We sat down with our Non-Executive Chris to get to know him better and ask his opinion on the changing world of business travel. To watch the recorded version of this interview click here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yeXud3G1Nps&feature=youtu.be
Where did your story start, how did you get to where you are today?
“I’m quite an old geezer so I will try and be short about it. I started life working in pubs, after university and I got a job in a local pub and ended up running it. It had a few rooms and from then I drifted in hotels. Various career progressions later and then around the mid 2000s I was a part of a start-up which then became BCD travel as we know it today. After 12 years I left and since then I have been managing a consulting business of my own with my partner Jo Lloyd a business called Nina and Pinta and various engagements such as my relationship with You Are Home. So it’s been a mixed journey.”
What is your biggest passion, when you’re not working what do you like to get up to?
“I am very interested in technology, news, and sport. I watch too much sport, I’m an Arsenal season ticket holder. That’s journey of occasional triumph and more frequent tragedy as any football fan will tell you. I have two young children who I live with along with my wife in Wimbledon, so I spend a lot of my time with them and well as keeping in touch with my network of friends around the world. I also have a secret dream of being a cricket test match commentator.”
Do you think the pandemic will change business travel moving forward?
“I don’t think the pandemic itself will change things I think but it will speed up a few changes that were starting anyway. For example, changes in the way people work, with less reliance on big offices and more hybrid working situations. Overall, I think we will see less trips for longer, so that will be positive for the sustainability agenda and the need to control costs and be more conscious of safety and security. Corporate housing will become more popular, like we offer at You Are Home, it’s a more controlled environment and safer space, with the more opportunities such as bringing family.”
How do you think You Are Home fits into this new market?
“We have a very adaptable product and more people will start following our lead, with the flexibility we bring. We are able to suit the needs of our clients and this personalisation is what they want. The biggest challenge for us will be understanding the ways to get to those travellers, because there are so many layers of interest and bookings.”
What is your opinion on the benefits of serviced apartments in terms of employee wellbeing?
“Well it is very difficult to measure wellness. My opinion is that having the space and the environment we provide at You Are Home gives people a more restful and mindful area to be in. It gives them a better chance to rest in a less stressful environment. I think there is more privacy and with that comes a feeling of security and happiness. The obvious benefit, of having a feeling of being in your own home but being away from home outweighs being in more of a box room.”
What is the best piece of advice you were ever given?
“Don’t worry so much.”
What excites you the most about the future of You Are Home?
“I think it’s the potential for us to take this to more places and customers. What we have is a very unique model and way of doing business and people love it. You can see that in the satisfaction scores that we get, we have one of the highest loyalty rates of any business in hospitality in the UK it’s incredible the loyalty we get from our customers.”
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