Employees Needing to Be Closer to Work Aren’t Moving Home – They’re Renting a Weekday Room Instead

Employees Needing to Be Closer to Work Aren’t Moving Home – They’re Renting a Weekday Room Instead

In 2008, double the amount of lodgers (211.05%) registered with one UK-based weekday renting service, compared with 2007 – particularly in the final quarter of last year – as employees and contractors invariably sought employment further away from home, and realised that they could improve their flexibility by living near to work Monday to Friday, and returning home each weekend. Equally, landlord registrations increased 177.35% over the same period, as homeowner landlords rented out their spare rooms to earn vital extra income in the increasingly uncertain economic environment.

Companies are striving to retain their existing clients and contracts, while continuing to attract new ones. They may have been forced to make redundancies, and need to deploy their existing manpower to other sites, in order to maintain client service levels.

Many employees are faced with having to travel further afield either to keep their current jobs, or to progress their careers. Commuting daily from, say, Leicestershire or Norfolk to London, is not always feasible logistically, or financially – especially with the New Year’s 6% rise in rail fares.

Today selling and buying a house, and relocating, is extremely difficult, and also may not be desirable or practical for employees. But the flexibility of being able to rent a room in someone else’s home closer to work during the week, and returning home each weekend, is a win-win for them, and their employers. Credit crunch or not, employers have a duty of care to their retained workforces, who in turn, may be coping with expanded roles and responsibilities, and the increased stress of uncertainty.

One lodger, Colin McNulty, who lives in Manchester, and lodges in London, comments:

“As a contractor, my job means that “wherever I lay my hat is home”; but the locations are ever-changing. Weekday renting allows me to take up work contracts throughout the country, and live where I need to during the week. For instance, I’ve just found a lodging that was within five minutes of my current position in London, saving hefty commuter fees and time from my home in Manchester.”

As the economic situation continues to bite in 2009, we’re expecting our lodger and homeowner registrations to increase steadily. And while that’s good for our service, we’re also proud that in some way, we’re helping people to manage their working lives better. By renting a room nearer to their workplaces Monday to Friday, people can take, or retain, jobs far away from home. It’s an alternative, but feasible, way of living which has many benefits for everyone.