Are Hotels the Perfect Place for Remote Work?
By Megan Wenzl Content Marketing Strategist, Clique Studios | November 08, 2020
One guest sits at the bar with a laptop. Another guest sits in a comfortable chair. A third guest sits at a large communal table.
All three have one thing in common: They know that hotels are the perfect place for working remotely.
When it comes to distraction-free spaces without spouses, kids, or unlimited food in a fridge, hotels can't be beat. Even before the pandemic, hotels were the perfect place for remote work. That's only become more true now. And after the pandemic, hotels will be even better for remote work.
Hotels have everything a remote worker needs - a place without distractions, comfortable seating, good coffee (and other quality beverages), and, quite simply, a different atmosphere than home.
Remote work is only increasing and has already been on the rise. It's estimated that at least 16 percent of workers will be remote workers after the pandemic, according to Harvard Business School. The pandemic has transformed how we work, as employers now know that working from home, giving employees the freedom to choose how they schedule their days, is productive.
If guests are working remotely, they'll want to do it away from their home at least once in a while. When guests think about where they might work, a hotel will be on of their options. Here's why hotels are the perfect place for the remote worker.
The Hotel Lobby is Set Up for Remote Work
The lobby is one of the first in-person impressions guests have of your hotel. The lobby is their indicator of your hotel's style, quality, and even the level of customer service your hotel provides. The remote worker will walk into your lobby and immediately think to themselves, Can I be productive here? Can I enjoy a good beverage while working with minimal-noise? Will this hotel welcome remote work?
Your lobby should be comfortable and set up to invite in the remote worker. Different seating arrangements improves the guest remote working experience. Options are important. That's why it's crucial to add a variety of good, comfortable and inviting seating like couches, soft chairs with side tables, and individual counter-height tables with padded chairs.
Hotels should utilize space effectively without feeling like seating arrangements are overcrowded. The way in which tables and chairs are arranged should allow for guests to focus on their work without feeling too isolated, but also not feeling cramped.
It's a delicate balance. You can set up one long table to utilize space, for example. Creating sections of seating are important here, too. You could add couches facing each other, with coffee tables in the middle of the couches, along one side of your lobby. On the other side of your lobby, add comfortable stools with high top tables. You can mix in sections with chairs and side tables.
A lobby set up for remote work should also have minimal distractions. According to a survey by Hospitality-Interiors.net, 40% of professionals say a quiet space is the most important element of co-working.
Hospitality-Interiors.net suggests creating separate zones for working and for talking.
The Coffee Is Good (Or It Should Be)
Historically, hotel coffee has been considered… well… a touch below industry standard. But lately that's changed with the third wave coffee movement - a movement to appreciate and enjoy high-quality coffee. Hotels that serve good coffee keep customers coming back.
The guest remote work experience is vital to the success of your hotel - and coffee is a significant part of that experience. After all, 64% of Americans drink coffee, according to the National Coffee Association. So it is likely your guests will order a coffee when working in your hotel lobby.
Make sure you serve coffee your guests want - craft coffee - high-quality coffee that is roasted in small batches. Guests view coffee as communal, as an experience, and not just a caffeine boost. Guests are looking for coffee they can not make at home.
Good coffee starts with the beans. And the best coffee beans come from good roasters. To make sure you are serving that guests love, be sure you know who is roasting your hotel's coffee beans to know exactly where they are coming from.
Guests Can Book a Room
Although guests can work in a hotel lobby all day, one thing that separates hotels from stand-alone coffee shops or restaurants is that guests can book a room.
More and more hotels are setting up rooms for remote work during the pandemic, offering packages designed for remote workers.
For example, at the Grande Lakes Orlando in Orlando, Florida, remote workers will receive an early check-in, a late check out of 2 p.m. in addition to a "Business Butler" who will assist guests with work-related taste like printing and finding a good WiFi signal.
Hotel rooms themselves offer an excellent place for remote workers to get work done. With modern desks, comfortable desk chairs, a high-tech TV, room service, and a bed for nap breaks, your hotel can be the perfect setup for productivity.
Hotels are the perfect getaway for remote workers, especially right now. But of course, both now and in the future, hotels offer a place to escape from the everyday and isolate oneself to get work done. Guests might have a huge meeting coming up that they have to prepare for but can't seem to do at home. That's the perfect opportunity for them to book a room at your hotel for a few nights.
Guests Can Do Fun Things at Hotels (After the Work is Done)
After the work is over guests can take advantage of everything your hotel has to offer (if they are staying the night). This is another advantage to working at a hotel.
Hotels offer all kinds of amenities like pools, rooftops, fireplaces, patios, bars, and restaurants. Of course, not all amenities may be open for use right now, but even with restrictions, there is no better way to get away from the stresses of the world after the work day ends than at a hotel.
Hotels also offer location-based amenities that appeal to the remote worker. Examples include golf courses, nature trails, hiking, or skiing. Pandemic and beyond, outdoor amenities (whether they are directly provided by your hotel or by businesses in the local area) are vital to relaxing and enjoying time away from working.
As a frequent hotel guest, I can tell you I've stayed at a local inn that l I love twice since April. I sat in the lobby by the fire with a cup of coffee. I rented bikes with my family and biked on a trail nearby. I walked on the nature trails in the local community. I ate dinner on their patio. And I got myself a hotel room and worked there, taking a break from my everyday office at home. It was a breath of fresh air that I'm sure many remote workers are looking for.
Guests Will Enjoy Excellent Service
The way to provide the meaningful remote experience that guests want depends on the strength of your customer-centric foundation of delighting the customer.
A customer-centric culture will only only help increase the amount of remote workers who want to come to your hotel when they need a change of atmosphere. It will also help keep them coming back. Remote workers are looking for an experience they can rely on. And positive guest service is part of that experience.
All leaders of your hotel company should be focused on creating a positive guest experience. Listen to your customer feedback and implement changes to your hotel based on what guests say. You can listen to guests through email surveys, online reviews, guest phone calls, and a conversation at check out. Collect that data and look for trends and patterns in feedback. What are guests looking for? Are they looking for better coffee? Maybe the service in the lobby is too slow? Take negative feedback seriously to improve and make the guest experience better.
A Hotel Set Up for Remote Work Leads to Happy Guests, Overall
Whether or not work is the main reason a guest is staying at your hotel or sitting in the lobby, many of the aspects of hotels that remote workers look for are the same factors that all guests look for - quiet spaces, amenities, excellent service, and an escape from home. So by setting up your hotel for the remote worker, you'll also be benefiting the everyday traveler.
The ability for employees to choose where and how they work gives them options they may have never thought possible - such as choosing to work at your hotel. The important thing to remember is that guests have just that: choice.
Remote workers think about their options when it comes to where they can go when they need to escape from their ordinary days, or when they to be more productive. And one of those options is working at at a hotel. It's important to focus on enhancing the parts of your hotel that make it so perfect for remote work to make sure guests choose your hotel for remote work.
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