Corporate Housing Makes It Convenient for Relocated Talents and Companies

In Europe, they’re mostly called serviced apartments. In the United States, they’re called corporate housing. They’re one and the same. Both services in Europe and the US are on the rise, with the traditional family home on the wane.

That’s one trend as far as relocations of assignees and expatriate workers are concerned. The reasons can be attributed to other developments in the global mobility space, such as a more mobile millennial workforce, increasing short-term assignments, and the need to move in — and move out — as quickly as possible.

Up to a few decades ago, the traditional expatriate assigned to a foreign office had conditioned their mindset that they and their family will remain in that particular region for a long time. Five years then were the minimum.

Some of them had even told themselves that, as far as professional movements were concerned, the assignment might as well be regarded as a lifetime. It was one way to avoid homesickness, as well as to curb the tendency to bolt should things get tough.

But, as any businessman or corporate head is beginning to realize these days, establishments in the 21st century may yet be built to last — but they also have to be resilient and flexible enough to survive disruption.

Entire countries may break out of regional or continental associations. A national revolution can send expatriates packing. And the next IT or software innovation might make a lot of jobs obsolete, while birthing new ones.

Assignees who want to work on foreign shores must equally be adaptable.They must be ready to jump into a hotspot one month, then perhaps vacate it and fly toward the next international challenge a year after. The millennial talent may actually thrive in this kind of environment.

An enhanced and enriching experience is one of their prime motivations for professional advancement, and many of them would choose two to three short-term assignments spread over several cities in the span of five to six years, as opposed to one long-term stay in one country for the same period of time.

PriceWaterhouse Coopers forecasts that the increase of assignee recruitment and relocation by 50 percent in the next two years will inevitably trigger an equal rise in business travel.

Where does corporate apartments fall into this development?

First, they are more economical. As The Think Tank Blog points out, it ultimately boils down to economics. An average assignee’s contract in a choice assignment can run from one to two years, as opposed to the old five-year-housing arrangement. The managers who run corporate housing offers more flexible and shorter terms.

Their costs are also more attractive as many of them do not include the features that often make the traditional luxurious home of an expat prohibitive, e.g. a massive garden or two living rooms. Corporate housing can offer the same elegance, security, privacy, and relaxation-inducing ambience but at a more affordable price.

Second, according to The Expat Finder, corporate housing is located at the heart of the city or the capital. So are the traditional posh homes. However, these latter domains are built to invite CEOs and the higher-ups to stay in and bask in the luxury of their expansive surroundings.

Corporate apartments offer compact convenience as well. However, far from being set in secluded areas, they offer easy access to popular lifestyle hubs or night spots such as bars, restaurants, concert venues, museums, and amusement areas. Any assignee wanting to chill and de-stress can find a rest-and-relaxation spot in a few minutes.

Finally, they can provide the assignee, who is a foreign national, a more customized home experience, says Conde Nast Johansen.

Assignees leasing a traditional home may find that the design, although open to change, is difficult to modify. It may seem like one set piece where transforming the wall of the color or adding a more distinct kind of feature may throw the design out of kilter. Ultimately, except for a few trimmings and accessories, it is the assignee who has to adapt to the home, and not vice versa.

In contrast, corporate housing is easier and quicker to redesign and customize. The assignee may discuss the apartment look, furniture, materials, and style with the property developer to suit their taste before moving in.

The personalized experience can be as specific as the assignee wants. For example, at the height of the Wimbledon match a few years ago, California Corporate Housing literally revamped the hues, decor, and furniture arrangement of one unit — in order to make one Wimbledon-devoted assignee vicariously live out the competition over and over, long after the games have finished.