The energy sector continues to soar across the globe. In fact, investment in the United States energy sector now exceeds $350 billion. We are not talking about just oil and natural gas here. The U.S. is also ranked in the top 3 worldwide for solar, wind, and geothermal energy. When a new energy project starts up, there is an infusion of workers into the area. This means that housing options are required for the team. Explore 11 things to consider when choosing workforce housing for your oil and gas crew.
Location is one of the most important considerations for workforce housing in the energy sector. It is unlikely that the crew will find living accommodations on a worksite. Often, oil and gas sites are located in remote areas far from the nearest hotel. Ideally, you want the crew’s housing to be in close proximity to work. Having a long commute to work is certain to decrease morale amongst the crew. Another factor is proximity to mass transportation and local shopping. Choosing housing that is 30 minutes closest to the nearest airport or train is in the best interests of your team. They can quickly visit or pick up family from these transportation hubs. Also, local shopping proximity gives the crew quick access to groceries and other necessities.
The status of work in the energy sector is sometimes volatile. There are stop-work orders, legal injunctions, and more that can affect operations. Take the Keystone XL pipeline as a perfect example. The inauguration of a new President suddenly led to the project’s termination. For these reasons, it is crucial to find a flexible housing provider. It is not in your company’s best interests to get locked into a long-term lease with no exit ramp. The best strategy is to find a company willing to work around your housing needs. In some cases, a shorter lease costs more per month than a long-term one. You are paying a premium for flexibility, and often this proves to be the correct decision.
- Single Point of Contact
For efficiency purposes, it is critical that your traveling managers deal with a single contact. It is unfeasible to deal with a dozen or more property managers. Consider that you have a housing request for your crew. This means that traveling managers are communicating with multiple different people for the same request. This is not timely or efficient.
Corporate housing should be as comfortable as possible for the crew. After a hard day of work, your workforce wants to return to a couch and bed. The best workforce housing venues are fully furnished. This way, employees do not have to worry about finding comfort. Furnishing goes well beyond a place to sit and sleep. Our properties provided fully equipped kitchens. Now, employees can save money and time by preparing their own food.
The best workforce housing options provide a turn-key solution to your energy crew. When the employee walks into their lodging, everything is ready to go. This includes utilities such as heat, electricity, and water. Also included are modern utilities such as cable and internet. Your employees can answer work e-mails from their bedrooms while offsite.
Your employees are not going to be working 24/7. There are off days, holidays, and more free time to take advantage of. For this reason, you want workforce housing that features some amenities. Of the highest priority are onsite laundry machines and a gym. These two amenities are major factors for convenience and high morale. Employees do not want to haul a huge load of dirty clothes to a Laundromat miles away. The gym is a bonus for employees as they can stay physically fit. Also, they save money on gym memberships and do not have to drive to one. Some housing sites have basketball, tennis, or other sports courts available. Along with a pool, these are valuable amenities for recreation and wellness.
- Maintenance and Repair
What happens if something breaks in the room? You cannot have employees losing an invaluable kitchen appliance or other necessity. The workforce housing venue should have maintenance and repair staff onsite. If not, a property manager can help quickly resolve the failed item. First, evaluation is necessary to figure out what is wrong. Next, the repair action should be completed promptly and without delay.
- Pet-Friendly Options
Are there pet-friendly options? Some employees are pet owners. They need to bring their pets on extended work trips. At the same time, there are some employees that do not want to stay in pet-friendly accommodations. Perhaps they are allergic to pet dander. The best workforce housing venues give the energy crew options. This way, they can choose what best serves their lodging needs.
- Housekeeping Services
Working in the oil and gas industry is hard work. Most days, employees come back after a 12-hour shift and crash on the couch. They do not have time to vacuum or mop the floors. Hundreds of miles from home, they lack the equipment to do these chores even if they wanted to. The solution is housekeeping services at the housing venue. This is an impactful amenity for the crew.
The safety of your crew is very important and should not be overlooked. You want to keep your crew safe traveling to and from work and the proximity from your housing to the worksite can help with this. You also want to be aware of the security measures of the property you choose to help eliminate car break-ins and stolen property.
Now that we have covered all of the desired features and amenities, it is time to consider quality. Before selecting a workforce housing venue, you should always read the reviews. Go online and read what customers and residents have to say. Their testimonials are going to be informative. It is a good gauge of whether the venue delivers on its promises. Reviews also give you an opportunity to identify any shortcomings and try to rectify them.
A Recap of How to Choose Workforce Housing
Selecting the right housing sets the tone for the entire job. If your crew is satisfied, they are more likely to show up to work refreshed and motivated. Amenities and good location go a long way to starting off on a good foot. If you are looking for workforce housing, contact us today to speak with a specialist.