Offshore accommodation is a very important point to consider for any offshore operation—perhaps more so than many companies originally realize. When you’re dealing with offshore operations such as this, you lose the traditional ‘detox time’ your employees get by going home; all the pay in the world won’t make their rest hours better if you’re providing low-quality, difficult-to-maintain living quarters. So consider these 7 points when choosing offshore accommodations to keep costs down, morale up, and profits flowing:
Offshore maintenance gets pricey. When you invest in lower quality offshore accommodation, you’re going to see more things broken, more things not quite right, and more things dangerous and expensive to fix. You won’t save money except in the short term, and you might pay the price in more than just maintenance and repair costs—you might see injuries, morale loss, and any number of other headaches courtesy of your decision to not pay attention to where you’re placing your employees in their down-time.
Low morale means less efficient labor. By providing your employees with a better off-hours experience, they don’t end up nearly as run-down and miserable over their stint at your facility. Worn-down employees make mistakes, they take longer to complete basic tasks, and you can kiss any hope of ingenuity or excellence goodbye. Investing in superior offshore accommodation makes your labor more efficient, in the same way investing in better mechanics make your machines more effective.
Good accommodations reduce turnover. When you set up your employees in a situation where they know working for a competitor will mean taking a hit to their living situation, they’re going to be much, much more likely to stay on board—even if you’re not offering quite as much pay, or if they dislike their supervisor, or whatever else. Knowing you have a decent place to take a shower and rest your head means a lot to any worker. The opposite holds true as well—it’s very, very easy to lose workers, especially the best ones, when they know they could go elsewhere and not have to put up with terrible quarters.
Accommodations can be leveraged to recruit superior talent. When you have better living quarters to offer, you can point that out to potential recruits to secure talent your pay rate or benefits might not be able to secure. After all, accommodations can mean the difference between a worker feeling like they’re getting a decent rest between shifts, and feeling like they’re never really off the clock—your recruits will know that, and they’ll understand just what you’re offering if you can point to what your accommodations have to offer. You don’t even have to mention it yourself; in the circles you most want to have a good reputation as a solid employer, this is the sort of thing that’s going to get mentioned over and over if your quarters are good, or if they’re bad. The latter can be especially damaging to a company, so be very wary of what employees and ex-employees might have to say to promising new recruits.
Poor accommodations can lead to hygiene and health issues. If taking a shower is an ordeal, if every daily task of hygiene and health is made miserable due to low quality offshore accommodation, then you’re going to see dirtier, nastier workers each day. And those workers will get themselves and one another sick more often, cutting into your hours, driving up your insurance rates, and altogether creating easily avoidable wasted expenditures. Make keeping clean and healthy less of a hassle and you’ll have less problems.
Liability and low-quality offshore accommodations. Employees in offshore accommodations are more or less hostage to your decisions as a corporation—that makes things your fault when they go wrong; all the contracts and insurance in the world can’t promise you complete insulation from responsibility, so it’s important to alleviate risk by eliminating points where problems might arise. We’ve talked about health problems, injuries, and other problems which might arise from poor offshore accommodation quality, so this is just a reminder of the knock-on effect such problems might have. Even if everything goes right and insurance catches the problems, you might still end up losing more and more money to pumped up premiums.
Design inefficiencies waste time. Poor design can add up to quite a number of wasted man-hours over a long period of time, so consider how your offshore accommodation will be used and what the design might mean for daily activities. If maintenance is going to have to work twice as hard, if supply management’s a nightmare, if maintaining basic hygiene is a pain, etc., you are going to end up hurting your bottom line in the long run. Consider this well, or you’re going to end up wasting money because some engineer didn’t consider how much of a pain getting supplies from Storage Room A to Bathroom C would end up being.
There you have it—seven considerations for your business to keep in mind when choosing offshore accommodation. It’s entirely too easy to overlook the myriad effects on performance and expense which can arise as a direct result of the quarters you place your employees in, but hopefully; now that you’re thinking about it, you can dodge the traps and leverage the possibilities to fullest potential and maximize profits.