Serviced Apartments: The Solution to Business Travel Blues

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People often think that there could be nothing better or more glamorous than travelling the world as part of your career. However, the reality is that many business people are actually frustrated with having to travel for business, particularly as more often than not, it is not necessarily to international trendy cities but simply to the other side of the same country. A survey carried out by British Airways uncovered the top five motives that encourage business travellers to not be particularly fond of travelling for work and they are as follows:

  1. Being Away From Family – 64%
  2. The Long Hours – 58%
  3. The Stress of Connecting Flights – 44%
  4. A Lack of Internet – 24%
  5. Being Unable to Work – 16%

However, these are not the only issues; there are a few other common gripes which have been highlighted by http://realbusiness.co.uk/article/32343-the-five-worst-things-about-business-travel–and-what-do-to-about-them With a lot of the customer base of serviced apartments like The Spires being corporate, this is already indicative of their ability to be a business travel lifesaver. Although, there is not much we can do to solve the issues of connecting flights, we do have your back covered when it comes to easing the pain of the other prolific gripes. Therefore, this reflects how serviced apartments should be your prime choice of accommodation when travelling for business.

Say Goodbye to Loneliness!

For instance, we know how hard it is to be away from the family, however with our spacious apartments that can accommodate up to 6 persons, we offer a simple solution: bring your family with you! With fully-equipped kitchens and lounges as well as bedrooms which can be either twins or doubles (select locations only), our accommodations could not be any more family friendly; particularly as we can provide cots and high chairs for the little ones. Therefore, if you are staying for an extended period of time, The Spires can almost act as your second home from home; complete with dining tables for everyone’s favourite family dinners. You will all be fighting over the remote in no time.

Likewise, on this note of all the space our apartments can provide, this means it is also possible for colleagues to share an apartment; without the trauma of having to share a room. This will help to keep costs down as well as will fight the feeling of loneliness – it is a win-win for the both the employer and employee.

Needing some space and a breather?

You have been in an office and in meetings all day long and the last thing you want to do is go out and socialise but at the same time you do not like the thought of returning to a bare hotel room. Well, serviced apartments can help with this.  With a lounge, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom; you are not confined to a single room but have plenty of space in which to spread yourself out and relax. Our apartments are minimalist and stylish yet still retain that familial feel meaning that you feel perfectly comfortable and welcome. Therefore, why we cannot unfortunately prevent your long hours, we can help to make your downtime as leisurely and relaxing as possible. Likewise, we have a noise policy in place and so you never have to worry about not getting a good night’s rest; particularly when combined with our sumptuously comfy beds.

A Lack of Internet?

In this technological age where we are all digital natives, we know that one of the biggest worries is being disconnected. However, when you stay at The Spires, you do not need to be in fear of this because we have a very secure and reliable WiFi connection. While there is a charge, this is because our WiFi is very high quality and robust. There is nothing worse than the promise of free WiFi at a hotel which you can never access or face exceptionally slow speeds, and that is never the case here. Therefore, you do not have to live in fear of the WiFi cutting out but relax and know you will always get a secure and rapid connection which means you can keep in contact with both the business world and your family/friends.

Unable to Work?

There is nothing worse than being confined to a hotel room where you hardly have room to unpack your suitcase let alone spread out your work documents – you can almost go stir-crazy from being in such a confined space. However, with serviced apartments you have more than just a bedroom but a lounge and dining table. This means not only do you have enough room to spread out your papers and files, but can you sleep in a room separate from your work and laptop and you can also work in comfort on one of our cosy couches. Likewise, both in the lounges and bedrooms we provide ample cupboard and drawer space so you never have to be at a loss as to where to put your belongings.  Therefore, whether you want to relax or work, our peaceful apartments provide the perfect ambiance which enables you to be at max productivity.

Scared of Eating Alone?

Nothing makes people quite as self-conscious as eating alone in a restaurant, however when you stay in a hotel room, you do not have much choice because you do not have any cooking facilities. Therefore, unless you are happy with cold supermarket dinners constituting of sandwiches and crisps or take-aways; restaurants seem to be your only saviour. That is, unless you stay in a serviced apartment. With fully-equipped kitchens that include a microwave, toaster, oven, fridge, freezer and more, you can make dinners worthy of a Michelin starred restaurant or you can simply just do a high quality beans and toast. Either way, our kitchens are the perfect solution to the self-consciousness of eating in a restaurant; the expense of eating out and providing the freedom that enables you to cook to satisfy your own dietary requirements.

