The Rise of Work-Friendly Hotel Spaces and What It Means for Interior Design

The recent pandemic started many conversations about the way we work, the way we travel, and more. One trend that hasn’t really gone away since then is the rise in remote working and job opportunities that enable workers to live off-grid and experience digital nomadism.

Through this ever-evolving lifestyle trend, people can work from anywhere – experiencing the world’s beauty while having work and income right at their fingertips.

But enough about the workers – what does this mean for the hotels that accommodate them? In this blog post, we’re talking all things work-during-travel, highlighting the design priorities that hotels need to consider if they want to appeal to those working while travelling.

The emergence of work-friendly hotels

While the pandemic played a major role in proving just how many jobs can be undertaken completely remotely, this is not the only factor that has sparked a shift towards remote working.

The development and innovation in the technology sector is equally responsible in facilitating remote working, as it makes it possible for employees and freelance workers to continue earning while on the move. This, combined with the shifting work culture which prioritises a good work-life balance for employees within workplace benefits packages and negotiations, means that it’s more likely than ever that employers will support remote working opportunities.

In short, working while travelling isn’t just coveted by the workers themselves – it is also proven to be possible as a result of new and advancing technologies.

Which is where work-friendly hotels come in.

These are hotels that prioritise the needs of freelance and remote workers to work during their stay through the inclusion of a number of features. Before we talk about and consider these features, however, a few details to note.

The first is that remote workers are likely to require more flexibility in their booking. Some will be looking to book trips at the last minute, while others may be seeking longer stays, or even single night stays before moving onto the next destination. As a hotel, adapting to the needs of working travellers and guests means being more flexible from a booking perspective – harnessing the power of online hotel booking sites and marketplaces to support and entice this community of customers.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the features required by workers in a hotel.

Key features of work-friendly hotel design

If you want guests to be able to work from your hotel, and you want to attract this very specific group of customers, then you need to offer a number of things.

High speed and reliable internet connectivity is a must. In addition, you should design a series of ergonomic work stations in a communal area of your hotel, taking care to position this work area somewhere away from high footfall spots and family facilities.

You could also consider adding some meeting spaces and private rooms to your hotel design, with spaces which are adaptable and could be used for anything from a small conference to a family gathering.

Other features include onsite dining options for those looking to work and conduct working lunches, and the availability of public phones.

Impact on interior design

How do these requirements impact the interior design of your hotel? This is where it gets interesting.

Spatial adaptability

Perhaps the best asset that you can include in the design of your hotel is a series of adaptable and versatile spaces that can be used for celebrations, workshops, as a private work space, or as a recreation area for family activities.

Movable furniture, modular spaces, and neutral colours can help to ensure that certain spaces in your hotel can be easily converted from a work-centric environment into somewhere designed for leisure or family activities.

Technology integration

Smart features and fittings are always appreciated by those looking to work in a hotel space, with some good ideas including fitted charging stations, presentation facilities, desktop monitors, and easy access WiFi.

This is not always easy to integrate into a space without impacting the interior design – especially if you’re looking to create a clean and minimalist hotel, or somewhere that will appeal to all guests (even those not looking to work while they travel). Explore closed or sectioned off areas, portable and adjustable room blocks and screens, or simple storage solutions to pack away work accessories when not in use.

Luxury balanced with functionality

Just because someone wants to work while staying in your hotel, doesn’t mean that they don’t also want to relax.

When creating an interior design scheme that supports working travellers, it’s important to bridge luxury with functionality – and incorporate details which promote productivity and a calmer environment. Plants and natural lighting are good examples of details which support both parts of your guests’ experience.

Communal spaces for all occasions

Hotel communal workspace

Communal areas are a big part of any hotel design, stretching from the reception lobby and check-in desk to the restaurant, bar, entertainment spaces, and any other onsite facilities.

From a working perspective, it’s great if these spaces encourage networking and social interaction – while still enabling quiet time when required. That’s why we recommend room sectioning screens for open working areas and spaces, and the availability of different spaces for working ranging from small meeting rooms to open plan cafes.

What are the challenges and considerations for hotels?

There are plenty of opportunities when it comes to creating hotels and designing spaces with working professionals and travellers in mind.

But it’s not all vibrant plant life and versatile room sectioning. There are challenges that need to be considered including noise management and the need to balance your location and business model with the likelihood of travellers stopping in.

City centre hotels are often the ones that are most in-demand with business travellers, though the rise in remote working does mean that further afield hotels are seeing an increase in working professionals. Trial and error and an adaptable approach is required by hotels that want to really cater to and accommodate this growing audience, understanding what they need and making changes to support those needs.

As a starting point, consider how you can deliver a quiet work space without impacting the experience for leisure guests, and invest in high speed internet with good security.

What to expect in the future

As well as the rise in remote working travellers, it’s always worth looking to the future when designing your hotel. Sustainability and environmental concerns aren’t going anywhere – making eco-friendly design a point of focus for many hotels.

Versatility is another thing worth keeping in mind when looking to the future, as hotels continue to adapt to trends and expand their offering to keep enticing guests to come back.

For more interior design support and for tailored advice for your business, get in touch with our team directly.

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