How Synergy and Corporate Housing Embody Sustainable Living

It’s Earth month, and April 22 is Earth Day — although we like to think every day and every month is for this blue planet of ours. Sustainability is what will keep it livable for all of us, and companies must do their part. The actions of individuals are of course important, but as a global business, our impact is bigger — and so is our responsibility to the environment. 

As a global provider of corporate housing, Synergy is dedicated to reducing our carbon footprint, minimizing waste, conserving energy and water, and promoting sustainable living practices. Here’s how our industry allows individuals to work and travel in an eco-friendly way, as well as Synergy’s sustainability initiatives and achievements as we work toward our goal of becoming a carbon-neutral organization by 2030.

Corporate housing: the sustainable choice for business and extended-stay travel

By choosing corporate housing over hotels for business travel or extended stays, you’ve already made a sustainable (and overall smart!) choice. By their very nature, extended-stay accommodations are a form of sustainable temporary housing. They’re less wasteful than hotels, and other accommodations meant for shorter stays and higher turnover. For instance: UK hotels are estimated to produce 289,700 metric tons of waste each year. 

Corporate housing uses less frequent housekeeping and replenishing of provisions, which means less trash, less paper and plastic, less water and electricity used for laundry, less cleaning supplies and less food waste. Extended-stay apartments are made for living, and travelers tend to treat them more like their home — rather than fleeting, short-term quarters they’ll be leaving behind in a few days. 

Synergy Global Housing’s sustainability initiatives and achievements

Our philosophy on sustainability recognizes that it starts with a mindset, which is then carried forward with action and reinforced through transparency, accountability and responsibility. Here are some examples of Synergy’s commitment to sustainable living.

Sustainability Champions team

This team of associates from across the business is passionate and eager to make a difference. They’ve developed a 54-point sustainability action plan, an ever-evolving route to a carbon-neutral future, helping as many individuals and organizations along the way as possible.

Reducing waste and emissions in our operations

We’re doing all we can to minimize waste and emissions as we provide corporate housing all over the world. In an effort to reduce food waste, we reimagined how we approach welcome grocery items we place in our apartments. We’re moving toward providing prepaid gift cards and food delivery options, so guests can select foods they enjoy and plan to consume. This initiative eliminated 30% of food waste once generated from unused welcome packs, in addition to reducing our carbon footprint related to transport, storage and delivery.

To address plastic pollution, we’re removing single-use plastics from our managed apartments, saving over 120,000 plastic bottles from ending up in landfill sites or the ocean annually. We replaced plastic water bottles in our welcome packs with boxed water and glass carafes, and replaced toiletries with biodegradable and microplastic-free alternatives. In February 2022, Synergy also expanded its EMEA presence with our first entirely plastic-free property in London.

Additionally, Synergy has upgraded 85% of its vehicles to hybrid or fully electric cars, reducing our emissions as we do business.

GreenFeet partnership

Greenfeet Logo

We’ve partnered with sustainability software specialist GreenFeet to track and report on Synergy’s progress toward our 2030 carbon-neutral goal. Synergy published its first emissions report in October 2022, in which GreenFeet analyzed data gathered by the Sustainability Champions team regarding Synergy’s carbon footprint. This analysis will be used as a baseline and a benchmark in tracking our progress toward zero net emissions.

Science Based Targets

Synergy is a committed member of the Science Based Targets initiative, which drives climate action in the private sector by enabling organizations to set science-based emissions reduction targets. This ensures we’re reducing our emissions in line with the Paris Agreement, while also holding us accountable via annual reporting and tracking.

Industry committees

Synergy is represented on multiple sustainability committees within our industry, including the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP) and the Corporate Housing Providers Association (CHPA). As members of these committees, we share knowledge and engage with industry experts on an ongoing basis.

Synergy’s Green Leaf Program

Synergy’s Green Leaf Program

The Green Leaf Program is Synergy’s sustainability ranking system for its properties. It supports travelers’ ability to make informed sustainable accommodation choices, and promotes sustainable practices among our supply chain partners. The program requires our partners to complete a questionnaire based specifically on their properties, which Synergy uses to give each property a rating on our sustainability index. This number is translated to an easy-to-understand green leaf rating that is displayed on property profiles, allowing the end-user (travelers) to see a property’s sustainability ranking and make an informed choice about where to stay.

Synergy staff initiatives

Working at Synergy also means working toward sustainability. As such, we developed our Little Things Matter internal training initiative to educate team members about Synergy’s sustainability goals, and how they can reduce their carbon footprint at work and at home. In addition, we expanded our remote work policy, further reducing Synergy’s carbon footprint by eliminating commutes to and from the office. 24% of our staff now work remotely on a permanent basis.

