The person responsible for opening the purse strings, for a business sending workers to Cambridge on various trips, must make a cost benefit analysis of the different types of places to stay in Cambridge that are available to her or to him. In general terms, these are either hotels or apartments.
The hotels costs are measured, normally, in the occupancy charges levied on every individual staying. For the most part, business travellers are put up in separate rooms, whether single or double: and so the business sending them to Cambridge incurs a cost per head for every night of the trip.
The apartments costs are normally levied for a whole package. Serviced places to stay in Cambridge of this nature will usually, provided that the number of people in them do not exceed the stated maximum occupancy, give a flat rate for every night stayed. In some cases, weekly prices may also apply.
From this point of view, the business sending multiple employees to Cambridge may find that the use of serviced apartments represents a benefit a hotel is unable to provide. Where the same price accommodates multiple persons, then – provided that total price comes in at a smaller figure than the combined cost of putting everyone up in separate rooms – the apartment becomes the financially preferable option.
However, there are circumstances whereby the benefits associated with using hotels as business places to stay in Cambridge may outweigh the extra costs. Normally, these benefits are evident for shorter business trips, which may be quite intense and leave employees little time for anything other than conducting the work for which they have been sent to Cambridge.
In cases like this, the employee has no time to cook for himself or herself – and so staying in a place capable of providing quick cooked food for him or for her is a benefit that makes the extra cost worthwhile. In essence the purchasing manager is paying not just for the accommodation, but for the convenience of being able to feed his or her staff while they do the work required of them.
The total service nature of a hotel – linen changed on request, daily room cleaning and full board – makes it the ideal location for a short term business trip (a few days, generally speaking). Beyond this basic time frame, the cost benefit analysis may start to shift in the other direction, though – back towards the apartment.
As far as longer term places to stay in Cambridge are concerned, the apartment has a clear advantage over the hotel: in that it allows the workers staying in it to cook their own food and to spend some down time doing things other than those associated with the role they hold within their company. Here the benefits associated with the apartment become conceptual as much as directly tangible: they’re not just about the amount of money the place costs, but about the ways in which it enables travelling workers to maintain a healthy balance between their job and their life.