As an engineer, you’ll likely take on contract work at some point in your career. Contract work allows more freedom and flexibility than permanent attachment to long-term projects, but it can sometimes be difficult to find accommodation while on a contract, especially at short notice.
But luckily, there are a few solutions to find somewhere to stay while you are working as a contract engineer.
The best time to book contractor accommodation is as soon as you receive confirmation of your contract.
This way, you massively increase your chances that you will have somewhere comfortable to stay during your contract. It also reduces the level of stress you’ll deal with, as it gives you plenty of time to research your options and find a good deal on somewhere to stay.
There are many agencies that specialize in providing accommodation during short-term contracts, some of which operate across multiple cities and countries. They may provide additional services such as transportation or catering.
Some firms outsource handling of contractor accommodation to these accommodation agencies, so for certain contracts you won’t need to worry, but remember not to take anything for granted when it comes to where you’ll be staying.
Some employers may even cover the cost of your accommodation, but this will depend on your employer. It’s best to check with them before you book or make any arrangements.
But if you don’t want to use an agency, there are other ways you can find accommodation for contract work.
Serviced apartments or apart-hotels can be a convenient way to stay near a project without having to take a short-let on a house or apartment.
Serviced apartments and apart-hotels offer the flexibility of an apartment, with the added benefits of hotel services like cleaning, laundry facilities, and a reception desk. You can find serviced apartments in most cities, and you can book them for a short or long-term contract.
For many people, when it comes to where they live, even if it’s only for a short time, they want a house or apartment. If you want the stability and familiarity of a place that’s yours for the length of your contract, you may want to consider taking a room in a shared house.
There are websites that offer listings of available rooms in shared houses in cities around the world, and you can filter your search by location, budget, and amount of rooms.
There are social groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media sites dedicated to every kind of career, and the issues that come with it.
Joining groups about contract work can help you find a place to stay, or introduce you to someone who might be able to help.
If you’re looking for accommodation in another country, it’s important to have all your legal requirements prepared and finalised before looking for accommodation. Having your passport, visa, and other documentation ready to hand will make finding accommodation much easier.
The company you’re working with may be able to help here, and it’s always best to double check exactly what you’re permitted as per your visa, and your contract.
When looking for somewhere to stay for contract work, you’ll find many aggregate websites that check every hotel or apartment for you, offer a range of discounts and deals. These may seem like the best option, but some websites will charge you more based on your browsing history.
Furthermore, these websites often make their profits from increasing the base price of the accommodation and claiming the difference.
If you find a provider you like the look of, you might get a better price if you go direct to them, as they aren’t paying a website to advertise for them.
Many companies offer loyalty schemes, so if you often take contract work and require accommodation, it may save you money in the long-term if you find one provider you like, and use them each time you need somewhere to stay. Even if the savings seem small at first, over the course of your career they’ll add up, and you may receive additional perks and discounts thanks to being a loyal customer.
Finding suitable accommodation as a contract working can take some research and planning. But there are ways you can ensure finding something that suits your needs, tastes, and budget, while letting you live close to where you’ll be working.
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