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Corporate Housing Beyond Covid-19

By Colton Tucker

6 min read time

Predicting the future is impossible, but if you know what you’re looking for, you may be able to find indicators for how things are going to go in the near future. Stock traders do it all the time, and so do corporate housing leaders when it comes to their industry.

With consumer tastes changing, health concerns rising and travel needs adjusting as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a number of things that will be changing within the corporate housing industry in the months to come.

At ExecuStay Midwest, our 30-year history has given us a close look at how consumers respond to major events like the coronavirus. From the 2008 recession to multiple pandemics throughout the years, our past gives us a good idea of what to expect after economic and health-related crises.

Now that we’re seeing both of these scenarios, our industry experts have noticed several trends similar to these past events. We’ve also seen consumers respond in new ways.

To get the best look at how the corporate housing industry is expected to react to these new changes, we interviewed experts from around the industry. We’ll take a look at what to expect from the corporate housing industry beyond COVID-19, including:

  1. What impact will remote work have on the corporate housing industry?
  2. How can we expect the industry to respond to business travel after COVID-19?
  3. What does the future of corporate housing look like?

Our industry experts offer their insight into these important questions, to give you an inside look into the future of corporate housing. Let’s take a look!



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1. What impact will remote work have on the corporate housing industry?

One of the most drastic changes many companies have implemented has been to enable employees to work from home and travel less. This has benefited employees by allowing them to avoid high-traffic areas susceptible to spreading the coronavirus, as well as helping team members avoid traveling through COVID-19 hot zones and being forced into self-quarantine.

There are a number of factors, however, that are already beginning to push business travelers and others to hop on a plane or take a road trip to another destination for temporary assignments.

So, just what impact will remote work have on the corporate housing industry that works so closely to house these business travelers? Becky Oliver, Owner of full-service relocation provider, Nexus Relocation Group, weighed in on this question.

Oliver iterated the effectiveness of remote work in today’s environment and acknowledged it’s new place as a more usable option for a long-distance workforce. She also underscored the effect of social isolation on remote workers and our innate preference to be around others.

“We work differently now than we did a few months ago. Whether we were (or are) comfortable with long distance and virtual education and collaboration, it is now required to learn and conduct business. It is effective in many ways and is efficient with regard to time and energy,” Oliver stated.

“However, I wonder if we will over time want to see our co-workers and clients and customers and students face-to-face. I believe that we will begin to recognize the need to connect in a more personal way. All of the time we spent on reading body language can't go to waste!

Socially, we want to connect. Over time, we will want the same connection with the people we do business with. It will be slow and some may prefer the virtual methods much longer than others.”

Becky Oliver concluded her analysis of the impact of remote work on the corporate housing industry by reviewing her expectations for the industry’s response as a whole to remote work.

“Overall, I believe that the corporate housing industry will shrink some. I don't see it disappearing. It serves a need for people who can't or don't choose to work remotely. As corporate housing relates to relocation, there are needs for temporary housing to support industries that don't function at their best without person-to-person contact. Some people will need additional time to find permanent housing in a new location.”

This statement gives us an inside look at how the corporate housing and relocation industries will likely be affected by companies becoming more comfortable with video conferencing and other types of virtual communication.

As a relocation expert, Becky Oliver expects the corporate housing industry to shrink, but to remain relatively solid as she notes a consistent need for person-to-person interaction in business.

She also stated that the corporate housing industry will likely become more dedicated to business travelers who cannot work remotely as well as other types of traveler not tied to remote work at all.


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2. How can we expect the industry to respond to business travel after COVID-19?

As the world returns to a new normal after COVID-19, business travel will also return, if at a lesser rate than before the coronavirus pandemic as is expected by industry experts.

That means corporate housing companies will be working harder to exceed the expectations of travelers than ever before. But just what exactly can we expect from corporate housing providers in the wake of COVID-19?

Well, experts postulate that corporate housing companies will facilitate a new hybrid workforce that may continue working from home part time but will also travel into the workplace part of the time, as well.

Corporate Housing Provider Association (CHPA) futurist Brian David Johnson said in his podcast Navigating the Noise that he sees the workforce becoming more mobile than ever as teams become more spread out due to the increase of remote work.

Johnson makes the point that as technology advances, humans continually seek out ways to be together. He states that there will always be a need for face-to-face travel, and the pandemic has offered companies a chance to identify what ways they can work remotely and what ways they truly need an in-person connection to work effectively.

Companies with many remote workers will likely send teams to work in person together at least once per year, offering new opportunities for corporate housing providers to market to groups of employees. Businesses who have utilized remote workers before COVID-19 may offer a blueprint for how companies with this type of workforce can operate efficiently.

This insight is a window into how experts expect the corporate housing industry to respond to the needs of business and consumer travelers as travel restrictions are lifted. As a redefined workforce includes more remote workers than ever, businesses will likely continue to utilize corporate housing providers to meet their business travel needs, though these needs may take new shape that corporate housing companies will need to respond to in new ways.



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3. What does the future of corporate housing look like?

Lastly, let’s take a look at how experts expect the corporate housing industry to fare beyond COVID-19 and the immediate impact the virus and subsequent government travel restrictions have had on the industry.

Maura Carey of Dwellworks, a global relocation firm, discussed corporate housing beyond coronavirus and how clients are likely to utilize corporate apartments in the months and years following the pandemic. In a recent article, Carey reviewed clients’ plans for employee travel in the wake of COVID-19.

“Especially in early recovery phases where travel is allowed to newly re-opened locations, some corporate housing companies are hearing that clients will be relocating fewer employees but sending more people on short term assignment/extended travel instead.

For US domestic travel, as an alternative to traveling every week, people will be posted for 30 days and then come home before going out again.”

The corporate housing industry is perfectly poised to provide temporary housing for these individuals who are traveling for 30 days or longer. As fully-furnished apartment providers who traditionally offer housing for 30 days or more, corporate housing companies are set to become an indispensable asset for businesses who are shying away from permanent relocations for their employees and are now leaning towards temporary monthly assignments for their teams.


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What we’re doing now to safeguard the future

At ExecuStay Midwest, we’ve taken unprecedented steps to better serve customers as we work towards a new normal after COVID-19. These steps include reducing our minimum-night requirement to meet the needs of short-term travelers who need flexible options in this uncertain time and updating our housekeeping policies to better serve clients utilizing the service.

We also instituted significant discounts for healthcare professionals, government responders, students, and interns. In fact, all travelers can take advantage of discounted Recovery Pricing.

This discounted pricing program, which applies to new guests who move into their temporary apartments before June 30, 2020, is designed to make staying in a corporate apartment more affordable than ever.

Bonus incentives may also be available for some guests. Book your stay soon to receive your discounted corporate apartment and bonus gift.



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