As the consulting industry faces pressure to reduce travel costs while maintaining a high level of service, short-term apartments have emerged as a leading cost saver with all the perks of a leading hotel – and then some.
The current economic climate and recent public scrutiny of travel and leisure spending has put corporate travel on hold. The US corporate travel market fell 15 percent in 2009, at an estimated industry loss of $85 billion, according to PhoCusWright, a global travel research firm based in Sherman, Connecticut.
In a consulting industry where travel is a vital component of business, consulting firms find themselves in a conflict between meeting client requests and keeping billable travel expenses under control. At the same time, most counselors still travel more than 150 days a year and constantly struggle to maintain work-life balance. About 85 percent of recruiters saw candidates reject a job offer because it didn’t involve enough work-life balance, according to a recent survey by the Association of Executive Search Consultants. About 90 percent of recruits say work-life balance considerations are more important now than they were five years ago.
Today, consulting firms must establish and adhere to a work-life balance policy in order to acquire and retain world-class consulting talent. This includes providing travel accommodations that feel more like living and less like work. Corporate housing has emerged as a way to better manage extended travel due to advisory projects. Companies that prescribe short-term apartments to their travelers can realize savings of up to 15 percent compared to a typical hotel stay. What’s more, counselors can enjoy more of the comforts of home as well as the high-quality amenities they expect during extended travel.
Customers pay travel expenses
About half of counselors surveyed report that clients hold back on travel expenses, according to a survey by Consulting Magazine. Almost a third of consultants report that clients place restrictions on travel expenses as part of their engagement contracts. Almost one in five advisors say clients ask them to travel less often or find ways to reduce travel spending. It is too early to tell whether these new pressures will continue after the economy improves. However, advisors must be prepared to continue to limit or cut back on their travel expenses for the foreseeable future.