When choosing offshore accommodations, it behooves employers to take a close look at what they’re purchasing, and consider matters from the employee standpoint. After all, employees will be spending quite a lot of time in these accommodations, meaning the knock-on effects from problems can permeate throughout your entire company’s operations. Just consider these five reasons to take care in making your decision, and always keep the employee experience in mind:
The most basic, pervasive element to consider when selecting offshore accommodations is morale. In a poor environment, employees will become disgruntled and deliver inferior performances. With an excellent environment, they’ll be satisfied and put in far more effort far more successfully. This is, if anything, more important for businesses operating offshore, as they become almost solely responsible for determining overall morale and quality-of-life for their employees.
When looking at a business where employees go home at the end of the day, the employer and the environment they provide only accounts for a third of the day’s experience, roughly. But with an offshore business utilizing offshore accommodations, the entirety of an employee’s day becomes the organization’s responsibility. This multiplies the effect of the work environment on morale—which can be a strength as easily as a weakness, if you take the time to find the right accommodations.
The quality of your offshore accommodations needs not limit its advantages to current employees, of course. You can also use them as an enticement when recruiting—with decent housing available, you’ll find you can hire out superior quality without paying nearly as much. It’s as powerful and enticing a benefit as anything else you might offer, especially for those more savvy, more thoughtful employees businesses most desire to have on their payroll.
Conversely, nothing will hamper your recruitment efforts more than a reputation for terrible living conditions. It’s not at all uncommon for people to hear about such matters through friends and acquaintances, and thus avoid troublesome companies as best they can—after all, no one wants to work and live in an uncomfortable, frustrating environment. So make sure you’re avoiding chronically broken, uncomfortable, or simply poorly designed accommodations for your employees.
On the opposite side of the equation, you should consider the importance of good accommodations n employee retention. You don’t want to find yourself training and retraining an endless parade of short-time employees, accumulating those with no prospects of a better job and losing everyone with even marginal talent. The cost of training, loss of skill, and general instability can cause massive damage to your business over time, even if you ignore every other factor.
On the flip side, good facilities can help keep retention high even if you’re not offering the best pay or benefits in the industry—living quarters mean a lot to employees, given how much time they’re going to spend in them over their careers. They can thus carry as much weight in keeping good workers on board as a good healthcare plan or access to a company car might for an on-shore business—if not more.
4) Health and Hygiene
It might surprise you if you don’t think about it much, but the quality of offshore accommodations can have a measurable effect on the overall health and hygiene of your employees. Simply put, good facilities make it easier to keep up with such matters after a hard day of work, whereas bad ones can turn simple daily tasks into a colossal headache for your workers. Day after day of frustration can quickly turn into mild to moderate apathy, with off-the-clock employees allowing themselves to slip here and there.
It shouldn’t be necessary to explain how problematic this can become for your company—and these are only the indirect results of frustrations. If sleeping and other matters become difficult become of sub-par facilities, it can have an even more directly deleterious effect. The last thing you want on your offshore facilities are a bunch of sickly, surly, tired employees.
Public perception can have a bad impact on any business in any industry—even those who ordinarily think of themselves as companies outside of the public limelight can find themselves negatively effected by bad rumors, news articles, etc. Similarly, companies which can become well-regarded within their industry can thrive, even if they’re mostly working with business partners and customers who are apathetic to public reputations.
With this in mind, it’s important to carefully consider the state of your employees. No one wants to find their company at the center of one of those unpredictable perfect storms of negative PR. Such an event can damage your company in myriad ways; investment, partnerships, regulations, etc.
So it’s a good idea to make sure the way you house your employees offshore not only bears scrutiny, but represents you positively. The public regards businesses who treat their companies well positively, even when it doesn’t impact the quality of the product. This is still relevant even for offshore drilling operations with no direct business with the public.
As you can see, employee perception and usage of your offshore facilities will have a major impact on your business. It may not be readily apparent from day one, but over time you will see various changes based solely upon the quality of the housing your provide employees in their off time; when you consider the simple difference between employees on land, who get to go home, and employees off shore, who are dependent upon you for their relaxation time, it’s easy to see why this is such an important decision for your operation.