The information below should be used as an addition to the list under What to Look For in a Facility.
If staff are in a location where we must run a guest house for them to live in, it is likely that their work and their environment are very stressful. The Guest House should be a place where they can relax in a pleasant atmosphere and have some privacy. Spend the money you need to spend to make it (eventually) spacious, comfortable, clean, and well-run.
Whatever money you put into in a guest house is an investment. The money will come back to CRS, and thus our beneficiaries, through increased employee morale and productivity.
In addition to the items listed in the general facilities selection list, when you are looking for a guest house, you should also take these things into consideration:
- Look for a compound that has (or where you can set up) some outdoor, green space for residents to use.
- When calculating building space needs, include:
- Space for exercise
- Space for general recreation equipment like a ping-pong or foosball table.
- A safe room or bunker, if you are in a high-risk security area. (See security protocols for staff housing.)
Also see the attachment Minimizing Stressors in Our Environments.
When you’ve found something suitable, go to the section on Leasing a Facility.
Combining the Office and the Guest House on one compound?
- Save money on fixed costs: leases, staff, power equipment (generator, etc.), internet systems. You probably won’t save the whole amount of a second compound, because you’ll have to make the systems in the one compound you do run bigger. But you’ll definitely save money.
- Save the time and energy associated with maintaining two separate compounds.
- Save the vehicle and driver time and cost associated with driving staff back and forth between compounds.
- Requires a larger office compound with a separate living area for staff, (to help give them some privacy and down time after work).
- Even with a separate living area, living and working in the same place is likely to be a stress on the staff who live there. In the long run this stress is likely to reduce morale and productivity. This factor alone probably outweighs all the pluses listed above.
If staff accommodations are within a kilometer of the office, it may be possible for the staff house to have access to the power supply and internet service set up at the office. Check with the facilities and IT staff in the main office about how to set such a thing up.