Join us for a sustainable future

The path to sustainability is as much about the journey as the destination. Science will lead the way to a more sustainable future, but we must first work together to take measured steps toward meaningful change. As Debra Christopher, President of Synergy Global Housing, puts it: “It’s culture. It’s behavior. It’s passion. But most importantly, it’s necessary.” Join us!

How to Prepare for a Temporary Relocation for Work

You’ve probably heard of the book What to Expect When You’re Expecting, but as it turns out, there’s no book called What to Expect When You’re Temporarily Relocating for Work. But fear not, because you don’t need a book to help prepare yourself for a temporary relocation for work.

Chances are your employer is accommodating the move by providing you with temporary housing and other relocation assistance. That said, there are a few things you should know and do to get ready for the big (but temporary) move. Here are our tips on how to prepare for a temporary relocation for work.

Secure the best relocation package for your needs

When employers relocate employees – whether it’s for a brand new job, or a long-term assignment – they will typically provide a relocation package to the employee. A relocation package lays out all the ways in which the employer will be supporting the move, such as providing temporary housing and covering moving-related expenses.

Some employers work with an intermediary, such as a relocation management company or a corporate travel manager, who handles the relocation. Whoever facilitates the move, it’s important for you, as the beneficiary of these services, to understand your relocation package and ensure it meets your needs. Make sure you’re happy with things like the housing you’ll be living in, where it’s located, transportation considerations, logistics, etc. Relocation packages are negotiable, so make them create an offer you can’t refuse!

Corporate Housing in London - Synergy Madison Kitchen and Living Area

Get to know your temporary housing

When it comes to accommodations during a short-term relocation for work, a hotel just won’t cut it. If your employer is smart, they’ll place you in temporary furnished housing. This type of housing is ideal for relocations, as it’s short-term and not permanent, but much more suited for an extended stay than a hotel room. It’s fully furnished and equipped with everything you need to live comfortably and stay productive. Temporary housing also has a degree of standardization and quality control, so you can have a good sense of what to expect.

At the same time, it’s a good idea to learn as much as you can about your short-term housing before the move. Find out exactly what’s included – for instance, will it have everything you need to work from home? To cook your favorite meals? Can you bring your pet along? Find out also where the house or apartment is located, what’s nearby, if the building offers amenities, the parking situation, etc. The more you can get to know your temporary housing ahead of time, the more you can prepare for a comfortable stay.

Tie up loose ends at home

If your relocation isn’t permanent, you’ll need to put some things in your regular life at home on pause for while you’re away. A good place to start is by taking a look at your routines and monthly expenses. Are there things you need to pause, cancel, or transfer to your new city? This may include:

In today’s telecommuting world, you’d be amazed by what you can still take care of while away from home. For example, if you usually visit your doctor in person, see if they offer telehealth appointments. Of course, you may also want to have a friend, family member, or housesitter check in on your home, keeping it safe and sound – and watering your precious plants, of course.

Learn about your new city and make connections

One of the best parts of a temporary relocation for work is getting to experience a new city. Even if you’ve been there before, you get to live there like a local for an extended period of time. Rather than simply showing up and hoping for the best, learn about the locale and all it has to offer. You’ll want to make some connections, too, as relocating for work can be a lonely, isolating experience.

Research the neighborhood you’ll be living in, and maybe even join its Nextdoor community. See if the city or neighborhood has a subreddit or Facebook Group. Find out if any of your colleagues will also be relocating to the same city, and ask your network if they know anyone who lives there. Make a list of things to see and do during your time there. This will not only help you prepare for your temporary move, but get you excited about it too!

Relocating temporarily for work is a rewarding experience, but it also comes with its challenges. By understanding the terms of your relocation and your housing, taking care of things at home, and learning about your new location, you can make the transition smoother and more enjoyable. Temporary furnished housing is a vital part of the short-term relocation journey, and Synergy Global Housing is ready to serve your needs in the world’s most desirable locations and provide a new sense of home.

A Guide to Travelling and Working in Singapore

What You Need to Know When Moving to Singapore for a Short-term Assignment

Laura Garton on a balcony in Singapore

It’s official—my short-term assignment in Singapore is coming to an end, and oh my goodness, I’m so NOT ready for it to be over.

The last four weeks have been an incredibly rich and eye-opening experience for me from both a professional and personal standpoint. Not only have I had the opportunity to experience what life as an expat in Singapore is really like, but it’s also opened my eyes to the true value of business travel and its impact on productivity from collaboration, associate development and associate satisfaction perspective—I've truly had the time of my life here and have learned so much, and I know you will too.

So, as I soak up my last few days in this incredible city, I have some final observations about what it’s like to temporarily live in Singapore, and all the tips I think you’ll find useful should you get to travel to Singapore yourself.

