What Can Hotel Workspaces Offer Over Coworking Offices?

March 23, 2022 Mihaela Lica Butler

Hotels turning their communal areas into workspaces may be a trend fuelled by the COVID-19 pandemic, but, in reality, it's only natural evolution. We've all seen the occasional absentminded guest sipping coffee over a laptop in the lobby bar, and we already know that hotels rent out meeting and conference rooms where available.

Hoteliers wise enough to turn unused spaces into workspaces are taking advantage of a global trend (remote working) and will reap the short-term benefits while setting up for long-term success.

Hotel workspaces may not be new, but their recent spike in popularity gives meaning to the concept of hybrid hospitality, which mixes the traditional accommodation model with new facilities and amenities that satisfy the bleisure traveller. And there is value in creating modern workspaces in hotels for both hoteliers and guests:

  • Revenue: Integrate workspaces in your hotel's business plan and marketing strategy and choose the most lucrative solution: decide which areas are for rent and which ones are offered as a common courtesy (or incentive) to guests.
  • Flexibility: Hoteliers can always rent out workspaces by the hour, day, week, month - or any custom timeframe customers The pro tip: eliminate long-term commitments to make your offer appealing to businesses and freelancers.
  • Modular spaces: Every unused space means wasted revenue. Communal areas and hotel lobbies can quickly become coworking spaces with or without adjustments. Rooms converted into offices can work well too. Or some hotels can even create intimate nooks outdoors for guests who prefer a breath of fresh air while working (writers, coders, artists, and so on.).
  • Basic and low-cost: Converting hotel areas into workspaces often requires a low investment: guests mainly want high-speed Internet access, power outlets to plug in their devices, and a desk or a table with a comfortable chair.
  • Guest loyalty: Many guests already come with laptops ready to work anywhere with a good Internet connection. Going the extra mile to offer them designated spaces can boost guest loyalty in the long run.

Can Hotel Workspace Offer More than Coworking Spaces?

Many coworking offices already provide excellent on-site amenities and everything a remote worker may need to enjoy a professional experience at a fraction of the cost compared to long-term rentals. They also offer community and activities that motivate and promote mental health. Do hotels workspaces offer more than coworking spaces.

It all depends on how a hotel envisioned this type of offer for their guests in many situations. But, generally speaking, here are the main highlights:

  • More on-site amenities: Guests may access other hotel facilities, like pools, gyms, sauna, rooftops, restaurants, and bars.
  • A relaxed, vacation-like vibe: Many hotel workspaces (besides those in business hotels) are favoured by business travellers who want to combine work and leisure. They will enjoy a comfortable experience without the stress of an office.
  • Location choice: Remote work allows employees and companies to choose hotels in all locations and destinations where Internet connectivity is up to par.
  • Concierge services: Most hotels also include concierge and other personalized services to encourage guests to book workspaces within their premises.
  • Strict hygiene protocols: Hotels must adhere to strict cleanliness and safety regulations mandated by local governments. No exceptions.

While for many hotels, creating or redesigning the space for workspaces may seem unreasonable at this time, it is an obvious step for others. In fact, you can already see several hotels taking advantage of the coworking trend on platforms such as Book a Space which allows hoteliers and property owners to publish their unused spaces as a meeting room for example, or alternatively embed the booking engine on the property's site. As a result, they get to enjoy a new revenue stream that does not require much effort or drastic actions. Book a Space allows guests to book a space by the hour and add additional paid services like food and drinks or multimedia equipment when needed. Most of these hotels already cater to business travellers. They have dedicated spaces for their needs, with modular furniture for meetings, and other essential amenities, including sound systems, video conferencing equipment, stationery, flipcharts, and more. In addition, their staff has experience in dealing with the needs of corporate travellers.

However, the hotel workspace market will expand to include smaller spaces for single use, for people who need an office for a day. The demand is there; the hotels just need to adapt and reap the benefits.

"People are using hybrid hospitality spaces as their satellite or project office. We are also witnessing many self-employed professionals requiring this functionality if they don't have an ideal place to work from," said Dirk Bakker, head of hotels for the EMEA region at Colliers International, in an interview. "With this mixed-use function, the hotel will become better connected to the city and the neighbourhood. Instead of just serving tourists and business travellers, it will become part of the local community," he added.

Hybrid Hospitality

Credit: Hospitalityinsights.ehl.edu