By: Patricia Hintze, vice president, global sales, Oakwood Worldwide
Temporarily relocating an employee can have tremendous benefits for both the company and the employee. Through temporary relocation, companies can fill a skills gap and further develop high-potential employees, which results in higher employee retention. Employees can benefit from temporary relocation both professionally and personally because it helps employees expand their professional networks and set the stage for future career growth.
However, one of the biggest questions HR professionals must address is where the employee—and perhaps their family—will live during this temporary assignment. With so many choices between hotels and serviced apartments, which option will best help ensure the employee and their family are comfortable, will offer some work-life balance and cultural immersion, and will help to ensure the employee is able to focus on their assignment?
For many years, hotels were the only option available, and they are still a good choice for a short-term business trip. Serviced apartments, however, are a strong alternative for companies to consider.
Some of the advantages of serviced apartments:
1. They provide work-life balance: According to the 2015 Ernst & Young Global Generations survey, 33 percent of full-time employees globally say it has become more difficult to manage work and family over the past five years. The foundation of a good work-life balance during relocation starts with where you live. Offering employees comfortable housing with all the amenities of home can help keep morale up and, in turn, aid retention. Serviced apartments provide the ideal balance between office and home life, with offerings relatively close to work spaces and conveniences, such as entertainment and recreational areas.
2. They offer a greater sense of community: It’s no secret that being away from home for a long period of time can cause a great deal of stress. One way to reduce this stress and ease employees’ and their families' transition to a new location is by choosing housing that makes them feel at home and part of a community. Serviced apartment locations are typically nestled in residential-like neighborhoods and communities, giving employees a more home-like living setting that allows them to better acclimate to the new location.
3. There is more space to spread out: Serviced apartment living spaces are typically larger than standard hotel rooms, which allows for more room to spread out. While hotels typically provide guests one space in which they work and sleep, serviced apartments provide guests separate living spaces with a fully stocked kitchen where they can enjoy some of their favorite home-cooked meals. For employees whose families join them on the temporary assignment, this extra space for their family is essential to providing a home-like environment.
4. They have all the conveniences of home: Serviced apartments offer quality and fully furnished residences that are move-in ready. Amenities, such as fully stocked kitchens that include a full-sized fridge, gas stove and range, microwave, dishwasher, washer and dryer and garbage disposal make it easier for employees and their families to move in and proceed with their daily routines easily. All employees need to bring are their personal items.
Patricia Hintze is vice president, global sales, at Oakwood Worldwide.