How can your mobility policy be more sustainable?
Companies are rapidly deploying sustainability initiatives into their assignment programmes. Our recent sustainability survey, conducted in conjunction with EY, highlighted that a top priority for companies is to change the way assignees furnish their homes. 68% of companies are either currently, or are actively considering, renting furnished accommodations as their default option. Likewise, 61% are either currently, or are actively considering switching to furniture rental options.
Furniture rental ticks many sustainability boxes. It can be used several times, cleaned, repaired, and refurbished, thereby contributing to the circular economy. The furniture stays in the local vicinity, reducing transportation costs and it takes away the need to buy new; lowering the drain on raw materials, fuel, shipping, labour and natural resources.
While furniture rental has strong sustainability credentials compared to other ways of furnishing assignees’ properties, this is not the only driver for its increasing popularity. The ongoing shipping crisis has left companies seeking alternatives with household goods shipments suffering delays. Companies are keen for employees to quickly get out of temporary accommodation and into their permanent residence in the assignment location. This is attractive both from a cost perspective and as a way of helping the family to settle and the employee to get established in their role and contributing more quickly to the business in the host location.
It is interesting to note that clients are also investigating the use of furniture rental for short term assignments as an alternative to corporate apartments. Furniture rental creates opportunities for employees to have greater flexibility in where they live and how that property is furnished. It also allows for a wider choice of accommodation options and helps address corporate apartment supply challenges in markets where availability is tight. Companies are also reporting that furniture rental is an attractive option for increasing numbers of younger mobile employees who travel light and are keen to engage with the local household furnishing scene.
Furniture rental can offer a more sustainable solution for mobile employee’s furnishing needs, depending on their personal circumstances, the duration of an assignment, need for flexibility and the relative cost of the different household furnishing options. It is interesting to see how the drive towards sustainable practices and external market forces are aligning to drive a heightened level of interest in furniture rental and it will be fascinating to see how this plays out in the many companies who have this actively under consideration.