So many ways to pay

Throughout my four weeks living in Singapore, I’ve been using cash and my Monzo card (an international and exchange rate friendly MasterCard) to pay for pretty much everything and it’s worked seamlessly.

A woman scans her RFID Throughout my four weeks living in Singapore, Monzo card (an international and exchange rate friendly MasterCard) to pay for her travel.

I’ve noticed, however, that there is a plethora of payment methods available with the most common ones being GrabPay, PayLah!, Apple Pay and WeChat Pay. If you’re staying for a short period like I am, using cash and card will see you through your international business trip perfectly. If, however, you’re living in Singapore for more than a month, I would recommend you look at different payment options that might benefit you.  You might want to set up a local bank account for example. Consider using DBS Bank’s PayLah!.

When it comes to hosting business meetings, for example in a restaurant, you should be able to pay by card the majority of the time, but I'd still advise you to always carry cash with you as there have been a couple of occasions where I was told I couldn’t use my card.

There is a plethora of payment methods available in Singapore with the most common ones being GrabPay, PayLah!, Apple Pay and WeChat Pay.

Getting Around the City

Singapore is one of the smallest cities in the world, yet it has one of the best public transport systems I’ve ever seen. One of my main concerns prior to my trip was how easy (or difficult) I was going to find it to get to Synergy’s Singapore HQ from my serviced apartment. Surprisingly, I can tell you that as early as day one I felt super confident navigating the system because of how easy and well looked after it is. Remember, Citymapper is your best friend!

The MRT

Singapore’s underground network consists of six different metro lines and it is exactly what you’d expect from a world-class underground network. It’s cheap, it’s efficient, it’s airconditioned, it has WiFi and it’s always squeaky clean. And I mean really squeaky clean.

The MRT in Singapore

Trains run frequently across the city from around 5:30am to midnight daily and at a very reasonable price, with a typical journey costing on average SGD $1.75/GBP £1/USD $1.75.

I paid for all my trips using my bank card as mentioned in series one, but you can also pay for your trip by purchasing a reloadable EZ Link card which is available to buy from most MRT stations or 7-Elevens.

The Bus

Another inexpensive option, taking the bus, is a great choice if you’re looking to take the more scenic route from point A to point B. Fares range, depending on the length of journey, but you’ll never pay more than around SGD $2 which you can pay for using your bank card or EZ Link card.

The only downside to taking the bus is of course the traffic during rush hour, so I’d always recommend walking or taking the MRT where possible between 7:30-9am and 4:30-7pm.

The public Bus in Singapore

Taxis

There is an abundance of taxi options to choose from in Singapore which you can hail from the side of the road or order using a ride hailing app such as Grab or Gojek.

Personally, I’ve found it easiest to download the Grab app onto my phone because it enables me to order a taxi, agree on a price beforehand and pay for it all in one place, just like I would with Uber at home in London.

I’d recommend you always take the MRT or walk where possible to cut down on the carbon footprint of your trip, but sometimes it’s so humid here that it can be very beneficial to take a taxi to an important business meeting if you want to avoid turning up all sweaty and frizzy—and that’s if you’ve been lucky enough to not get caught in a Singapore-style downpour.

One of the safest cities I’ve ever visited

As a solo female expat in Singapore, I naturally had some reservations about the safety of the city in which I was about to spend the next month. I’ll cut straight to the chase here—I had absolutely nothing to worry about. Singapore is by far the safest city I have ever visited.

Downotown Singapore

Throughout my time living here, I’ve happily walked home alone and caught public transport late at night without any issues—not once have I felt unsafe. In fact, being here has made me realise how much I am on high alert of my surroundings back home in London, a place I considered to be very safe.  I think the reason it’s so safe here is that the crime rates are super low and the general attitudes toward anti-social behaviour are taken really seriously.

With all that said, it’s important to note that no city is without crime, and you should always keep your wits about you whenever you’re out in public.   

Serviced Apartments in Singapore

So, you’re equipped with all the tips and tricks you’ll need to navigate your time in Singapore like a pro, but one thing you’ll need to consider before you leave is where you’ll stay during your assignment.

As a traveller in Singapore, you’ll have an abundance of long- and short-term accommodation options available to you, from serviced apartments to hotels and residential corporate housing options. If you’re relocating to Singapore or even staying in the city longer than a week, I’d 100% recommend you stay in a serviced apartment, purely because it’s such a convenient and more comfortable option in comparison to a hotel.