Location, Location, Location

Surveys have also revealed that business travellers are fearful of that generic stay in an airport hotel where your nearest attractions are the hotel bar or the airport itself. However, all our apartments have exceptionally city central convenient locations meaning that you are right in the midst of all the attractions, be them culinary, cultural, natural or retail, and are potentially not too far from your work location too. Therefore, when you are tired from all your meetings but want to see the local sights, or just to have a refreshing pint, our apartments provide the perfect location in which to enable this.

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Memoirs of a Placement Sales Administrator

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It is exceptionally weird to think that about approximately this time last year, I had absolutely no awareness of the serviced apartment industry. Flashforward to today and I could probably whittle off a general definition of the industry as well as a list of all the major operators, agents and associations in the field like snap. This is the power of working for a serviced apartments firm like “The Spires” and wherever I go now, whether it is a national or international destination, my eyes are attuned to looking for such accommodation firms – my travel habits have quite clearly been altered.

Throughout the year you may have read some of my sporadic blogs on what life was like as a Sales Admin and this is to be my swan song; the ultimate recap of my placement life. Of course I started the year with good intentions of blogging weekly but as happens with all New Year resolutions, this started to fade out pretty quickly as the months passed. As stated, this time last year I was completely oblivious to the service apartment concept but due to my internship I have been in far many than I count; I have tweeted about them; blogged about them, researched them and I kid not when I say that I have indeed dreamt about them. I have also not just worked behind-the-scenes in terms of promoting them, but have also ventured into the front line and been one of the faces for the Aberdeen Front of House. Therefore, bar finance and actual management, there is not a lot of the serviced apartments world I have not witnessed and learned from!

Over the course of the first six months, I was predominantly responsible for the online promotion of the firm in terms of social media management, website content and email marketing as well as for the administrative element such as updating booker contact details and classifying customers. These were tasks that I thoroughly enjoyed because they allowed me to use my initiative, be autonomous, use my creativity and as the world moves increasingly online, I know this can only benefit me. Moreover, I am not sure many can take the pleasure of saying they are being paid to be on Facebook! It is particularly surreal that it was a part of my job description and it did take a while for me not to feel the need to justify my internet habits if anyone happened to pass by my monitor – I was working I swear it. However, with that privilege came a lot of responsibility because you want to ensure you present the firm in the best light and to make sure what you post is synonymous with the values of the company. Similarly, as I have learnt, the aim of attracting new followers is not an easy one to achieve and it took a lot of work. Something that was quite surprising was how much researching is involved in terms of material to post and things to blog about, I never realised how difficult it is to come up with a fresh angle and to balance promoting the firm while not out-right selling it because that does not really work on social media. It is all about building that relationship and getting to interact with customers on a personal level, something which I realised in that my most popular postings tended to be in relation to things like team birthdays or accomplishments. I imagine that is because everyone likes to see the faces behind the firm.

Therefore, while being very active with the back-of-house team and phoning many a travel booker, my Sales Administrator position was quite independent and relatively laid-back in that I did not have a lot of contact with external stakeholders nor had strict deadlines to meet. This was epitomised by the fact that throughout the whole six months, I never had someone phone or email me. Conversely, Front of House was the complete flip-side of this. Between customers, agencies and companies, I made and received countless phone calls/emails a day and felt immensely popular – post-it notes became my best friends. I can honestly say that time has never passed as quickly before, while as a Sales Admin I was free to work at my own pace, in Front Of House it felt like I was juggling many balls all at once and so the sand-timer was always ticking down! However, while undeniably challenging, it was ultimately very rewarding in terms of testing my ability to think on my feet, multi-task and be responsible. Of course having the chance to interact with our guests, especially from international destinations like Japan and Singapore, was thoroughly enjoyable especially as you were playing a part in making their holiday to Scotland special. It was particularly gratifying getting to know the regulars to the extent where you already knew their name as soon as they walked through the door and they already had their ID at the ready.

Overall, I do not think there could have been a better time to work in the firm because with the opening of the Edinburgh location and the development of “The Apartment Collection – By The Spires”, it was such a dynamic atmosphere with a lot of excitement, as well as drama aplenty of course! Therefore, through the highs and through the lows, there was not a single moment I regretted working at The Spires because the people were some of the loveliest I have ever worked with and I loved the camaraderie of the office; it was always a joy to go in (particularly on the days where there was cake – which was a lot of them). I certainly feel I have developed personally and professionally and so I am immensely grateful I was chosen to work for the firm and that they have even allowed me to stay on. If there is one thing that is particularly surreal it is that when I make that 15 minute journey to The Spires from my home once a week, it never feels like I ever worked here full-time, not least for eight months. Thankfully, I have all those tweets, posts, blogs and databases to prove otherwise and as I continue on, even if for only a few hours a week, it is nice to know I am leaving my own kind of legacy.

