Who cares about duty of care?

When it comes to business travel these days, there are two topics on everyone’s mind: Alternative accommodations and duty of care. Taking care of your employees is paramount as they travel for work and a company’s policies on accommodations are important as they manage travel and deliver employee satisfaction. The hotel industry has long focused on safety measures with on-property staff dedicated to monitoring conditions as well as procedures for emergencies. But what about the growing area of alternative accommodations?

As alternatives to hotels become more and more a part of the travel ecosystem, how do travel and mobility managers get the duty of care compliance they need. Companies are grappling with matching duty of care with their employees desires for alternative accommodations. When it comes to duty of care, two factors dominate the conversation.

Lodging Type

I spent the first part of my career opening hotels for some of Starwood’s marquee brands such as W and St. Regis. With global chain-scale hotel companies, safety and security are integral to the experience. Most of the time, the mechanics lie behind the scenes with teams and systems monitoring security feeds and patrolling the grounds. We take much of this for granted as part of the hotel experience. The tricks of the trade have evolved over time to ensure the guest’s overall safety and as travelers, we (and our employers) rest assured when we check in.

Business travelers searching for stays beyond a typical transient hotel stay are falling back on what they know from their leisure experiences: Vacation rental websites. This growing demand from the employees brings with it a new source of concern for companies.

Vacation rental sites cannot deliver a consistent, reliable business travel experience.  Individual property owners are not professional property managers, and their private or vacation homes are not commercial buildings. In many cases, the host is subletting their home or apartment without the consent of their property owner, manager or HOA. The consistency of lodging and a lack of standards are a real concern.

At Urbandoor, we are solving this with a network of professional serviced apartment providers who are solely focused on business-ready accommodations. Our standards cover everything from the property itself, to the furnishings and apartment amenities and our Hospitality and Platform Success teams work day and night to ensure that every apartment on our platform meets the same set of requirements. We recently added insurance for damages and a guest’s belongings during every stay. You can learn more about this addition to our service here.

Traveler Tracking

With travelers booking 60% of their extended lodging outside the managed travel program, how can a Travel Manager know where those travelers are at any given time? Further, when issues arise, as they, unfortunately, are sure to, how does a Travel Manager reconcile off-policy travel with the safety and security of their employees?

When your project or extended travel needs require more than a hotel, Urbandoor is your answer. Urbandoor works exclusively with professional Corporate Housing Providers and institutional owners/managers of apartment buildings, offering serviced apartments designed for business travel. When you book with Urbandoor, all of your traveler information is easily accessible on your dashboard. Across countries and providers, you have one place to track your extended stay travelers. Further, our platform is built entirely upon APIs so traveler data is exportable to any system a corporate customer or TMC desires.

We care about duty of care

I’m excited at the development of our platform and our relationship with providers who understand the importance of duty of care. As we bring Serviced Apartments into the forefront of alternative accommodations, I’m looking forward to bringing the best of hotel hospitality, service and comfort to our guests around the word.