Synergy Housing Serviced Apartment in Singapore

I wanted to stay in a serviced apartment in Singapore because I knew they typically come with all the added comforts of home like additional space, a fully equipped kitchen and laundry facilities. And, I’d also get all the benefits of a hotel such as a 24-hour reception, concierge, security, a gym and so on. Some serviced apartments in Singapore will also come with extra space to work from home, whether that’s in the apartment or as part of a co-living approach like where I'm staying at Lyf Funan. I’ve found that having access to such amenities really helped me find my feet faster than anticipated—probably because there was no real adjustment period for me. I was able to just pick back up where I left off at home in London.

The End of The Trip of a Lifetime

Here we are at the end of the most extraordinary trip of a lifetime. I sincerely hope you’ve found this three-part series useful and that it has helped motivate you for what I know will be an incredible trip. I thoroughly have enjoyed writing this series mainly because I've been able to re-live my experience over and over again.

It’s bye for now Singapore, but you’ll definitely hold a very special place in my heart, alongside all the amazing colleagues and friends I now have in the Lion City. Until next time!

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After months of applications, cover letters, and interviews, you’ve overcome the biggest hurdle: receiving an internship. Whether it’s short- or long-term, part- or full-time, this is a victory that should be celebrated. And with this new role, comes a new destination. Moving for an internship is more than just changing locations; it's a transformative experience that shapes your professional and personal growth. Relocating for an internship is an exciting yet challenging adventure. To ensure a smooth transition, we’ve crafted this detailed guide to help interns like you make the most out of their relocation experience. From temporary housing options to maximizing your internship program, here’s what you can expect and how to thrive during your time away from home. Moving for an internship is more than just changing locations; it’s a transformative experience that shapes your professional and personal growth. Out-of-state internships offer the opportunity to develop more than just hard skills. In addition to the knowledge and exposure you’re destined to gain throughout your internship, relocation invites endless chances to evolve and challenge yourself as an individual. You’ll not only grow as a professional, but also gain soft skills that will last you a lifetime. However, all these benefits do not necessarily make this journey any less daunting. Embracing the Internship Journey As you acclimate to your new role and your new home, you will inevitably be presented with various obstacles. To best prepare for your internship journey and alleviate some of the growing pains that accompany moving to a new city, it’s vital to research your destination. Embracing the Internship Journey When relocating to a different city or state, it’s important to educate yourself on travel safety tips and immerse yourself in the cultural nuances of the location. With a comprehensive knowledge of your new home away from home, you’ll have a strong foundation to explore and build authentic connections. Do your best to break out of your shell and engage with your neighbors and fellow interns. If you’re accepting summer internships or winter internships, look into joining local groups or pursuing activities that offer an opportunity to socialize and make new friends. It’s essential to establish a support network so that you have a community to lean on if you ever start to feel homesick or during your program. While adapting to your new living and work environment may prove difficult, you are not alone in your journey. Many of your peers and colleagues are likely experiencing similar anxieties, and your employers will be able to sympathize with the strength that it takes to overcome your apprehensions as you take on a new job away from home. Maximizing Your Internship Program with Temporary Housing Preparing for your internship can be an overwhelming experience on its own, so your housing should be the least of your worries. Temporary housing plays a crucial role in ensuring a comfortable and productive internship experience. Corporate housing companies like Synergy Global Housing help eliminate the added stress of finding a new apartment. Instead of signing a lease, you’ll have a guest service agent guide you through every step of the process and help you find the perfect housing solution. Simply share your desired destination, and Synergy will take care of the rest. Maximizing Your Internship Program with Temporary Housing For short-term living or extended stays, temporary housing proves to be the easiest, stress-free option. Award-winning customer service and abundant amenities contribute to a resort-like experience that enhances your overall well-being. Apartments are move-in ready, with all the comforts of home: installed utilities, fully furnished living spaces, housewares and linens. Synergy helps you to relocate with confidence, so that all you must do is show up and turn the key in the lock. Relocation Assistance Internship relocation assistance from providers like Synergy helps you make the most of your experience. Discover a comfortable and convenient living space that complements your lifestyle and includes everything from free wi-fi to on-premises laundry. During fall internships or spring internships, avoid having to compete with students for leases and housing and enjoy the guarantee of a move-in ready, premium property. And the best part? You can rest assured that your new home will be secure and held to the highest standards of quality assurance, without having to fly out early to find a place on your own. Peace of Mind The only thing better than the peace of mind provided by corporate housing, is the unique opportunities offered to interns sharing the same housing. By opting for corporate housing, you may experience more of a dorm-like atmosphere. Sharing common areas or even neighboring your colleagues and peers makes it much easier to socialize and make friends in your program. Plus, many companies utilize the common areas of corporate housing for social events, so you’ll be that much closer for the next pool party, barbecue, or networking reception! peace of mind provided by corporate housing Preparing to Relocate for an Internship
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