Along with the standalone co-working facilities, there’s a rising trend for flexible working environments in cafes, restaurants and hotels. Hotels and co-working have managed to strike a partnership, becoming a popular alternative at the hotels with traditional conference spaces. These days, a group of mobile workers can enjoy the advantages of a cooperative work space inside the comfort of a hotel lobby. With fast internet, a modern décor and relaxed environment, co-working environments are now accessible under some hotel roofs.
The idea behind this trend comes from the desire to better utilize hotel outlets like the restaurant, bar, and conference rooms. It also helps grow brand awareness among potential travelers, who may later seek out the brand when traveling to different cities. This hospitality space diversification extends beyond the traditional business center typically found on property. Resort and hotel properties are monetizing the otherwise unused space for an hourly - or weekly - rental fee to individuals or groups of mobile teams. Still other properties are offering up their spaces at no cost.
In today’s world, traditional office spaces are changing. They’re becoming smaller, open, and more collaborative, affording workers the flexibility to take work with them. It’s estimated that these new co-working areas will continue to grow given the escalating number of business travelers and growing trend of flexible work arrangements. After all, the hyper connectivity of today’s business environments means all one needs is a laptop and Wi-Fi to be productive.
Properties that have monetized work-friendly spaces include Hotel Schani Wien in Vienna, which offers a 10-day co-working pass to its lobby for the equivalent of about US$100. The Virgin Hotel in Chicago offers a monthly membership fee to the Virgin Commons Club. And, at NEST, a co-working environment at the Hotel Tryp by Wyndham in Dubai, paying coworkers have access to the hotel’s gym, pool and unlimited coffee, all while getting work done in a chic flex-work environment.
Flexible work space is a young and fast-growing market. While it might not make sense for some hotels to adopt a co-working area, for those that do it helps target a different guest demographic. The growing presence of hotels in the co-working space adds another element of diversity and means an increased need for hospitality solutions that are also flexible and robust enough to adapt to the changing needs of each hotel environment.
This is a tremendous opportunity that aligns with many of the services already available to hotel guests. It’s an attractive business model because it serves to diversify business, brings in more people during the work week, and ultimately increases incremental revenue with little upfront investment.