Yes, we’re talking about Route 27, the two-lane artery that connects all of the Hamptons. Off season, it’s a lovely drive through some of the most beautiful towns in America. In season, it can take forever to go just a few miles. Traffic is not getting any better, and the Hamptons labor force has moved further west to more affordable areas. Unless you are able to find local employees, it is becoming important to consider providing housing for Hamptons staff.

For large seasonal households, renting a space to house multiple employees can be an answer. If so, make sure the space is clean and pleasant, and that those who will occupy it are comfortable with such a housing share. Establish House Rules and assign cleaning and upkeep duties fairly. Can those employees have pets? Guests? Think through and specify how the house is to be used by employees off-hours before it becomes occupied.

If you have new construction, speak with your architect about setting aside some room to be available for live-in staff. Even staff who cannot commit to full-time live-in will be attracted to the option to stay when late nights are followed by early morning schedules.

If you are considering having staff stay within the existing main household, they should be provided at minimum with a separate room and bath. These should be private areas, not trafficked throughout the day, or used for any other purpose. Live-in staff, who become part of the household, nevertheless need to maintain a sense of autonomy off-hours. Well-rested and balanced staff contribute to a harmonious, healthy tone in the home.

If providing housing is not feasible, consider staggered, non-traditional schedules, so that your staff can try to circumvent the rush hour bottlenecks that can double their commute.

Savvy Hamptons dwellers understand that summer traffic is inevitable, but there are strategies to ease the pain. Now is the time to plan for the upcoming season. Take heart knowing that even sitting in traffic, it’s always beautiful here on the East End!

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