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Live-In Versus Live-Out

If you’re considering hiring a household employee and are wondering what the differences between a live-in employee and a live out employee are, we’re here to help. Whether it’s a housekeeper, a nanny, or a household manager, there are a variety of positions that can be offered as live in (living in the home or in an on-site apartment/room), or live-out (off site) positions.

Living In

Hiring a live-in employee means they will be living in your primary residence or on-site on your property. This gives you and the employee close proximity to each other, which can have benefits, but it doesn’t mean that the employee is ‘on call’ at all hours of the day or night. Just like you, they should have time off and breaks throughout the day.

At the beginning of employment, there should be a written contract in place. This will help clearly define pay and hours, including overtime. It’s important to keep in mind: you should not provide a lower salary because you provide living arrangements. Many employers choose to work with an attorney to prepare a contract for the housing that includes an end date. When it gets close to that date, you and the employee can decide whether the living arrangement is working and if you will revise the contract and extend the date. While you work with an attorney on the legal contract or work agreement, you can also include information on personal boundaries, privacy policies, maintenance expectations, guest policies, and other important details.

If you are a private person or simply prefer a comfortable distance between your employees, a live-in employee situation may not be right for you. Think closely about your lifestyle and what that requires before you offer this type of job.

Living Out

This is another popular option for household employees: when they’re done with work, they clock out and leave the home. In other words, they have their own home or apartment that they live in, and you don’t subsidize any portion of their housing. While it’s still important to have a detailed work agreement that outlines job duties, wages, benefits, and other important details related to the employee’s role in your home, the lines are usually more clearly defined in this type of live-out arrangement. While this type of employment is very common, live-in options may work better in some scenarios. For example, is 24-hour care needed on a regular basis?

Regardless of which option works best for your home, it is crucial to keep communication at the center of all your working relationships with your employees. Fostering loyalty, trust, and respect is one of the best ways to ensure your employee – either live-in or live-out – stay for the long-term and have strong job satisfaction.

Ready to start your search for a household employee? For more than two decades, we have worked with clients around the country to find and place experienced, reliable, long-term household employees. Call us today to start your search and find the right employee match.

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