Author: Phil Stapleton, Managing Director, SITU Serviced Apartments
28 Feb 2020
Often, cultural shifts start in the personal sphere and move to the world of work as they become embedded in public consciousness. Good employers are expected to mirror the things that society considers important, and so, once a belief is adopted by a large group of people, it can quickly push its way onto boardroom agendas.
This is certainly the case with the wellness movement. Wellbeing programmes have been developing for decades but experienced an acceleration in recent years as education on mental health has improved. This increased pressure on employers to support their workforce in the pursuit of wellness.
What the client wants
Better awareness of wellness has (quite rightly) had a huge impact on the way organisations care for their workforces, including the often-overlooked business traveller. The safety of the nomadic workforce has become a priority for companies, making it a top consideration for travel service providers too.
The safety of the nomadic workforce has become a priority for companies, making it a top consideration for travel service providers too
Companies operating in the corporate accommodation sector should allow the wellness boom to influence their offerings. Providers that prioritise their guests’ happiness will do well. For example, they could arrange social events to promote a sense of community or provide apps to connect guests. Digital social platforms are nothing new, but making them a normal part of the business traveller’s experience could be the next step in connecting large nomadic workforces.
At SITU, we deliver serviced apartments to professional travellers, providing them with a home away from home. Our supply chain covers a huge number of locations around the globe, giving travel managers and relocation companies quick and easy access to serviced accommodation bookings. We strive to meet the requirements of our clients, keeping in mind the wellness of our guests and considering everything from their physical safety to ways to combat loneliness while on an assignment.
Businesses that work with us benefit from a dedicated account manager, who will learn about the client’s operations and endeavour to understand exactly what they need. They will also have 24-hour access to a team of industry experts with global reach. We work fast, with an average turnaround from enquiry to quote of less than two days, in the UK and always provide a range of options to establish the best fit.
Taken care of
The travel sector is highly competitive, with well-known brands often dominating consumer choice. However, these bigger businesses have been slow to adopt mobile solutions.
The serviced apartment industry has increasingly focused on delivering services that are supported by technology. This doesn’t mean customer care should fall to the wayside, though. Even with self-service platforms, every interaction must be designed to leave customers feeling looked after. Self-service platforms will help to significantly reduce costs for the client, give decision-making power to the user and grant managers oversight.
At SITU, we have integrated user-friendly, informative digital solutions throughout our offerings. However, we understand the need to operate on a middle ground between outdated face-to-face services and full automation. Sometimes a query is best solved by a real person, so we maintain a team of account managers who customers can speak with. Clients have the autonomy to act independently when they stay with us but are safe in the knowledge that there is always someone to support them. As a result, we have a very low churn rate.
It is essential that businesses collaborate with service providers that prioritise the wellness of their nomadic workforce. To meet this requirement, SITU only works with the best partners that provide the highest-quality properties. If we are unable to supply the accommodation a client requires for long-term relocation, we can offer a bespoke solution whereby we set up new accommodation specifically for that client.
We’ve always felt that one of the most satisfying parts of what we do is delivering an outstanding service to clients. When travelling employees are looked after, their managers can relax in the knowledge that they will be able to direct their full attention to their work.
The business travel sector continues to show strong activity, with the mobile workforce playing an increasingly important role in global operations. The quality of services will continue to improve as industry suppliers up their game in order to win and retain market share. As for SITU, we expect to see significant growth in the coming years. Plans to bolster our presence in the Asia-Pacific region are already well underway, with a regional office in Singapore under development. The workforce of the future is increasingly nomadic – fortunately, we are on hand to make the experience as seamless as possible.