By: Jules Matz | AHWD, ABR, CNE, CRP, GRI

March 26, 2024

A Deeper Look at Short-Term Corporate Housing Benefits

For quick 1-3 night work trips, many companies will offer employees hotel accommodations. Simple and typically supported by business-friendly amenities, hotels are great for meetings that require traveling. But what about work assignments that last weeks or months? What about employees accepting relocation offers to a new city or state? Are there options that the company can provide them? 

Corporate Housing options are intended for employees on extended trips or for employees who are relocating alone or with their families. Additionally, extended corporate housing benefits are being used to help employees between homes due to the robust housing market in 2024

Corporate housing, also known as short-term housing, is a temporary living accommodations network provided by the employee’s company that offers houses, condos, or apartments for the duration of the employee’s assignment or final move. Leases on these properties are typically contracted for 30, 60, or 90 days. 

Typically, corporate housing offers fully equipped apartments with a fully stocked kitchen, a complete bathroom, and standard appliances. In more unusual cases, single-family houses may be provided for relocation purposes. Alternative terms for corporate housing encompass short-term accommodation, business housing, executive flats, serviced apartments, and temporary lodging.

Corporate Housing vs Rental Properties

The primary difference between short-term corporate housing options and typical rental homes or apartments is that corporate housing is provided to employees as a part of their relocation or assignment benefits package. Common rental properties are typically not covered as part of the company policy. 

For companies with a large volume of employees consistently relocating to the exact location for longer than 30 days, working with a relocation services management company (RMC) could be beneficial. An RMC can broker contracts with a landlord or apartment complex to maintain a predictable long-term rate and consistent availability. This can be more advantageous as the company can cycle relocating or traveling employees through the properties as they move or report for assignments.

Who Uses Corporate Housing Options?

Companies with employees whose work assignments last 30 or more days typically take advantage of corporate housing. A primary reason is comfortability, as corporate housing creates a more at-home feeling to help keep employees focused. However, with the current real estate trends, more companies are shifting towards offering short-term housing options for relocating employees who need extra time to sell or purchase a suitable home.

The perks of corporate housing also offer various benefits to employees who are being transferred. To begin with, these advantages are often part of their employer’s relocation policy, meaning that the company pays for them. This helps alleviate the financial pressure on the employee. Furthermore, staying in temporary accommodation enables the relocating individuals to concentrate on familiarizing themselves with their new city and its environs before they endeavor to buy their own property. Lastly, corporate housing facilitates a transitional period for the relocating employees and their families, allowing them to adjust to the changes that come with moving.

For example, an employee who has to report on a specific start date can do so while staying in corporate housing. As the employee works at their new destination, the family can finish the school year, prepare their property for sale, or oversee the shipment of their household goods before rejoining the spouse/partner. This transitionary period is critical in ensuring the relocation is as stress-free as possible for everyone it impacts. 

Furthermore, a transferee’s residence often sells rapidly in a thriving real estate market, leaving the employee with scarce options and a fiercely competitive market at their intended location. This can pose challenges for the buyer in swiftly acquiring a new home, prompting the family to seek temporary accommodations to bridge the gap. In the present real estate landscape, providing temporary housing perks and extensions in such circumstances is increasingly customary.

Industries & Job Types That Commonly Utilize Corporate Housing

While temporary housing is used by a broad range of organizations with relocation programs, the following are more common examples of industries and job types that utilize these benefits:

  • Healthcare – traveling nurses, doctors, and specialists 
  • Energy – oil and gas company employees
  • Military – those on temporary duty assignment (TDY) or performing a permanent change of station (PCS)
  • Finance and banking – commonly auditors on assignment
  • Technology – IT professionals on projects
  • Retail – Trainees and managers supporting store expansions
  • Entertainment – stage crew and performers

Primary Benefits of Corporate Housing

As discussed, corporate housing offers both the company and the employee a solution regarding price and ease of transition. Additionally, the company has multiple employees coming and going from a specific city. In that case, it provides peace of mind knowing that they will have living accommodations available for their employees who are relocating or are on assignment. 

Risk mitigation is an additional benefit of corporate housing. Companies who contract with corporate housing facilities know the property is safe and secure and provide priority coverage for the employee if something goes wrong. 

For example, if an employee finds that an appliance is not working, that the plumbing has issues, or that there is an electrical problem, the property management team is there to handle it. Conversely, suppose employees are left on their own to rent temporary accommodations. In that case, they and the company are exposed to unnecessary risk, as there are no guarantees that the problem can be fixed promptly.

How to Learn More About Short-Term Housing for Employees

Corporate housing options can benefit all parties involved when it comes to relocating a job assignment, for both the company and the transferring employee. However, it is important to note that temporary housing benefits should be specified in the company’s relocation policies. Working with a full-service global mobility solutions team, like GMS, can help assure your corporate housing policies are clear and concise. Additionally, GMS offers relocation coaching to relocating employees to guide them on their journey and maximize their relocation benefits. Contact us today with any questions about corporate housing solutions or relocation needs.

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Vice President, Real Estate Services Jules has over 21 years of experience as a licensed Real Estate Agent and Broker with operational experience gained from areas throughout the United States. She has held leadership positions such as Broker of Record and Real Estate Specialist, Team Leader, and Branch Manager, and as well as owned her own real estate company, working on U.S. Domestic and Government accounts. As a Team Leader, Jules taught monthly classes in contract writing, and contract negotiating to hundreds of Real Estate Agents.

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