Relocation, Relocation, Relocation

Aberdeen67A lot of us dream of it: a high-flying career bringing us to all the exotic, glamorous destinations of the world where we precede to work hard in the boardroom, and play hard in our new mysterious surroundings. However, the reality of business relocation is a lot more different. Sometimes, relocation may simply consist of moving to a different city to complete a short-term business assignment or maybe it is moving for a significant period of time to a different country. There are all different kinds of scenarios and with everyone having their own personal circumstances (for example: married vs. single vs. with young family vs. with teenagers), no relocation and its consequences will ever hit two people the same. However, it is clear that it is rare for any relocation to be plain sailing, what with all the expense and mental strain associated with settling in a potentially vastly different territory. Moving firms can be challenging enough as you adapt to new ways of doing business, let alone moving to an entirely new city or country at the same time where you are unfamiliar with everything but still expected to produce results.

When all else is failing or changing in our lives, home tends to be our anchor due to its enduring stability and its association as a safe haven. It is a place where we can be ourselves, where we feel perfectly at peace. However, when people are relocated, they have to find a new place to live and that alongside changes in the professional life can be very stressful and disorientating. When you have had to endure an entirely new corporate culture, the last thing you want is to return to a sterile hotel room and feel no belonging or comfort there either. This is why serviced apartments are so beneficial for relocation, particularly if you have to uproot the family and bring them with you also.

Due to their warm welcome generated from the comfiest furnishings, the unique yet stylish decorations and their inclusion of the congregation points of any home, a lounge and kitchen; serviced apartments definitely embody a home from home feel. You have plenty of space to relax after a long day and you have the flexibility to cook your own meals so as to benefit your health-and your wallet.

Further benefits of a serviced apartment solution to business relocation were provided in the Buying Business Travel March/April edition. For instance, in further relation to employee welfare, it was highlighted how it is the first few weeks that are of critical importance because if the employee does not feel content or is not assimilating during that time-frame, it is highly likely that their secondment or their assignment will not produce the results it could have.

Similarly, it was reflected how it is not just the emotions that serviced apartments benefit in the relocation scenario, it is also the practicalities. For instance, due to their size, it is a lot easier to use serviced apartments for business projects because should the project be expanded or contracted, apartments can tend to meet those changing needs a lot more easily and reduce the potential for disruption. Likewise, as serviced apartments are not tenancies, they save the employees the strain of having to set up internet and nor do they have to worry about paying utilities; they just pay the up-front fee and can extend or cancel their stay with a lot more ease. Moreover, due to the differences between deluxe serviced apartments and penthouses, every level of employee and budget can be catered for.

Last year it was even noted how the relocation market was one that the serviced apartment industry was keeping a particular watchful eye on, and even today the serviced apartment industry continues to rapidly grow as the bigger brands and smaller organisations alike come to desire to capitalise on the benefits of long-term stays. This is the same for shorter-time business stays because as organisations grow and they need to send their employees to handle their international business, this clearly requires accommodation. However, simultaneously, whilst the industry is growing, long-term relocation has been an area that has been slightly hit due to financial cuts resulting in shorter stays; smaller apartments and families not being able to accompany the business traveller.

As someone who has had to travel for work and has stayed in a hotel for an extended period of time, I can certainly vouch for the preference for staying in a serviced apartment. As lovely as it was to have my breakfast cooked for me and to have my room cleaned, it was frustrating to be constricted to such a small space for such a long period of time and to have to rely solely on supermarket snack foods or take-outs. While I still enjoyed the experience, I can say that the novelty wore off and I did always find myself eager to get home to my own house where I had greater freedom to do as I pleased. Therefore, having learnt that serviced apartments not only handle the breakfast and cleaning aspect for you, but also give you that extra space and that ability to cook for yourself, often for a lower price than a hotel room, I would do things differently if I had the chance to do it over again.

Just remember, even though we are here to cater for longer-time stays, one of the biggest misconceptions about our business is that long-term is all we accommodate for. Whether you are here for a night or a year, we welcome all!

To learn more click here: http://www.thespires.co.uk/serviced-apartments-in-glasgow-aberdeen-and-birmingham/long-term-stay-and-relocation