleisure

Places and activities where they can relax and recharge

Bleisure holidaymakers like to use their free time to discover local attractions, whether that’s tourist sites, outdoor activities or cultural events. They, therefore, look for properties that are well-located, offering easy access to the region’s points of interest.

However, they also prefer accommodation that offers a relaxing atmosphere, with pleasant outdoor spaces that tend to be more secluded.

The location of the chalet is therefore a crucial strategic element that interested owners need to take into account.

Making the most of the bleisure trend

A niche market that’s on the rise

The emergence of bleisure has created a new niche sector in the tourism industry. Businesses and service providers have begun to adapt to this growing trend, offering packages specifically designed for business travellers wishing to integrate leisure activities into their business trips.

Start-ups and online platforms have emerged to facilitate the booking and organisation stages. These platforms offer a selection of activities, guided tours, tickets for cultural events, transport services, etc, so that business travellers can tailor their leisure experience to suit their interests.

Owners wishing to capitalise on the bleisure phenomenon should first study the competition in their area. And it’s important to note that bleisure should be seen as a sub-sector of the holiday rental sector in its own right.

A gym with a treadmill, fitness equipment and a sauna
The sauna and fitness room at Cinq Moutons, in Switzerland, is a great option for bleisure guests

Adapt your rental strategy

All the usual guidelines for seasonal rental strategy can be applied in this case. However, there are some specific actions you can take to improve communication around a chalet adapted for this particular market.

Stand out in the low seasons

Chalet occupancy rates are usually lower during off-peak periods (spring and autumn in general) than they are in the summer or winter. To generate more annual income, owners can adapt their rental strategy over these few months of the year and try to attract bleisure travellers. OVO Network’s rental income calculator allows you to make accurate estimates for different periods of the year.

There are two main ways to promote a chalet in the low season.

  1. The first is to highlight the low rates and tranquillity of the off-season. Teleworkers and business travellers will be attracted by a peaceful environment that is conducive to concentration.
  2. The second is to focus on the leisure activities available in the region and remember, it’s not always all about skiing. On the contrary, despite the setting, tenants still have to work. They can’t often free up a whole day to devote to skiing. They will be delighted to be given a list of outings and entertainment that they can enjoy for just a few hours to recharge their batteries before returning to work such as restaurants, hiking, mountain biking, visiting a historic site and massage sessions, etc.

Making the right contacts

It’s not holidaymakers who organise business trips, it’s companies that often do. They are responsible for planning meetings, seminars or retreats for their employees. Therefore, it’s worth trying to attract the attention of those who are responsible for corporate events, and who may be interested in alternative accommodation to offer participants a unique experience.

A dark grey kitchen with an orange wall and a window overlooking the snowy mountains
Chalet Argali, in Le Grand Bornand, has plenty of room for up to 14 guests

Trade fairs and other networking events are also good opportunities to communicate effectively about this type of holiday rental offer.

Owners should also think about adapting their content creation and, more generally, their communication formats. Take private individuals, for example. For this kind of guest, Instagram can be a good source of traffic. Alternatively, when targeting professional clientele, it may be worth diversifying platforms and trying out LinkedIn, or even launching an e-mail campaign.

Adapting your chalet to make it “bleisure-friendly”

Professional events and business trips

Owners of large-capacity chalets, which can comfortably accommodate big groups and have a variety of well-defined spaces, will be particularly able to appeal to the this market,

A shared workspace

It is important that you have at least one large room in your chalet which can be used as a common workspace, and another for a meeting area. If the chalet does not have two (or more) separate rooms, the single workspace should be easily adaptable to meet the different needs of the group using it.

This space, whatever its layout, should be equipped with the following equipment to meet the requirements:

  • Large desks and comfortable professional chairs to accommodate several people;
  • A reliable high-speed Internet connection;
  • Easily accessible electrical sockets and USB ports, as well as their adapters;
  • A multifunction printer/scanner/photocopier;
  • A whiteboard and flipcharts for presentations or brainstorming;
  • High-quality audio equipment for video calls or conferences;
  • Overhead projection equipment;
  • A large stock of various office supplies (stationery, ink, emergency office accessories, etc.);
  • A break area with a mini kitchenette, or at least a coffee machine and other hot drinks.
A contemporary wooden chalet with a lawned garden
The garden at Chalet Antigone , in Saint-Jean-de-Sixt, is perfect for a networking event

Flexible indoor and outdoor relaxation areas

The communal areas of the chalet should encourage relaxation just as much as the workspaces encourage productivity. Owners who want to adapt their rental chalet for bleisure should think about both the interior and exterior spaces of their property.

Here are some of our suggestions.

  • A spa or jacuzzi to relax in after a hard day’s work;
  • A sauna or hammam for warm relaxation;
  • A massage room for wellness sessions;
  • A games room with board games, a pool table or table tennis to entertain and encourage the competitive spirit.
  • A spacious terrace with comfortable seating, tables and parasols for enjoying the view and dining al fresco;
  • A landscaped garden with rest areas, deckchairs or hammocks for relaxing in the fresh air;
  • An outdoor swimming pool or multi-purpose sports field to create a meeting point and increase the number of activities available;
  • A barbecue to create a sociable atmosphere.

Remote workers

The majority of the facilities and access to infrastructure mentioned above also apply to remote workers. They need a working area and the means to relax.

However, owners looking to attract this group of travellers can stand out from the competition by personalising the experience they offer.

A single person is not likely to need a meeting room for 15 people. A smaller workspace will be better suited to their needs. What’s more, where business travellers are looking for the functional, teleworkers prefer the sensational, in every sense of the word.

The perfect setting appeals to the senses

Everyone has their own idea of how to make an emotional impact.

For someone who works in administration and is always sitting at a desk, the appeal to the senses may lie in the quality of the accommodation and the range of wellness facilities. An employee in a more creative role may prefer an atypical chalet in a small, rustic and inspiring village. Alternatively, the self-employed entrepreneur who travels with their children might look for somewhere that guarantees to keep the young ones safely occupied for as long as possible.

A mezzanine area with toys, a TV and cosy seating in grey and orange
A dedicated space for children, like this one at Chalet Alti, in Le Grand Bornand, will appeal to remote workers with families

The perfect setting is “likeable”

People who telework are the same people who make up the new tourist clientele. They are also the same people who use social networks and have a keen desire to share everything for likes.

Different individuals have varying preferences when it comes to what they find valuable in a bleisure experience. This presents an excellent chance to attract a diverse range of individuals, including travel bloggers, video content creators, and decor enthusiasts who enjoy sharing visually stunning office spaces through photographs.

To elevate the concept further, the workspace can be equipped with video recording gear, top-of-the-line cameras, tripods, and professional lighting, effectively transforming it into a creative studio. Owning such equipment can be costly, so having it readily available on-site would undoubtedly delight many guests, sparing them the expense and inconvenience of bringing their own equipment.

All of these measures may help you benefit from strong word-of-mouth and free online visibility.

Bleisure is far more than just a trend. With the development of digital professions and the redefinition of what constitutes great working conditions, it’s bound to have a bright future. Plus, visionary owners will find it easy to join this movement.

For its part, OVO Network has already jumped on the bandwagon, notably by offering a “remote working” filter in its property portfolio.

Did you enjoy this article? Here are some other related topics that might interest you:

If you’d like to discuss your rental investment project with us, please don’t hesitate to contact our experts. With a portfolio of more than 300 chalets under rental management, OVO Network can help you maximise your rental income and your occupancy rate.

Finally, find out how much you can earn by renting out your chalet using our rental income calculator.

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